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72% of Workers Say Their Productivity is More Dependent on Performance and Progress Metrics Than Workplace Flexibility

Slingshot’s 2023 Digital Work Trends Report Reveals a Generational Divide in the Ways Employees Use Data in the Workplace

Cranbury, NJ (August 3, 2023) Slingshot, the digital workplace that connects everyone you work with to everything they need to get work done, has released Part 1 of its two-part 2023 Digital Work Trends Report. The inaugural report explores the relationship between productivity and workers’ access to data–or any metric within an organization that illustrates performance and progress. While many businesses have been prioritizing autonomy and workplace flexibility to improve worker productivity, 65% of workers say that a lack of data is what most negatively impacts their ability to do their jobs.

Slingshot’s Digital Work Trends Report shines a light on how data–or anything that individuals, teams and organizations use to track performance, process, people, platforms and profitability–is now not only accessible to employees, but a critical and necessary part to their productivity. The report also offers an in-depth look into some of the other factors currently impacting how employees do their job and the quality of their work, including their relationship with leaders.

“Over the last two decades, we’ve seen a shift in how decisions in the workplace are made–going from gut instincts and seniority-led decisions to those based on data that’s now more widely accessible. This is especially true of newer generations that are particularly tuned into the value of being able to quantify their work and re-route their focus if something isn’t working,” said Dean Guida, Founder of Slingshot.

The new two-part report is based on research conducted by market research firm Dynata, on behalf of Slingshot.

Among the findings:

  • Companies need to democratize data across their organizations, or risk business decisions being made by employees’ gut instincts. While more than half of workers (56%) gather and use data to make business decisions, 12% of workers say they make decisions by asking the most senior person in the business or department, and 6% of workers admit to using their gut instinct. It’s likely that these workers are defaulting to these decision-making tactics because the data they need to inform specific decisions is not easily accessible within their organization, or available to them at all.
  • Gen Z is the data generation. As digital natives, Gen Z workers (age 18-26) are integrating data into their job more than any other generation. One hundred percent (100%) of Gen Z workers say they use data at work at least a few times a week, with 61% saying they use it every day. And while nearly three-fourths (74%) of Gen Z workers are using data to improve performance, only 61% of Boomer workers (ages 59+) say the same.
  • Employees are using data for more than improving productivity and performance. Seventy-two (72%) of workers primarily use data to improve performance, but more than half of workers use data to prioritize goals (54%) and 46% say they use it to create strategic plans and understand customer behaviors and needs.

“Data is bigger than just data–it’s the quantification of work: how are employees performing, is the business profitable, are customers happy. As more companies democratize data across their organizations, employees are more likely to quantify their work and incorporate data into every part of their jobs. We’ll see this continue to  scale from the individual and team level to the organization level,” continued Guida.

Slingshot’s 2023 Digital Work Trends Report is based on responses from 305 adult respondents working full-time as employees and leaders, across four age groups and all 50 states. Part 1 of the report can be viewed in full here.

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