Digital Workplaces and Remote Employee Experience
While ‘going digital’ has precisely been the focus of corporate culture over the decades, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a drastic change in the way offices operate and function leading to a hybrid work culture that needs a digital uplift. The radical shift has forced facility managers to put digital workplaces and remote employee experience at the centre stage. Over the past decade, remote work was a mere option for the lucky few. The past two years have forced every employee to work from home and join the remote working league.
Surviving the pandemic, employees have suffered huge stresses, both physically and mentally. This calls for the companies to take extra care towards their employees as their well-being and growth would lead to the ultimate growth of the organisation. The introduction of a hybrid workplace model has shifted the workforce towards an environment that was not known before. With executives and managers focussing on creating optimised digital workplaces, it is quintessential to look at remote employee experience strategy and go deep into the aspect for gaining the best of talents and uninterrupted growth as businesses are trying to get back to normalcy.
What is Employee Experience
The term employee experience is a broad term that includes everything that an employee experiences during his/ her journey with the organisation. This includes all the elements that an employee has to deal with every passing day while he/she works in a particular office or premise. Interacting with a team leader or a conversation with an employee to a meeting with a client or solving a customer query, all of this is part of an employee’s routine.
Why facility managers and businesses are awed with the term “Employee Experience”
Let me demystify it with the help of research done by McKinsey “This time it’s personal: Shaping the ‘new possible’ through employee experience”, Research shows that people who report having a positive employee experience have 16 times the engagement level of employees with a negative experience and that they are eight times more likely to want to stay at a company.
Remote Employee Experience
Why are companies so affected by this term and why has this term gained so much importance in the post-pandemic era? In all honesty, employee experience is something that was always there in offices but the only difference with the current scenario is that it is now seen as something incredibly important for ensuring workforce productivity. With the prevailing hybrid workforce culture, EX requires a multidisciplinary approach, a seamless way of encouraging employees to communicate, collaborate and remain entertained as an integral part of the business.
Today, offices are more dedicated to making their employees happy and content than having an unhappy, dissatisfied workforce. Employee experience, has, therefore, come out to be an important factor that has direct implications on a company’s overall performance. In summary, positive employee experience is the direct recipe for a company’s high revenue, better growth charts and high employee retention rate and a negative employee experience will cause the company to go down in not just productivity but profits too.
Ways to increase Remote Employee Experience
Knowing how crucial employee experience is for any organisation, let’s dive into how hybrid working can be deployed by a company to ensure a positive employee experience.
Provide Ample Assistance
When companies look at remote employee experience, it is a challenge to give them the same attention that the on-site employees can be easily bestowed with. A great way to promote a positive remote employee experience is by providing them with ample assistance in everything that they do. This is not just limited to providing resources that are necessary for their work but also giving them the “extra” help that makes them feel less stressed out at work. This is crucial because the remote workforce may feel disconnected at any point in time but when organisations are really focused on including them, it is easier to feel a sense of belonging and trust.
One way to really get some work off the shoulders of employees is by investing in proper workplace management software. Such solutions make the employees’ work life far easier and ensure that they are able to put their energies into more important stuff that machines cannot achieve.
Employee experience, largely, includes the employee’s interaction with the technological aspects of the organisation. The better the technology, the happier the workforce. For instance, having a visitor management system can vastly improve employee experience at the office as it ensures that all the visitors are directed to their hosts in an organised manner, making it easier for the employees to meet with their clients or guests. Also, it takes off the burden from the reception staff of registering and tracking each visitor entering the door.
Using technology in the right manner allows the employees to do more and work hard despite being away from the office. However, companies need to find the right balance in providing technological resources and ensure that the employees are not bombarded with too much tech and gadgets as it can negatively affect their work.
Create a Safe Working Environment
A positive employee experience can be created only when the organisations really evaluate the well-being and safety of their employees within the office premises. This lets the employees know that their company values them and is genuinely invested in employee retention and satisfaction. An incredibly easy way to provide a safe working environment is using smart desk booking solutions that let the hybrid workforce operate more efficiently and cohesively.
Getting access to their preferred seats may seem like an undersized upgrade but it greatly contributes to a positive workplace experience. Such small interactions and liberties induce a sense of control and power in employees, especially the remote workforce. Also, software like office desk booking systems makes the facility manager’s work a whole lot easier by ensuring social distancing in the workplace and maintaining government norms in the post covid reopening times. This can easily be done through the software by controlling the number of bookable desks and seating the employees at a distance without much hassle.
Focus on Growth
An overwhelming percentage of employees (97%) want to expand or continue their learning experience while pursuing their jobs. This is a clear testimony to the fact that upskilling is a constant driving force in work cultures that impacts the retention rate of employees in organisations. For remote employees, work can be more stressful because of a lack of proper environment and culture and therefore it is essential to keep the employees hooked and engaged throughout their working hours. In order to facilitate remote employee experience, companies need to focus on providing opportunities and the right advice to the working staff for ensuring that even while working remotely, their growth is not stunted.
Companies can host seminars and train the remote staff with additional skills, so they are constantly growing in their talents and are able to witness career growth. It is best if organisations evaluate the performance of an individual employee and allow him/her to choose the way they want to indulge in training sessions or programs. This would allow the workers to choose their courses, sessions, timings and invest time and effort into getting knowledge with full control.
More and more employees are moving towards remote working and with the above-mentioned ways, companies can ensure that a consistent positive remote employee experience is maintained in organisations and the benefits of a hybrid workforce are maximised.