To take a critical look at how today’s societal challenges have affected global productivity and attitudes, Lenovo today releases its first-ever Think Report. This report identifies a compromised way of thinking in today’s world, with global respondents claiming a loss of roughly two hours per day in productivity due to their inability to think purposefully, primarily because of burnout, stress and mental fatigue they have experienced from the tremendous societal changes in the past two years.
This timely report – which surveyed 5,700+ people across the US, UK, Germany and Japan – comes on the heels of the 30th anniversary of the Lenovo ThinkPad. The insights look to educate people in the workforce on the importance of “real thinking,” and will enable those to use technology more intelligently, collaboratively — and less intrusively, in a way that isn’t distracting to living life and thriving.
“It is eye-opening to see that people globally feel that societal progress is in jeopardy because of a lack of real thinking. 80% of those surveyed believe that we, as a society, need to develop a new revolution in thinking,” commented Emily Ketchen, VP and CMO of Intelligent Devices Group, Lenovo. “As we celebrate ThinkPad’s 30th anniversary, it’s a pivotal time to re-evaluate how human-centered technology can catalyze better thinking in all aspects of our lives – from home to work to school and more.”
The Thinking Gap
Respondents largely feel that the external events of the last few years (e.g., COVID-19, economic disruptions, etc.) are contributing to and exacerbating distractions, heightened multitasking and fatigue, which further impairs the quality of their thinking.
- Across all respondents, just 34% say they spend “all” or “most” of their thinking time in clear, deep, and productive thinking.
- 75% of IT Decision Makers globally say that their colleagues struggle “a great deal” or “somewhat” with engaging in clear and productive thinking.
- 64% of those surveyed feel that they are reliant on practical or “survival” thinking and the ability to think quickly and multitask is “extremely” or “very important” – thus, resulting in a lack of innovative and actionable thinking that can impact advancement.
In tandem, most respondents feel the situation is not improving – projecting that their lives will not get any easier or any less stressful over the next several years.
The Power of Thinking
Across the globe, while broad segments of respondents said they are struggling to achieve better thinking today, respondents have positive associations with improved thinking and understand the benefits that come with unlocking higher-order thinking.
- 65% of respondents believe that engaging in clear, deep, productive thinking will help them make better decisions.
- 79% of those surveyed in the U.S. consider critical thinking “extreme” or “very important.”
While people recognize the power of improved thinking, productive thinking times vary greatly depending on the region, and don’t always align with the traditional “9-to-5” workday.
- 37% of Americans surveyed and 24% of respondents in the UK prefer late nights or early mornings.
- 25% of Japanese respondents favor mid-morning. On the other hand, 35% of Germans think more clearly in the evenings.
Across the board, those surveyed believe the #1 must-have for better thinking is a quiet environment – and respondents in the US, UK and Germany expressed noise-cancelling technologies are most valued to help with deeper thinking.
Better Thinking Empowered by Technology
Based on the research, evolutions in communication and collaboration technologies are considered as the most helpful features in promoting better thinking. In addition, learning how to use technology more purposefully – including setting some boundaries, limiting distractions and decreasing clutter of information – can help us build better thinking habits.
- 66% of Business End Users surveyed are looking for information on how technology can help with clear, deep and productive thinking. They are also more willing than the general population to consider re-evaluating their relationship with technology. For example, many feel that simplifying tasks could help individuals achieve better thinking.
- 40% of respondents in Germany would learn how to use technology more purposefully.
- 39% of respondents in the U.S. would set boundaries around their technology usage. For example, setting a time to play an instrument or exercise.
Overwhelmingly, IT Decision Makers surveyed feel optimistic about the technology their coworkers have access to and how it enables clear thinking for employees and organizations. Whether it’s crunch time to meet deadlines, a need for business minds to come together, or the opportunity to invent – more than 60% of those surveyed think that technology helps individuals engage in critical, reflective, collaborative, expansive/exploratory and/or new types of thinking.
Thinking for Humanity
Overall, individuals respondents believe that improved thinking has the potential to leave long-lasting impacts. A majority of those surveyed agree that better thinking would increase our collective humanity and we would be closer to solving challenges facing humanity and society for future generations to come.
- 62% in the US, 54% in the UK and 52% in Germany say that our society would be kinder if we engaged in more clear, deep and productive thinking.
The full Think Report can be downloaded here.
Fieldwork for this study was conducted via an online survey of 5,768 respondents from July 4 to 24, 2022. The survey sample was comprised of a combination of Gen Pop, BEUs, and ITDMs from the markets of U.S., U.K., Germany, and Germany. The margin of error for individual market samples of Gen Pop respondents is +/- 3.