Millennials Want Work Computers Personalized

Just 56 percent of Millennials feel that their IT organization delivers a desktop that enables them to be very productive, according to the survey.

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When business computers run slowly, Millennials are most likely to become distracted and play a game, go on social media or make a personal call, with the business impact of the distraction often lasting more than five minutes.

This was one of the results of a survey of 868 IT and business professionals sponsored by AppSense and conducted by Dimensional Research. The study also found Millennials are the hardest to please when it comes to their computer desktop.

Just 56 percent of Millennials feel that their IT organization delivers a desktop that enables them to be very productive: Comparatively, 64 percent of Gen X and 73 percent of Baby Boomers feel the same.

However, when it comes to the benefits of personalizing their computer, 92 percent of all business users see the benefits, with 62 percent feeling more comfortable in their work environment, and 35 percent holding a better opinion of their employer for allowing desktop flexibility.

In addition, 57 percent said they are more productive when they can make things the way they want, and just over half (52 percent) said they are more efficient when they can personalize their computer.

Millennials are more than four times likely than Boomers to be distracted by slow computers—28 percent versus 6 percent for Baby Boomers.

Bassam Khan, vice president of product marketing at AppSense, told eWEEK this is possibly caused by Millennials’ dependency on their personal mobile devices.

Khan noted only 8 percent of Baby Boomers said that they made a personal call, played a game, or got on social media while waiting versus 28 percent for Millennials.

Most organizations (95 percent) said they limit personalization of devices due to security concerns. Of people who don’t have the ability to personalize their desktop, about half (52 percent) said there was no benefit in being able to personalize.

Of people who do have the ability to personalize, most (92 percent) said they see benefits in being able to personalize, Khan noted.

"Businesses need to find a way to allow users to personalize their desktops while keeping endpoints secure," he explained. "Millennials are more adept at integrating their work and personal lives. IT is going to find over time that it’s essential to deliver a fast desktop that can be personalized. When it comes to computer responsiveness, specifically desktop speed, 30 seconds is the magic number where workers start tuning out."

Interestingly, when distracted by a slow computer logon time, Baby Boomers are more apt to do paper-based work while Gen X workers are most likely to make a work phone call.