optimizing digital experience to support digital nomads

June 08, 2022

Pete Summers

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In this blog we look at the rise of working from anywhere and the digital experience employees have. Ever wonder what it’s like to combine work and travel? A new generation of digital nomads is living that dream. Barbados, Malta, and Iceland are among those who already offer ‘nomadic’ visas that give employees the right to stay in a country while working for an employer based elsewhere. As hybrid working becomes more common, businesses are embracing new technologies that give people the freedom to work wherever they want. However, despite equipping workers with new hardware and software, many companies are still struggling to deliver a seamless ‘nomadic’ model because IT teams lack insight into employees’ digital experiences to spot and rectify issues.

In our research of 2,000 hybrid workers, we found employees spend up to seven hours a week struggling with a lack of access to technology and with technology that doesn’t work. That causes frustration and seriously dents productivity. Businesses need a layer of management that provides IT teams with visibility into the distributed workforce, enabling them to identify and eliminate friction and create productive digital workspaces, wherever an employee is working from.

What kind of challenges exist with a nomadic workforce?

In an office, employees typically have access to a faster and more reliable IT connection than elsewhere. That means they generally experience fewer issues like applications crashing or loading slowly. In addition, if employees in the office need tech help, peer-to-peer support is more easily available. They can simply ask a neighboring desk if they are experiencing the same problem, or if they know how to fix it. Equally, the IT team is usually in the same building so can be quickly accessed.

On the other side of the world, getting that help is not as straightforward. Technology problems reduce productivity and efficiency, as well as impacting job satisfaction.

What about issues with company culture?

With nomadic employees divided by oceans, team and individual dynamics are sure to change. Communication in a hybrid model has become multi-system and multi-platform, and this complexity has made understanding and evaluating how teams are collaborating difficult.

Added to this, the move away from the 9-5 office-based model and towards a flexible, nomadic one has led to fundamental changes in the structure of the working day. There is a growing understanding that individuals’ working styles differ enormously, and organizations need to move away from digital “presenteeism,” or ‘number of hours worked,’ and instead gain a real-time understanding of how employees work – including who they work with and how this influences their success.

New tools that allow digital nomads to thrive

The way we work has changed rapidly and businesses need new tools to reflect that. With a distributed workforce powered by technology, businesses – and especially IT teams – need to be able to proactively support a nomadic team, spot well-being issues, and optimize workforce-system interactions. This will allow them to identify and eliminate technology barriers, and also understand how nomadic working is changing the way teams collaborate and achieve their goals.

Workplace analytics platforms allow businesses to quantify end-user experiences and give deep insight into the employee experience. From understanding how performance and usage of devices and applications is impacting on efficiency, to spotting isolated individuals who are struggling to communicate with colleagues.

Digital experience underpins all

Whether you call your workforce nomadic, remote or hybrid, the one consistent factor that links them all is the need to protect and optimize digital experience. It’s essential that businesses have visibility into the systems and processes that underpin their working model, so they can properly support this new demographic of workers and build innovative digital workspaces.

Learn more about how Acumen can help your business achieve this.