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HCI Webinar: A Global Study On How People Work with their Devices, with Denis O'Shea

In the latest HCI Webinar, Dr. Jonathan H. Westover talks with Denis O'Shea about his recent global study to understand how people work with their devices. Below is a summary of the main points from their conversation! Check out the full episode and let us know what you think!


Watch the episode here:


Quick Recap


Jonathan and Denis discussed the impact of technology on productivity and security in the workplace, with a focus on the challenges of the 'bring your own device' phenomenon and the need for improved password management. They also explored the effects of hybrid work on employee well-being and company culture, and introduced their organization, Mobile Mentor, which aims to address these challenges.


Maximizing Productivity Through Technology and Security Policies


Jonathan and Denis discussed the evolution of their company since its inception in 2004, with Denis emphasizing their mission to maximize productivity through technology. Denis shared the results of a recent study conducted by his team, which surveyed 2,400 workers across three countries and four industries, finding that many employees feel their security policies hinder their productivity. The study also revealed that education organizations have the least restrictive security environments, allowing employees to freely set up new cloud applications and services. The conversation also touched upon the ongoing challenge of the 'bring your own device' phenomenon in the workplace.


Addressing Unsecured Remote Work Practices


Denis and Jonathan discussed the increasing trend of employees using their personal laptops and smartphones for work, highlighting the security risks associated with this practice. Denis pointed out that many individuals were bypassing company security protocols by forwarding work-related emails to their personal accounts and managing passwords poorly. He emphasized the importance of moving away from traditional password-based authentication methods and advocated for the use of biometrics and two-factor authentication. Jonathan acknowledged the need for improved password management and expressed appreciation for the increased use of dual authentication and biometric identification.


Worker Attitudes on Data Security and Privacy


Denis and Jonathan discussed the results of their study on worker attitudes towards personal and company data security. They observed that while technology can enhance security, people's behaviors also play a crucial role. They noted that younger generations, like Gen Z, prioritized their personal privacy over company data security, which they attributed to their perceived lack of responsibility towards data protection and frequent sharing of personal data on social media. The discussion also covered concerns about employee data privacy and security within the company, highlighting the need for mutual trust and accountability. The impact of employee surveillance on morale and productivity was also touched upon, emphasizing the importance of respecting employee privacy.


Hybrid Work and Employee Isolation Impact


Denis discussed the effects of hybrid work on employee isolation and well-being, noting that people are increasingly feeling disconnected and isolated in their work. He presented research showing that a significant number of employees only meet with their colleagues once or twice a year, with personal well-being being the top priority identified by employees. He also emphasized that company culture has been negatively impacted due to remote work. Jonathan agreed, highlighting the reality of the new world of work. Denis then introduced his organization, Mobile Mentor, which focuses on helping organizations navigate the challenges of hybrid work in a secure and sustainable manner.


Listen to the webinar here:



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