Free lunches, lunchtime yoga, and beer at work – as great as these perks are, alone, a company culture they do not make. But what can boost employee satisfaction is the use of software-as-a-service (SaaS) at work, a new survey reports.

In a new report by Softchoice and the Blackstone Group, researchers talked to 1,000 full-time employees living in Canada and the U.S. in an attempt to gauge their level of satisfaction with their jobs. The report found that employees whose companies get access to SaaS apps tend to be happier with their jobs, with 74 per cent of cloud app users expressing happiness at work. However, just 19 per cent of non-SaaS app users said they felt the same way.

Using SaaS wasn’t just about happiness, though. Out of a group of respondents who said they use six or more SaaS apps at work, 96 per cent said they feel their productivity gets a boost. The same was true for 90 per cent of a group of respondents who used between one to five SaaS apps. That stands in contrast to the 77 per cent of respondents who used no SaaS apps in the workplace, and still reported feeling productive.

Plus, according to this survey, SaaS seems to enable employees to have a little more freedom about when, where, and how they get their jobs done. For example, SaaS apps often make it easier for employees to work remotely and to work outside of the 9-5 workday. About 85 per cent of the respondents who used more than six SaaS apps at work reported having a good work-life balance, alongside 75 per cent who use between one and five SaaS apps.

However, in the no-SaaS-apps camp, just 59 per cent said they felt they had a good balance between their jobs and personal lives. Plus, the employees who said they regularly use six or more apps were also twice as likely to have flexible working hours, compared to those who don’t get access to SaaS at the office.

Of course, on the basis of this survey alone, we can’t conclude SaaS apps themselves directly led to an upswing in employees’ happiness levels, as there are tons of other factors aside from SaaS use that can lead to joy-infused productivity.

For example, a workplace providing access to SaaS apps may be more trusting of its employees, which also might have an effect on their satisfaction with their jobs – so a company can’t just install SaaS apps and then expect everyone to go home happy every night.

And given Softchoice works with a wide swath of cloud services providers, it’s not surprising the company has a strong focus on SaaS.

However, this survey does point to some changes in how companies are managing their employees, and it reinforces the idea that employees want to have more control of their workdays and methods of getting tasks done.

The bottom line is that tech, and more specifically, the rise of SaaS, are changing how people work – and if businesses want to keep their people happy and productive, they need to be ready for the shift.

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