The future of work is hybrid – a model of flexible working practices that shifts between home, office, deskless and co-working locations depending on the need. It will focus more on outcomes and performance rather than hours spent ‘present’ and ‘clocked-in’. This means that trust will be at the heart of the employee-employer relationship. How we connect and communicate within organizations has now emerged as a core strategic imperative.
The organizations that deliver the best employee experiences will be the ones best equipped to succeed in this new flexible world of work. Those who thrive will prioritize being more inclusive, empowering and caring – in short, those who build trust and are more human. In doing so they will excel at recruiting and retaining staff and forge value-driven connections with their employees. We explore these benefits below.
1. Voice of the employee is essential.
Employee Voice is the most important topic in business and is critical in the hybrid model of work. 75% of the workforce will be made up of digital natives by 2025. This demographic attaches enormous importance to finding and expressing purpose at work and expects a consumer-grade user experience in their digital workplace.
One of our customers (a government ministry) told us recently that providing a great employee experience was critical because it enabled younger employees to share and convey a real sense of purpose and connection – to find meaning in and through their work. This purpose-driven culture gave the organization the competitive advantage they needed to attract great talent when they felt they could not compete on salary alone.
By harnessing the employee voice, organizations are also fostering a more inclusive culture where people feel listened to. This cultivates a culture of two-way communication (and not just periodic staff surveys) and is a catalyst for more authentic (grassroots) storytelling, vibrant communities of employee advocates, and stronger ties to the organizations mission and values.
2. Employee Experience is for everyone.
In this more fluid world, employee experience will be more inclusive of deskless and remote workers, who currently make up approximately 75% of the world’s workforce. These are the people behind the wheel of the van delivering our online purchases, the healthcare workers holding the line against COVID-19, or the retail workers helping us to get our weekly groceries. In other words, the frontline (mostly deskless) workers who are keeping essential services open and the economy moving.
Being frontline, deskless or on-the-move does not mean that you need to be out of the loop. This will only diminish a sense of connection to the organization and deprive frontline employees of vital tools to get the job done effectively.
Organizations can unlock cost-effective and bespoke employee experience solutions to bring all our people into the digital workforce (even if they have no digital or corporate ID!) using mobile-first platforms that will unite the workforce and boost performance. Such steps can reverse the flight of talent (and the subsequent costs of recruitment), prevent the fragmentation of information, and better equip your employees to know and help customers.
3. Your workplace is a battleground for attention.
The digital workplace is now a part of the battle for peoples’ attention. This is a crucial issue to recognize as we lean more and more on digital platforms in a hybrid model of work. As digital workplace specialists, the onus is on us to help organizations cut through the noise and value our employees’ time. The responsibility for tech companies (and our customers) is to be cognizant of the demands on people’s attention and do everything we can to alleviate the information and application overload they are bombarded with (which can average 120 different business apps in the workplace alone!).
Providing a more integrated, seamless experience and eliminating the sense of people being overwhelmed at work serves to reduce inefficiencies and opportunity costs caused by wasted time (more than 30 days of lost productivity a year according to one study) and brings calm (and even fun and beauty) to a chaotic digital workplace.
Removing tech complexity, simplifying the experience, and letting AI-powered solutions work in the background to take care of the drudge and the overload are all necessary in the hybrid future of work. In short, we must embed communications into the employee experience and not drown our employees in a vortex of apps and channels and expect them to stay afloat.
Time to humanize the Employee Experience.
The rise of the hybrid workplace, therefore, brings with it a welcome rise in the urgency to humanize the employee experience and personalize the digital workplace.
The hybrid workplace is at the intersection of culture and technology whereby people’s time and attention must be more valued, and their well-being better supported in (and outside) the workplace.
The Hybrid Era has the potential to be the Era of the Employee.
An opportunity to provide the means for people to perform and collaborate more effectively in a workplace where they are happier and healthier.
Most of us spend 30% or more of our lives at work.
It’s safe to say it is central to the entire human experience and an important source of fulfillment, identity, and well-being. We cannot delegate something as critically important as Employee Experience to an app. It requires reimagining the workplace as a set of experiences that creates and fosters stronger connections between people and the tech they need to do the job, the colleagues they need to collaborate with, the purpose they seek, and the communities and customers they serve.
This article is based on an intense period of consultation and discussion with the LiveTiles global community of customers. If you are interested to learn more about how amazing employee experience can be achieved and set your digital and hybrid workplace up for success, please get in touch using the form linked below.