Paper-reliant retailers risk losing staff to tech-savvy competitors

Almost nine in 10 employees admit they would prefer to work for a retailer that has embraced digital technology, research by mobile data capture service WorkMobile has found.

The survey found that 89 percent of workers believe it would be more beneficial working for a retailer that invests in digital technology to replace paper.

When asked why they’d rather work with digital technology instead of paper, over half (55 percent) think it would be beneficial for companies as they would save money. Just under one third (32 percent) felt it would reduce errors or documents from being lost, and 29 percent believe it would make them more productive and effective.

The technology that employees would most like their bosses to invest in is email. Just under half (46 percent) of employees want their companies to invest in email, suggesting that a large number of businesses have not yet introduced this most basic form of technology.

Aside from email, employees are also favouring more innovative tech. Some 44 percent would like to see cloud computing introduced into their working practices to make document storage easier. A third (32 percent) would like to use mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones, to capture and store data remotely. A fifth (20 percent) support the use of mobile data capture, instead of paper-based forms.

Colin Yates, chief support officer at WorkMobile, said: “Investment in mobile technology brings a wealth of benefits for businesses, and also for their employees. Utilising cloud-based services, such as Dropbox, or mobile devices can make employees’ jobs much more efficient and increase their overall productivity levels.

“Menial tasks, such as filling in stock order forms, timesheets and health and safety documents by hand, and then having to deliver or post them back to the office or store them correctly, will be eradicated, meaning that workers can just get on with their core jobs.

He added: “The benefits are hard to dispute when so many companies have already reaped the rewards of switching. But, those remaining businesses that still rely heavily on paper really need to be getting on board with mobile technology to bring their processes up-to-date. Otherwise they could find that they’re losing some of their top talent to their more innovative, forward-thinking competitors.”

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