Three Digital Workplace Trends CIOs Can’t Ignore | HCL Technologies

Three Digital Workplace Trends CIOs Can’t Ignore

Three Digital Workplace Trends CIOs Can’t Ignore
May 20, 2022

Workplaces are no longer office areas to be occupied during regular working hours. In fact, traditional office-centric design for hybrid work environments is like a square peg in a round hole. Today's hybrid workplace is a well-connected environment that doesn't differentiate between the office and remote spaces. It serves as a unified platform where employees can work collaboratively with all the necessary tools and devices at their disposal but without the constraints of a physical location.

According to a recent report from Gartner, 41% of all employees across the globe are expected to work remotely in the post-COVID era. In another survey from EY, 54% of employees said they would quit if they weren't afforded flexibility in where and when they work. In that sense, we are witnessing a radical shift in the way work is perceived, and the response from organizations will be vital in determining whether they remain relevant and productive.

Three #DigitalWorkplace trends CIOs can’t ignore.

As chairs in offices remain empty, CIOs must understand that the future workplace trends are flexible, centered around employees, and driven by technology.

The focus is shifting toward employee experience

We have seen consumer expectations evolve with relentless technological advancements in the past decade. By taking that into account, companies have worked tirelessly and succeeded in enhancing their customer experience. But in the post-pandemic world, this won't be enough to determine a company's success accurately. Employee experience is becoming an equally important factor. In fact, delivering rich, rewarding, and consistent experiences to employees is one of the leading priorities for enterprises now.

Organizations have a widespread misconception that to create great employee experiences, they need to invest in fancy office perks such as free lunches, nap pods, and standing desks. And while all that's great, these perks lose their relevance beyond physical office spaces. Instead, the key to resetting employee experience after the pandemic is to understand and create user personas, worker demography and their nature of job, and then creating user journeys aligned to those nano-personas.

Integrating AI, ML, and IoT within daily processes is highly advantageous to improve employee productivity and engagement. At the same time, technology measures and quantifies user experience - user sentiment analysis, devices analytics, and AR/VR driven cutting edge IT support.

Also, the scope of experience has evolved rapidly to the extent that it is now a shared goal among departments within an organization. So, all departments whether HR, LoB, IT, facilities or operations – need to work together with the same common goal to enable all users to have the best possible experience. So, they in turn can produce the best work.

Culture is the binding force in a hybrid work environment

Organizational culture is essential for maintaining a set of beliefs, values, and practices and reinforcing them to shape employee perceptions and behaviors. When it aligns with the values shared by the employees, it makes them feel more comfortable and appreciated. According to PwC's Global Culture Survey, 69% of organizations that adapted during the pandemic believe culture offered them a competitive advantage. At the same time, 77% of the senior management and 54% of all employees feel the culture helps them remain connected to the company’s purpose.

To establish a great organizational culture, the management must remain in touch with the employees, facilitating forums where employees can park their feedback that goes beyond performance. Enterprises shall look to building such forums of bi-directional trust and power them up with empathy-based management. It is imperative to build such elements of culture where employees can be engaged. Lastly, one aspect that is often talked about but is likely not implemented well across employees is capturing the voice of employees.

Digital dexterity is poised to play a decisive role

We have seen rapid digitization across industries in the past decade, and it continues at a breakneck speed. Even so, there's a huge void between the pace of digitization and digital dexterity among employees. In general, employees are struggling with learning mission-critical applications, unlearning, and relearning skills to match the pace of innovations. This process can be stressful, and they often use the old tools to try and solve new problems.

According to Gartner’s 2018 Digital Dexterity Survey, it was found that apart from hard technical skills, there's a growing need for behavioral attributes and agile methodologies for optimized digital dexterity. In the same survey, it was discovered that only 16% of all leaders and 9% of all employees have high digital dexterity. A digitally dexterous workforce has higher flexibility and is willing to take on new roles. The employees also show ownership of their responsibilities and efficiently work from remote environments with the right tools. 

Today digital dexterity is a necessity, and many factors contribute to the success of this. One way to begin is to set up a charter for digital dexterity success encompassing key areas, such as culture, skills, education, and budget. Start by creating a pilot involving stakeholders with a higher likelihood of creating impact, then expand the program.

Final thoughts

Organizations can create a highly productive company culture simply by paying more attention to their employee experiences so that they want to do their best work and succeed in their roles. The biggest impetus to achieve this can be brought by digital transformation on the back of human insight. With a truly digital workplace employee experience, your business will utilize the full potential of employee productivity and deliver an exemplary customer experience. This is where we are headed, and this hybrid work strategy is bound to find its way to the mainstream.