Workplace changes | HR tech's impact on the work from home experience

HR tech's impact on the work from home experience
Promoted by HR tech's impact on the work from home experience

In January 2020, work from home was sold as a perk. By March 2020, it was reality. Now, work from home is our normal.

We’ve gotten past the breakneck switch in workplace norms (and locations!) and are finally able to take a moment to breathe and assess our surroundings. We spent months keeping our teams above water, making sure they had the hardware and software (and office chairs) needed to stay productive—and now we can learn how to make the most of our tech stack.

We surveyed 2000 full-time workers across the US and UK about the work tech stack they were given when working from home and checked to see how this tech stack influenced their experience working from home, their productivity, their job satisfaction, and tech stacks. Here’s what we learned about staying connected.

New times demand new measures: tools built for remote work that keep people engaged and collaborative, even from far apart. Hibob’s research found that the use of HR tech had a drastic, measurable impact on employee satisfaction. Here are our insights on the tech industry’s toolkit and HR tech’s effect on job satisfaction, productivity, and the work-from-home experience:

Companies are using a unified remote tech stack

The work from home tech stack has five components:

1. Document sharing tools. These tools (think Google Drive, Dropbox, and Microsoft 365) allow teams to remotely store their documents, making it easy to collaborate remotely and asynchronously. Over 48% of UK respondents use these tools in their organization.

2. Video conferencing tools. We’ve all heard the complaints about Zoom fatigue and maybe even participated in Zoom birthday parties. Though we may be far apart, we’re not willing to sacrifice face time—over 60% of UK respondents said they use tools like Zoom, Webex, and Google Meet in their regular workday.

3. Project management tools. Remember the days of tapping people on the shoulder to ask how a project was going? Remote workers don’t have that luxury. Instead, 14% of UK respondents said they use tools like Asana, Trello, Monday.com, and Teamwork to manage projects and workflows.

4. HR tech tools. No more spreadsheets!!! No more printouts!!! HR tech tools like Hibob, BambooHR, Namely, and Workday are being used by over 13% of UK respondents to manage day-to-day time and attendance, employee directories, HR tasks such as recruiting, onboarding and offboarding, performance, payroll, and compensation.

5. Intra-company chat tools. Slack, MS Teams, and other chat tools allow us to keep in touch with instant messaging, just like the good old days of AOL, AIM, and ICQ. Over 33% of UK respondents report using these tools to keep up with colleagues while working from a distance.

 The relationship between HR tech and job satisfaction

Hibob surveyed respondents about their use of each of the above tools and their job satisfaction during this time, and the results show that 63% of UK respondents using HR tech tools reported being highly satisfied with their jobs, as opposed to 57% who aren’t using these tools, and the average job satisfaction of those using HR tools was 3.70—much higher than the 3.54 average of those who were not using it.

HR tech tools allow HR and managers to communicate easily with employees and track important data from afar. Whereas you might have once learned about a colleague’s promotion through the grapevine, for example, now your manager and HR team can use features like bob’s Shoutouts to the company, to share the exciting news. In this post-COVID world, when mental wellbeing and wellness at work is suffering, higher job satisfaction is a testament to better HR work, company communication, and strong company culture.

The relationship between HR tech and the WFH experience

All the respondents were asked how helpful the tech tools they were given were for their WFH experience. 47% of the UK respondents said that work tech tools were helpful and very helpful to their work from home experience; however, 63% of the respondents who used HR tech felt that the tech stack they had was helpful and very helpful. On average, a tech stack including HR tech received a 3.74 average score in helpfulness to the WFH experience; the same work tech stack without HR tech received only a 3.25 average score.

Validating the results by surveying US employees, we found that having HR tech included in the work tech stack averages 3.72 in helpfulness to the WFH experience, and only 3.44 average without it.

Streamlined communication between employees at all levels helps everyone in the organization feel connected and aligned—something especially important for those working from home, who are at increased risk of disconnection and disengagement.

The relationship between HR tech and increased productivity

Employees want and need to feel productive. Working from home or remotely, whether voluntarily or to adhere to the social distancing challenge imposed on us because of the pandemic, we still wanted to get things done and contribute to our companies success.

66% of the respondents from the UK that had HR tech as part of their tech stack reported that they felt productive and very productive working from home, while only 59% of the respondents that did not use HR tech as part of their tech stack reported that they were productive and very productive. The average productivity of respondents using HR tech in the UK was 3.70, while the average productivity of those who did not get to use HR tech was only 3.54. A quick look across the ocean to the USA shows that similarly, using HR tech increased productivity from an average of 3.7 to 3.82 on the reported productivity the respondents felt.

HR tech helps people do their best work, wherever they are

Facebook, Twitter, and Square announced early on in the pandemic that they’re allowing employees to work remotely in perpetuity, and companies like Dropbox have mandatory work-from-home policies through summer 2021. Companies that were work from home-averse have become fully-remote—some, for now, some forever. There are also hybrid models beginning to emerge in order to allow fewer people at the office at the same time.

At the beginning of the pandemic, we couldn’t help but be reactive—the world was changing fast and we barely knew which way was up. Now, however, we have to start working to set ourselves up for success. Not just to be able to work, but to be able to work well.

Want to invest in your people? Invest in a tech stack that supports their, and your, needs.

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