Redefining Workplace Strategy for a Seamless and Connected Experience | HCLTech

Redefining Workplace Strategy for a Seamless and Connected Experience

Redefining Workplace Strategy for a Seamless and Connected Experience
September 24, 2020

Co-author: Prakash Mallya

Many organizations around the world have demonstrated remarkable resilience and risen to the challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic by acting swiftly and making changes to their business frameworks almost overnight. A Gartner survey from March 2020 reveals that 88 percent of organizations worldwide mandated or encouraged all their employees to work from home.

The mass migration to remote working models not only helped companies maintain business continuity, but also helped them see the largely untapped potential in reshaping the way we work, connect, and collaborate. Business and IT leaders across industries are learning from this large-scale work-from-home experiment to redefine workplace strategies with bold and creative approaches.

Embracing an office without walls

According to new research, nearly 84 percent of enterprises anticipate continued adoption of remote working even after the pandemic, indicating that the business world is primed to move from traditional, business-centric workplace strategies to more nuanced employee-centric approaches.

Remote work models offer organizations the opportunity to extend the office far beyond a single physical location. They give employees greater flexibility and increased productivity while keeping the workforce safe. Switching to remote work not only helps employees save on travel costs but also helps employers save on high real-estate costs. Moreover, eradication of traditional office boundaries has an immense impact on employee attitude, quality of work, and work-life balance. A recent report suggests that 80 percent of people enjoy working from home, and 40 percent feel that they are more productive than before.

As organizations around the world prepare for the return to “business as usual”, just ensuring employee safety and business continuity are not adequate. Thriving in the face of this drastic change means that organizations must adopt a more holistic and comprehensive approach to workplace transformation. The need of the hour is creating a workplace that is connected, personalized, future-ready, and resilient to withstand the ongoing and future shocks. Industry leaders— Rakshit Ghura, VP and Global Head, Digital Workplace Services, HCLTech, and Prakash Mallya, Managing Director, Sales and Marketing Group, Intel India— shed some light on some of the challenges in redefining workplace strategies and how organizations can navigate these uncharted waters.

Rakshit Ghura | Vice President & Global Service Leader – Digital Workplace Services

The implications of COVID-19 have compelled businesses to shift to technology-enabled remote working that includes the elements that accompany it such as collaboration, virtual workspaces, reliable connectivity, remote-friendly support, secure data access, security, and compliance. While there are clear benefits, work from home can also lead to greater isolation and lesser engagement.

To ensure smooth functioning in the “new normal” and the “next normal”, enterprises need to ask themselves these key questions:

  • Do my employees have the right resources to perform their role?
  • Are they dexterous enough to make the best use of technology?
  • Are they getting an equivalent or better experience vis-à-vis working from office?
  • How is their mental wellbeing? Do they feel engaged enough to be at their productive best?

To address such concerns and ensure employee productivity during work from home, it has become more imperative than ever to:

  • Measure remote user experience and gain real-time visibility into the workplace to take actions and alter strategy based on data-driven insights
  • Use next-generation platforms such as Intel vPro to orchestrate true remote-friendly IT models that minimize user downtime
  • Use cognitive AI- and augmented reality-based immersive remote support to make employees feel more actively engaged
  • Drive digital literacy and compassionate change management programs to build a workplace of trust

With digital transformation already paving the way forward, leveraging technology can help us find ways to resolve these challenges.

HCLTech has recently launched Fluid Workplace to meet the challenges of remote and returning workforces in uncertain times. Powered by our business-driven consultancy, our end-to-end Fluid Workplace Solution stack helps enterprises retain productivity, ensure security, deliver equitable experiences, and enable employee safety.

In times of global disruption, HCLTech’s focused yet wide-ranging expertise can help your organization create an adaptive, connected, and scalable fluid workplaces for the future and help your present workplace adapt to the demands of the ‘new normal’ and the ‘next normal’.

Prakash Mallya | Vice President, Sales, Marketing, and Communications and Group Managing Director, Intel India

From being a secondary pillar of support, IT has stepped up to become a key enabler in helping enterprises maintain business continuity. From day-to-day communications to delivering risk mitigation solutions, and shifting mission-critical tech assets, technology is proving to be central in mitigating varied work-from-home challenges.

With the IT department not being in close physical proximity of the employees anymore, there are some basic, yet important concerns that employers need to explore:

  • What critical capabilities or processes will be most impacted?
  • Is your IT infrastructure robust enough to support all your remote working needs?
  • Have you clearly defined employee expectations for remote working?
  • Do your employees know how they can get assistance on the various remote working tools?
  • Have you performed a risk and safety assessment of your collaborative remote working tools?

To ensure a smooth and productive work-from-home experience on such a large scale requires businesses to:

  • Identify strategies to keep your workers connected, engaged, and productive
  • Perform a user assessment to quickly identify workers who need extra attention
  • Perform infrastructure review and capacity planning to ensure that any additional remote working load is supported
  • Maximize the current technology capabilities (e.g. educating users on existing remote working tools, expanding access, and providing best practices on usage)
  • Create a remote support avenue to address issues such as laptop failure, and onboarding or offboarding workers
  • Cultivate support plans, including rapid deployment of remote capabilities (e.g. VDI/laptops, collaboration/conferencing, VPNs, etc.)
  • Identify critical security considerations for the business, ensuring that remote working is just as secure as in-office work

Intel has had its eyes on the changing nature of work and the increasing adoption of remote working for years now. The Intel vPro® platform has been evolving for the last 14 years to serve growing and diversifying remote IT needs.

With great emphasis on performance and security, the vPro® platform can be used to:

  • Repair, upgrade, and update a remote PC’s OS and drivers
  • Manage a fleet of PCs with remote power-on
  • Set wake-up times and schedule updates qsso that PC maintenance happens without disrupting employees and customers
  • Remotely manage unattended systems

Leveraging the power of remote management solutions such as Intel vPro® to create secure, accessible and seamless virtual workplaces is going to be the key enabler in ensuring smooth operations, even in the face of any current or future disruptions.

Enterprises must rethink workplace transformation and re-align operations to design digitally enabled, future-ready workplaces

Now Is the Time

COVID-19 has presented the perfect opportunity to make the shift to a fully digital-enabled virtual workplace that is ready to handle all ongoing and future business disruptions. With economies gradually recovering, businesses must reexamine their existing strategies, processes, and IT infrastructure to ensure employee safety and support the operational exposure. Redefined workplace strategies will decide how we return to the workplace after the threat of the pandemic is over. Now is the perfect time to discard suboptimal old habits and systems and embrace workplace strategies that are primed to deliver a seamless connected experience, no matter where employees work from.

References

  1. March 2020, “Gartner HR Survey Reveals 88% of Organizations Have Encouraged or Required Employees to Work From Home Due to Coronavirus”, Gartner.
  2. May 2020, “Remote Work Adoption to Increase Post COVID-19 Despite Security Concerns”, Enterprise Talk.
  3. June 2020, “Reimagining the office and work-life after COVID-19”, McKinsey & Company.

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