New research from global lighting giant Signify (formerly Philips) concludes two in five SMEs think investing in connected technology would help retain employees.
Headlines stats are that over half of small and medium-sized enterprises struggle to recruit talent and two in five have issues retaining employees.
The findings suggest that employers are potentially missing a trick as over half of the employees surveyed* said they’d be in favour of their company investing in connected tech, specifically smart lighting, ahead of other improvements.
Two in five SMEs think investing in connected technology would help retain employees
“High workplace satisfaction influences engagement and the reputation of a business as a great place to work. So it’s no surprise that SMEs are looking into connected tech options to enhance engagement,” said Bianca van der Zande, research scientist at Signify.
“Nowadays with new technologies including LED and IoT, lighting can be a powerful influencer in the workplace. It has a big impact on people and also brings value to space management. With about half of the surveyed employees being in favour of having smart lighting installed, this could be an excellent way for SMEs to make the workplace more appealing to current and potential employees. We want to see this reflected in our working environments where connected tech is an important way to appeal to the best and brightest.”
When it comes to connected technology usage among SMEs, nearly one in five (17%) already use it in some form in their business, and just under a third (29%) are interested in doing so in the future. SMEs in the US were more likely to cite employee retention as an issue their business faces than those in the UK, 45% versus 35% respectively. Also, those in the US appear to have more trouble motivating their employees, with two in five (40%) saying employee motivation is a problem, compared with less than a third in the UK (28%).
Dr Craig Knight, Chartered Psychologist, Honorary Research Fellow (Exon), Director of Identity Realization Ltd, agrees on the importance of lighting at work, saying, “Light can have astonishing effects within the workplace. Yet too many businesses pay scant attention to light, offering cheap rather than effective solutions. Science suggests that poor lighting strategies put well-being, happiness and productivity in jeopardy.”
The benefits of smart lighting could go beyond improved employee well-being and engagement. Of the SMEs that have areas that customers or clients visit, over a third (36%) thought that smart lighting would improve the customer or client experience.
Science suggests that poor lighting strategies put well-being, happiness and productivity in jeopardy
Employees are even more positive about the effects though, with more than three in five (61%)* believing that smart lighting would give customers and clients a more favourable opinion of a business.
About the SME research
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,097 senior decision makers from private sector businesses with 10 to 249 employees in Britain and with 11 to 500 employees in the US. Fieldwork was undertaken between 13th – 22nd August 2018. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted to be representative of each country’s business size, then given an even weighting for each country to produce an ‘average’ value.
About the employee research
Asterisked (*) figures are from online interviews undertaken by Ipsos Mori for Signify. Research was conducted in August 2018, polling over 5,000 adults from five different markets: China, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK and the USA. The samples are nationally representative of the populations.
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