Digital employee experience is the solution to “WFH” vs “RTO”

November 21, 2023

Sarah Morrison

Digital employee experience is the solution to “WFH” vs “RTO” image

 Hybrid workforces that offer work from home (WFH) flexibility have become commonplace in recent years, particularly in companies with many knowledge workers. Yet lately, major global businesses – including Goldman Sachs, Zoom, Amazon and KPMG – have begun instigating a return to the office (RTO) for staff, at least part-time.

While working from home delivers some benefits to businesses and employees, some organizations clearly worry that even the best tech can’t replace all in-person interactions. Mentorship and collaboration opportunities, and positive employee engagement, for example, are typically associated with face-to-face connection.

But beyond these elements of working life, the main issue for many businesses that causes them to question where employees work is concern over productivity. And while research suggests that poor productivity is not the “fault” of hybrid work, that hasn’t stopped productivity from becoming the lightning rod in the battle between WFH vs RTO.

The reality is that productivity has always been challenging for businesses to measure. But the good news for employers is that it doesn’t have to be this way. Sophisticated Digital Employee Experience (DEX) Management  analytics offer a way to quantify productivity so that whatever WFH/RTO policy a business rolls out, decisions are based on real-time evidence within the context of their organization.

How to make productivity tangible

DEX analytics deliver tangible insights that allow businesses to create and measure the impact of policies based on hard data from across the enterprise. This is essential when setting any WFH/RTO policy.

For example, if a business’s policy mandates staff be present in the office three days a week, they first need to ensure policy compliance and make sure employees are physically there. But simply checking staff have “badged in” doesn’t tell you anything about how productive they are while there. What businesses need is the ability to measure how productive and efficient employees can be both on-site and at home.

That’s where deep DEX observability comes in. Because wherever an employee is located, DEX tools can quantify employee experience to assess productivity. Importantly, it can contrast this information across WFH and RTO scenarios. Some of the main areas of DEX measurement include:

  • Assessing the uptake of and engagement with collaboration applications and software
  • Assessing how effectively employees use certain software tools
  • Understanding how applications and device usage differs between teams, roles and locations
  • Surfacing areas of digital friction that slow employees down
  • Highlighting overly complicated workflows, for example, that force employees to toggle between applications repeatedly
  • Identifying non-performant technology that impacts productivity, like a repeatedly crashing application or slow-loading applications

Armed with these insights, businesses can be confident that whatever policies they put in place around WFH/RTO, measuring productivity won’t be an issue. Moreover, DEX analytics gives IT and HR teams visibility into productivity blockers, so issues can be rectified and remedied. The benefits of this approach are clear – using DEX tools to optimize experiences could save knowledge workers seven hours a week lost to poor digital experiences.

DEX deep dive

Scalable Software’s Digital  Employee Experience (DEX) management platform, Acumen, collates and distills data from every endpoint to deliver insights to IT and HR leaders. Acumen helps businesses deliver exceptional employee experiences whether staff WFH or RTO, by building flexible, work from anywhere digital workplaces. With a DEX deep dive from Acumen, you can measure and proactively optimize experiences to keep your workforce productive.