Employees have proven to themselves and their employers that they can be as effective at home as they are in the office.
According to our recent Future of Work study, 51% of employees believe they have been more productive working remotely. And their managers agree: 55% of managers think their direct reports have been more productive since the pivot to remote work.
Because of this, the next iteration of the workplace will be highly personalised to individuals’ needs and what will make them successful in their roles. Employees will expect to choose how they interact with workplace technology, as well as their organisations overall. They’ll want a digital workspace experience that fits their lifestyle, not the other way around.
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For those workplaces that decide to still offer physical workplace locations, there is likely to be a hybrid mix of teams – with some in-office hoteling or flex spaces, and others working remotely. Your people will expect to have an equivalent experience to the employees that are on-site. In turn, IT leaders will need to design an experience that flexes with the needs of the individual and their circumstances.
So, what will make an employee feel empowered to do his or her best work? Here are some of the remote work and workplace technology trends that are shaping the digital workspace experience:
Organisations will pare down collaboration tools. To support collaboration, organisations will work to remove noise from employees’ workdays.
A la carte policies (enabled by technology) for agile workforces. Organisations will begin to introduce significant agility and flexibility into their workplace policies and processes to fit the individual needs of employees.
A greater emphasis on belonging in a remote or hybrid working world. There will be heightened focus on how to enhance productivity and collaboration, and drive culture and innovation to accommodate individual styles and personalities – as well as team dynamics.
Automation and AI will free up employees’ time to focus on meaningful work. By infusing digital workspaces with automation and artificial intelligence (AI), IT is laying the groundwork to liberate employees from mundane tasks, and empowering them to focus on work that is meaningful and engaging.
Employees will not only need to be listened to, they’ll also need to be part of the process. The C-Suite must have an ongoing mechanism in place to truly understand how employees are feeling so they can regularly adapt.
3 steps to designing the digital workplace experience
IT departments often play a balancing role between providing employees with the tools they need to do their job, and supporting, securing, and maintaining those tools. Experience gaps emerge, however, when leaders don’t understand what their employees really want – either because they’re not gathering the right feedback, not listening often enough, or not looking holistically at their data.
This simple three-step framework is all it takes to elevate your digital workspace experience to ensure it truly meets employees’ needs – and proactively design great technology experiences before gaps emerge in the first place:
Step 1: Listen
Gather continuous feedback. It’s important to collect feedback and data inputs from everyone, including your technology support teams, business leaders, implementation project teams, and most importantly, your employees who are using your tools and services on a daily basis.
Step 2: Understand
Consume and analyse employee data, pulling out actionable insights and learnings. This step allows IT teams to pinpoint where critical digital workplace experience gaps lie and identify those that have the most impact on productivity and motivation.
Step 3: Act
Plan and take action on employee insights. Once you have the data, the most important step is to take action – and communicate plans and results to the organisation so everyone can see and feel the progress.
Listening to every voice and understanding what people are saying enables organisations to create a culture of action; one where every interaction with an employee is an opportunity to deliver on the digital workspace he or she needs.