Why More And More Corporate Workers Are Choosing To Use Macs Over Windows PCs

Windows PCs have long dominated the workplace. However, Macs are increasingly gaining steam, with as much as 65% of workers now preferring them over their Windows counterparts.

By Jennifer Hollohan | Published

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A few topics turn into instant debates, thanks to devout supporters – Ford vs. Chevy, waffle fries vs. straight-cut, chocolate vs. vanilla, and Mac vs. Windows PC. The latter results in energetic conversations at home, among friends, and the workplace. And now, news from some major corporations indicates that Apple may soon emerge as the victor. 

Many (even perhaps, most) large employers only offer one tech platform for employees. And for decades, Windows PC dominated the workplace. That tide appears to be shifting, however.

Multiple companies, including Cisco and IBM, have started offering workers a choice of computer. Cisco gives new hires a choice between a Mac and Windows PC. Then, when current employees are due for an upgraded system, they get the same choice.

The company started collecting data on what side their staff falls on and uncovered an interesting trend. A whopping 59% of new employees simply start off choosing team Apple. And 24% of existing staff members opt to switch from a Windows PC to Mac. 

Macs are so popular that Cisco established a team to oversee the tech, including in-house tech support. Fletcher Previn, who previously held the role of CIO at IBM, runs this group. According to Computer World, “At IBM, Previn shared vast amounts of internal data to show that employees preferred Macs and those who do cost the company less in tech support, are more loyal, and they’re more productive.”

Ben Bajarin is a creative strategies analyst who took a deep dive into the Mac initiative at Cisco. He believes that “The Mac has become an essential workplace tool and there is no escaping that reality.” Previn and Bajarin both concluded that Mac users are more productive and happier.

However, those are some vague things to measure. It is likely that Bajarin, at least, is extrapolating his opinion from a slightly unrelated data point obtained from Cisco. His recent report states, “A Cisco report on IT satisfaction of employees found satisfaction to be significantly lower when employees were not offered their platform of choice in a laptop.” 

That satisfaction rate improved tremendously when the employees got to choose between a Windows PC and a Mac, which is good news. But it does not directly correlate to their overall workplace happiness or productivity levels. The data from IBM is slightly more applicable to this assumption about productivity and state of happiness.

Previn presented a few interesting data points in 2019. “There are 22% more Mac OS users who achieve the highest rating and their annual performance assessment in innovation compared to PC users.” And “Mac OS users at IBM are 17% less likely to leave the company.”

While many other factors could play into these numbers (and likely do), they raise some intriguing questions. Chief among those is whether the platform is the cause of the difference. Or is it simply that employees like to have a voice wherever they can?

Based on Bajarin’s recent report, it is likely the latter. And that is good news for companies struggling with employee retention or productivity. It gives them a starting point for change – offering staff a choice of platform may result in rapid improvements.