Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts, July 16, 2021
What do lawyer cat and Windows 11 have in common?
Embarrassment or fear of humiliation may boost home PC sales. If that doesn’t do it, staying connected and current will encourage home PC users to upgrade.
If you missed it, the “lawyer cat” viral meme recently had its day of fame. A tech-challenged lawyer compelled to participate in a mid-pandemic judicial hearing over Zoom got confused and embarrassed by having his face appear as a cat’s. Webcam software bundled with an older Dell PC featured a filter that changed a person’s image before being displayed through Zoom.
The lawyer cat meme has a connection to the upcoming launch of Microsoft Windows 11. There could be the fear of something going wrong using older PCs, especially those with older bundled software.
The newest version of the venerable operating system will reportedly require more robust hardware than is present in much of the installed base. The final requirements are still in flux. However, Windows 11 is likely to need users to have newer home PCs than what they’re actively using today.
Do most female American employees use employer-provided PCs? Which employment roles have higher use than others? This MetaFAQs reports on the percentage of American female employees that regularly use an employer-provided PC or tablet, split by work desktops and work notebooks/laptops.
Two out of three employees suddenly working from home are not well-supported by their employers, at least not with their technology.
Among the largest US employers, 18.6 million employees working at home are doing so without a work PC. This is almost half (47%) of all US work-at-home employees without a work PC. Pre-pandemic, firms with 1,000 or more employees provided 20.6 million of their employees with at least one work desktop or notebook PC. This measure is based on our TUP/Technology User Profile 2019 wave with 3,935 employed respondents. As of April 15, 2015, 30.3 million online American employees are still working for these large companies with 1,000 or more employees. Of these, 11.7 million employees are working from home with a work PC.
Most employees are effectively subsidizing their employers by using their own personal home PCs, tablets, or working at home without any computing device.
Large companies aren’t the only ones not supporting employees’ technology needs. Midsize companies have 13.6 million employees working at home without a work PC. Midsize companies (50 to 999 employees) have fewer employees (32.9 million nationwide) than large companies, of which 21.6 million were working from home as of April 15th, 2020.
While smaller in total number, small companies have the highest share of work-at-home employees without a work PC. Their 7.4 million work-at-home employees without a work PC are more than twice as many as their 3.1 million working at home with an employer-provided PC.
While employees are still employed and working at home, they must have the resources they need to get their work done. Employees who already had an employer-provided PC ostensibly need one while they’re working from home.
Larger firms are more likely to have IT/IS departments and computing infrastructure and support built around the physical workplace. Most smaller companies need the same capabilities, and if they’re not in-house resources, they rely on a multitude of consultants and VARs/VADs. While remote workers are not a new phenomenon for employers of any size, hardly any were ready for the recent rapid shift due to the pandemic.
Long before the pandemic, employers have relied on BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), where employees pay for many of their own devices – from PCs to smartphones. I expect the sudden work-at-home shift to inspire some employers to better provide for their employees. Besides building goodwill, this will benefit employers by having a more consistent set of configurations to manage, which will, in turn, help employees to be more productive and will reduce employer’s support needs. However, based on experience, I expect inertia to continue – with most employers relying on employees to foot the bill for their at-home work technology and its support.
MetaFacts conducted independent research to gather the results used in this TUPdate. This TUPdate included results from the April 15th, 2020 wave of the MetaFacts Work From Home Study, the third weekly wave of a special MetaFacts Pulse Survey study focused on the quickly changing situation. This wave included responses from 396 employees working at home.
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