The COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent switch to remote working changed many an office’s culture forever. Fast forward to a year later, and businesses are either continuing to work remotely or adopting a hybrid model (part-time office, part-time remote work).
While the consensus may be that, after almost two years, companies have perfected their hybrid workplace setups, the reality is that some employers are still trying to determine the best way to move forward and adopt the tools necessary to put them on the path to future success. These challenges have prompted many to incorporate advanced technologies and management practices to help increase employee productivity and reduce unnecessary costs.
What factors are essential for companies to consider when trying to increase overall productivity?
Enhancing the digital employee experience (DEX) is an excellent one to start with.
DEX is the way employees interact with the IT department and any technology capabilities within their workspace. The best way to enhance DEX is by adopting a digital experience management (DEM) solution that can help monitor and simplify the end-user experience.
As businesses adapt to employing a hybrid workforce, they must incorporate workplace procedures and tools that will be flexible and adhere to the protocols and restrictions that tend to change each day. This ensures employees feel consistent as they either work from home full-time or participate in a hybrid model.
The overall success and effectiveness of a digital workplace hinge on the DEX.
A recent McKinsey report found that most company executives see hybrid work as the predominant model in the workplace as nine out of 10 companies say they have adopted a hybrid model or at least plan on it being a staple in the way they do business. However, 68% of respondents also stated they have no detailed plan on how the hybrid model will work and what it means for their day-to-day operations.
67% of IT leaders polled for our recent The Future of Digital Workplaces report deem DEX as a critical priority, while half of the C-Suite measured say it’s not internally measured. Additionally, those same C-level respondents project a 14% gain in productivity given the right DEX, and 90% of the C-suite agreed that digital experience will be a priority post-pandemic.
In addition to the many advantages of prioritizing DEX, the survey reports an evident financial opportunity when companies drive focus on their IT functionality. C-level respondents reported that if they could significantly improve their DEX, they would see a reduction in overall company costs of 18.1%. Extrapolating that across the Fortune 500 would unlock revenue potential of $4 trillion.
Operating in a hybrid workspace requires an immediate need for streamlined IT systems to reduce downtime and increase productivity. After all, if an employee spends four hours on the phone with the IT department and waits for the server to come back online, that’s half of the day wasted. Each day, the average employee experiences 25 minutes of downtime caused by IT-related issues. That’s two hours of productive time each week. Having the right DEM technology in place can significantly increase employee productivity and engagement, minimize, or prevent remote network issues, and reduce employee burnout, among employees, especially IT technicians.
There are specific nonnegotiable enhancements that businesses in every industry should prioritize when taking the necessary steps to maintain a competitive edge.
Stronger security posture through desktop management
One of the costliest and most time-consuming disruptions to a company is a cyberattack or security breach. The best way to prevent this from happening is to ensure all remote and office assets are patched and updated. To do so, IT must have access to accurate and up-to-date data on what software packages and versions exist in their environment, which can be gathered automatically using a DEM platform.
Better visibility for automated planning
Preventing, or capturing technical issues before they reach the end-user, will allow IT technicians to focus their time on project planning and system efficiency versus triaging employee tech issues and responding to help desk ticket requests. An advanced DEM platform provides IT technicians with better visibility to make these predictions and identify potential problems.
Enhanced talent retention and recruitment
After companies undergo a digital transformation and have the DEM tools to manage the technical logistics, businesses have more time and resources to focus on their future success and growth potential. Developing a positive DEX through DEM solutions creates a competitive advantage when recruiting new team members and retaining current talent.
Reduced IT costs
DEM solutions enable companies to rationalize software and hardware assets by picking up on unused applications that have licenses to reclaim, as well as utilizing older hardware that is still functioning correctly rather than spending significant amounts of money on an entire technical refresh.
All in all, businesses need to remember that the state of today’s workforce is in constant flux and could change at a moment’s notice. The best way for organizations to lean into the change is to ensure that technology systems and protocols are as advanced as possible. The digital age is now, so companies must make the necessary steps to a complete digital transformation to cement their success. Achieving digital dexterity with a predominantly hybrid workforce is the only way to decrease employee burnout, enhance brand awareness, increase profit margins, and strengthen their competitive edge.