Two-thirds of people who work on a laptop or tablet given to them by their employer haven’t had a new device since the COVID-19 pandemic began, raising fears of a productivity gap as staff work from home.

The Microsoft Surface report – entitled Device Decisions, The future is hybrid: considerations for IT leaders in the changing workplace – raises concerns that the lack of device refreshes is hitting productivity. Microsoft has not been selling as many Surface machines are they were hoping for,

More than a third (35%) of employees who received new devices since the onset of COVID-19 reported a resulting increase in their productivity. Meanwhile, most employees have “made do” with the same device while working remotely. Employees want upgrades that better suit their individual needs – as-remote working arrangements that started as temporary measures have become the norm. 

The top five most important features of a new device are aligned across both IT Decision Makers (ITDMs) and employees:

  • Reliability (58% of employees, 67% of ITDMs)
  • Responsiveness when working (56% of employees, 55% of ITDMs)
  • Battery life (45% of employees, 50% of ITDMs)
  • Screen size (43% of employees, 40% of ITDMs)
  • Boot-up speed (36% of employees, 32% of ITDMs)