Remote Work Creates Demand for Employee Tech
One thing that COVID-19 has taught us is that the business world is a lot more capable of remote productivity than we might have initially guessed. Companies worldwide have been forced to suspend travel, host virtual meetings, and collaborate online in order to accomplish client goals, meet deadlines, and essentially keep moving forward. The real winners are organizations that have centered their operations around digital and have the infrastructure and business processes in place to support a fully virtual workforce.
Looking into the future — what if remote work is here to stay?
As social distancing requirements lessen, and offices reopen, we’ll be left wondering, what will the future of work look like? Based on the results of this forced experiment, there’s reason to believe some of the learnings from these past few weeks might have a lasting effect on many different types of businesses. Will more people choose to work remotely if given the option? Will people demand employers accommodate remote work conditions? Will business travel expectations lessen and virtual meetings take an even larger place in the business landscape? These are just a few of the things we will be watching as the next few months unfold. If they happen — do you have a plan to meet the demand?
Leveraging technology to keep employees engaged, connected, and efficient
Should the need arise for social distancing yet again, either due to another wave of this pandemic or a wholly new threat, businesses must be prepared to quickly implement the right policies. When complex problems like the coronavirus move to the forefront, businesses that are ready to proactively help employees maintain normalcy, adapt to change quickly, and sustain the business with the use of the right digital tools will prevail. The current pandemic has exposed where companies should focus and, as such, leaders can work on strategies to help sustain business as usual, no matter the circumstances.
Digital strategies to consider
- Mobile app solutions for employees
Some digitally savvy businesses have been exploring the use of mobile apps to give their employees one-stop access to everything they need to work more effectively — from integrated calendaring to collaboration tools, and access to key documents. At times like this, these apps serve as a central repository for information and help to ease the transition into a new work environment and can continue to make workers more efficient even when they are back in the office. Post-COVID, they can be further extended to empower the anywhere employee, including such things as travel assistance, additional systems integrations and in-office capabilities such as conference room booking, desk hoteling, etc.
- How Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) can help
Beyond streamlining routine tasks, technology has the power to recreate the type of in-person interaction that we take for granted in the physical workplace. Running into a colleague and having a water cooler moment that turns into a business idea is not uncommon, and the lack of these types of serendipitous connections may be a negative side effect of this time away from the workplace. By harnessing Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), you can help recreate those situations for your employees, encouraging conversations between employees who may not naturally connect or highlighting opportunities that may not be readily apparent.
- Personalizing solutions to individual employee needs
Personalization is a huge focus in customer experience applications and should not be overlooked when creating business driving employee experiences. For example, when you log on to your Starbucks app, you’ll get personalized recommendations based on prior purchases. Starbucks knows you like vanilla lattes and green tea, so they offer you rewards for buying more vanilla lattes (the vanilla latte generates more revenue). The same kind of personalization could be implemented for your employees to make their day more productive. What if your HR manager started her day knowing exactly which tasks she needed to do first because the technology prioritized her to-do list? This kind of personalization eliminates manual, administrative labor and lets your employees get to work on the important tasks faster.
- Integrating with existing tools
We know you already have existing tools at play, and we wouldn’t recommend you abandon them all for a new tech. Rather, what if you could bring all of your tools into one place? How would pulling together the following tools enable employees to get work done faster?
- People search and communication
- Collaboration tools for virtual brainstorming/watercooler moments
- Integration with jira/slack/other communications systems
- The easier their day is thanks to a one-stop shop, the more engaged and productive your employees will be.
The key benefit of going digital? Engaged employees are happier, healthier, and more productive (saving you money)
In a recent Harvard Business Review report, 74% of workers felt like employee engagement was very important to achieving overall organizational success. Only 24%, however, felt that the employees at their company were highly engaged. Other studies have shown that organizations with higher engagement outperform their peers in customer rating, productivity, sales, profitability, and have lower turnover, absenteeism, accident levels and quality defects to boot. This presents a huge opportunity for companies who prioritize this important aspect of company culture.
At the heart of any employee engagement activity is the goal of making employees happier, more productive, and more likely to stay at your company. As employees experience the benefits that come along with working from home during COVID-19, such as shorter commutes and schedule flexibility, companies who don’t enable remote work may be ignored by new talent. Especially if more employers start to offer work from home arrangements to attract the most skilled workers. This shift, plus the known costs of talent acquisition (from recruitment through training) should make companies think seriously about continuing remote work options. Employee engagement translates into real dollars: one study showed that for every 100 employees who move their company ratings from ‘fair’ or ‘poor’ to ‘excellent’, 37 fewer employees will leave in the next year, amounting to $555,000 in savings.
The key benefit is clear: Companies who enable happy, productive, and geographically flexible work teams will be the ultimate winners in the post-COVID 19 world.
Getting started: Implementing a digital strategy for your organization
If you’re ready to consider enabling workforce continuity through an enhanced digital strategy, you’ll want a partner who can help you think through a number of angles you’ll need to consider — from ease of use (UX) to security, constant VPN, device management, and systems integrations. Additionally, you should think about releasing changes to your organization in phases. Thinking through the features and strategies that will resonate best with employees during this time of change is a smart place to start. By implementing the most meaningful solutions first, your employees will embrace a new approach with open arms, therefore increasing engagement and the overall employee experience.
Mobiquity: An experienced digital transformation partner you can trust
Mobiquity has created digital experiences for organizations with over 25,000 employees. We can help guide you through the strategy, design, and build of your employee app.
Why wait? During these challenging times, employee engagement is essential to keep teams motivated and effective. Let’s make it easier for your group.
Originally published at https://www.mobiquity.com.