3 tips for creating a successful work-from-anywhere strategy

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This article was written by Yoni Avital, co-founder and COO of ControlUp.

Over the past two years, companies around the world have continually changed the way they do business to meet new needs that will ultimately see 60% of us working remotely by 2024. CEOs, Resource Managers (CHROs), and Hiring Managers, recruiting and retaining an engaged (remote) workforce has become their primary test. To achieve this, IT needs to focus on improving the digital employee experience (DEX) to give these companies a distinct hiring advantage, since there are so many advantages to have a productive WFA workforce.

At its core, digital employee experience (DEX) focuses on the ability to identify and eliminate any digital friction – like poor Wi-Fi signals, hardware failures, or app performance – that impacts on employee satisfaction. DEX tools help IT accelerate onboarding, improve patch speed, and resolve issues quickly with intelligence-driven experience automation through machine learning. IT managers will also receive the continuous insights they need to become leaders in their industry: accelerating the return on investment and improving the employee experience as a full partner of the business.

Although many companies have increased their investments in the digital workplace, Gartner has found that employee experience with technology remains a “black box” for most infrastructure and operations (I&O) managers. Going forward, IT will need to optimize remote environments, while avoiding user downtime and resolving issues faster, for groups that are sometimes in the office and mostly out of the office.

Although Gartner calls the distributed enterprise one of the top 12 strategic technology trends this year, only one in ten organizations have begun to communicate and drive their vision for a hybrid working model. Those who fully enable it will achieve 25% faster revenue growth than peer companies that don’t.

Here are three major considerations for a well-balanced DEX strategy. Companies that act quickly and address each area will gain a significant business advantage.

1. Working in person or working remotely: Balancing collaboration and productivity

Nearly 75% of Fortune 500 CEOs say they will need less office space in the future, and according to a prospective survey of CPAs, one in five business executives say they plan to reduce office space over the coming year.

But, if having a cool desk no longer matters to employees, what does? The flexibility and freedom to work from anywhere. This has led to an increase in remote worker productivity since the pandemic began, with 34% of employees feeling more productive now than before the pandemic (down to just 28%). The same study also shows that more than half of US executives (52%) said average employee productivity had improved over the same period.

Many would also say that teams work best when they collaborate in person, so offices will become those dedicated spaces. They will also require IT teams to seamlessly onboard remote workers, as well as adapt their strategies to successfully manage in-person and remote environments.

2. Work from Anywhere (WFA) is the new advantage in the talent war

IT departments responded heroically when tasked with supporting a suddenly and completely remote workforce. For a while it worked. However, being away from the office meant workers were dependent on local access. Tools that worked great when everyone was in the same office stopped working and employee engagement started to drop.

A survey by leading economists found that 39% of college graduates who quit their jobs in the big quit of 2021 said they did so to increase their ability to work from home. And harvard business review found that 50% of workers say they won’t stay in jobs that don’t offer remote working, making it a key recruitment and retention tool. Remote work has been normalized and providing workers with the right tools to communicate, collaborate and serve customers is essential.

3. Hybrid Workplaces and Work From Anywhere will continue to test DEX

With consumer technology, people expect the digital tools they use to just work. In turn, employees now expect and demand a frictionless digital experience, whether working from home or in the office. The message is clear. It’s critical that companies put DEX front and center to ensure these remote work experiences are simple and reliable, while increasing productivity and overall employee satisfaction.

Happy workers are more productive workers

By 2025, 50% of IT organizations will have a digital employee experience management strategy, team and tool in place, a significant increase from 5% in 2021. IT is already plagued to supply chain issues, determining the future of work and fending off cyberattacks. How will a new focus on the digital employee experience be a net positive? Eventually, all businesses will be digital-first, so it’s time to develop an employee-centric approach to the distributed enterprise.

Our new work-from-anywhere culture has reminded us that employee satisfaction and happiness are critical to productivity and overall growth. Organizations need to prepare their employees for success by minimizing and streamlining these bottlenecks and time-consuming administrative activities. Updating and implementing your company’s technology infrastructure in a way that works for the new normal is key to this process. There are only so many hours in the day – make them count.

Yoni Avital is the co-founder and COO of ControlUp.


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