Workforce Analytics Addresses Hybrid Working Fears

July 25, 2021

Pete Summers

Workforce Analytics Addresses Hybrid Working Fears image

Most organizations were already on the way to enabling some form of flexible working before the global pandemic. But the pace of change we’ve witnessed in the last 18 months has accelerated digitalization efforts beyond imagination. The pandemic is estimated to have fast-tracked digital transformation by at least seven years.

In tandem with this shift, employees’ expectations of what work should look like today have also radically changed. Today, “allowing” one or two days working from home is no longer enough. Employees want genuine flexibility and the freedom to choose their working location. They want seamless and simple hybrid working.

For IT leaders, facilitating this seamlessness is a challenge. They must balance the needs of the business when it comes to cost, security and success, with delivering exceptional employee experiences and safeguarding employee well-being. We wanted to know what it is about hybrid working that keeps IT leaders up at night, so we surveyed 100 IT Decision Makers (ITDMs) to find out*. Here’s what we learned.

The fear list

We asked the ITDMs what their biggest fears are around remote or “work from anywhere” models. Topping the list was employee well-being and the risk of team members working too many hours.

  • Employee well-being and team members working too many hours – 86%
  • Negative impact upon cross-team collaboration – 76%
  • The reliability and robustness of technology/applications – 75%
  • Poor end user experiences leading to team dissatisfaction – 73%
  • Negative impact on productivity – 67%

The potential negative impact on cross-team collaboration was the next fear identified. This was swiftly followed by worries over the reliability of the technology that employees are using, and how poor user experience might lead to unhappy teams. Finally, ITDMs are concerned about the impact of new working models on productivity.

The wish list

Next, we asked ITDMs to think about what’s important to them in a work from anywhere model. The main priority was making sure that technology in use complies with security policies. This is not surprising given the increase in phishing and ransomware attempts that remote workers have faced.

  • Understanding existing technology profiles and ensuring remote workers have the correct applications and configuration to comply with security policies – 83%
  • Identifying the digital capabilities of individuals and teams to better identify and support those that require help – 72%
  • Understanding work patterns to ensure employee well-being – 70%
  • Understanding current workplace practices and identifying friction caused by technology, applications and/or processes that negatively impact productivity – 59%
  • Measuring adoption and securing the necessary data to take corrective action – 59%
  • Securing visibility of ‘alternative’ technologies in use to assess who is using them and how – 54%

Next on the wish list is being able to identify workers with good digital skills, as well as those who need extra help. ITDMs also want to analyze working patterns to monitor employee well-being, as well as spot friction caused by technology that could impact employee success. Finally, ITDMs want to know if tools are being adopted and used, so they can take action as needed.

How workforce analytics helps

What all the items on the wish list have in common is data. As workforces become more distributed, ITDMs need access to granular data from their entire IT infrastructure that offers real-time insights. Because ITDMs recognize that giving people access to technology is only the first step in becoming a digitally agile hybrid organization. The real challenge comes in measuring and quantifying how technology is used, what the impact is on the user experience, and how it contributes to business outcomes.

Scalable Software’s workforce analytics platform, Acumen, solves this challenge. Acumen collates and distills data from all technology infrastructure, empowering ITDMs with insights that help to protect well-being and spot workers who require extra training. Acumen allows organizations to map the digital journey for every workflow in detail, so they can address points of friction. Armed with a deep understanding of how people and systems are interacting, ITDMs can optimize the digital experience and put worries over hybrid working to bed.

Learn more about the Acumen platform.

*100 UK IT Decision Makers from a range of verticals; fieldwork conducted by Vanson Bourne, Q2 2021.