In this article, we examine the pivotal role of technology in shaping the future work environment. What are the key considerations for determining the most appropriate innovative solutions for your business?
Businesses worldwide are on the precipice of the most significant transformational change experienced in decades – the shift from a more conventional office environment to an alternative mobile workforce. And significant changes like this require dedicated attention and investment.
Looking ahead, leaders across the globe face the same challenge – ensuring a steady state of operational resilience across the entire enterprise while further transition and change takes place. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is to always be prepared for the unexpected, as well as the importance of harnessing a constant state of readiness for change and new ways of working.
It starts with people
Effectively adopting the right-fit technology starts with understanding the desire within a business to invest in technology in the first place. Any investment in technology must create real value for the organisation and its people, ensuring that it meets a critical need and is not just technology for technology’s sake. Leaders must also encourage employee buy-in to ensure the effective use of any new digital tools.
Human capital remains the most valuable asset of any business, and regardless of the innovation available, a people-first approach is critical to the success of any technology deployed. The dangers of ignoring employees’ needs are numerous, ranging from poor customer experiences to high staff turnover.
Leaders must work quickly to address this, especially as we transition into managing a remote workforce, or as we call it, an elastic workforce. When done well, organisations will see happier employees, sustainable profitability and higher productivity.
A blueprint for the future
The function of technology revolves around two critical aspects: moving work to the people with the right skills and measuring the effectiveness of the work through meaningful metrics (customer satisfaction, quality, speed, etc.) that define success.
So, how can leaders leverage technology appropriately to build up their operational resilience and effectively manage an increasingly remote and mobile workforce? Here are five game-changing ways you can create a successful modern workplace built on the right technology:
- Evaluate current systems. Before investing in digital solutions, it’s essential to review existing systems. Start by understanding the digital literacy of the workforce, their response to current tools available, the gaps in the workflow and the capacity for existing resources to be used more efficiently or in addressing a different issue.
- Connect offline and online communications.The flipside of increased flexibility in the workforce is increased physical distancing from the rest of the workforce. Social connectivity is critical for moving forward. Leaders must explore tools that bring online and offline communications together, allowing employees to stay connected. A Deloitte paper on digital workplaces found that online social networks internally help boost productivity by 7% and employee satisfaction by 20%.
- Focus on the employee experience.Everyone engages with technology differently, with varying levels of comfort. Leaders should consider investing in tools that allow a degree of personalisation and customisation so that their people can optimise their own workflow.
- Invest in ongoing training.Giving people tools that they are not familiar with means lost efficiency. Proper training and development need to be designed around someone’s digital literacy to ensure they can benefit from the tools provided, as well as keep up with ongoing improvements or adjustments with ease.
- Choose technology that grows with you.Investing in the right tools can be costly, so it’s crucial to optimise the spend by ensuring tools are adaptable and agile. Leaders should choose the right-fit by first addressing the underlying principle of enabling the human element. Solutions aimed to provide employees with the right information at the right time are less likely to be outpaced by innovation given a sharper focus on the capabilities of people.
Essentially, the traditional work environment has profoundly changed and there is no going back. The right-fit technology is a key part of building operational resilience and being ready for ongoing change. When done right, investing in the right technology will close the gap between the way we’re used to working and the new normal we must embrace.
Redefine your business transformation today with Enlighten. To explore your options, reach out to one of our executives, Helen Mackay, at email@example.com for a virtual coffee chat.