What Makes Remote Work, Work?
May 6, 2020
- Posted by: Pete Summers
With employees having sometimes just hours of warning, there was little time to plan for widespread working from home. Improvisation was the order of the day.
However, improvisation has its limits. Widespread and ongoing working from home raises a lot of challenges and at the very least, organizations will need to consider their technology stacks, technology provision, culture, and working practices.
Effective remote work programs require more than just giving employees smartphones, laptops, and email access and then allowing them to work from home.
Creating a responsive technology infrastructure to enable effective remote work is complex. What is already clear from organizations’ experiences to date with widespread working from home is that organizations that have developed greater levels of digital agility have increased preparedness for widespread and sustained ‘work anywhere’ requirements.
Employees who are unprepared and under-equipped to handle remote work demands suffer burnout, frustration, and lost productivity. What makes for engaged and productive employees? Lots of things, obviously, but you might be surprised to learn that their digital experience is close to the top of the list.
Simply put, technology that holds people back and prevents them from working productively and efficiently is a major switch-off. As we emerge from the focus on ‘the here and now’ and business continuity and move to a business norm that embraces sustained work anywhere requirements, the ability to deliver enhanced employee digital experiences is the new challenge for IT teams.
Employees don’t want to spend their days struggling with old and slow technology that doesn’t let them do what they want. They don’t want to spend their days apologizing to colleagues and customers. And they don’t want to spend their days with klutzy IT systems, only to spend their evenings interacting seamlessly with slick and responsive consumer-friendly systems.
And it isn’t just productivity that suffers from a poor employee experience with technology. Research by Gartner, for instance, highlights that organizations providing their employees with a productive digital employee experience achieve on average an 81% increase in customer satisfaction. Other research shows that companies that provide a superior digital employee experience are more likely to be able to attract and retain top talent.
Of course, we all want content, engaged employees, but when you operate a remote workforce, this is easier said than done — particularly if they work in different time zones. It will take considerable time and effort, but this will ultimately pay off. It’s been shown that remote employees are happier and more productive, due to a healthier work-life balance.
Remote employees can even help your bottom line. One study, based on conservative assumptions, estimated a typical employer can save an average of $11,000 per half-time employee per year by leveraging remote working. The primary savings are the result of increased productivity, lower real estate costs, reduced absenteeism and staff turnover, and better disaster preparedness.
The same study also estimated that employees save between $2,500 and $4,000 per year by working at home half the time. Those savings are primarily due to reduced costs for travel, parking, and food. And in terms of time, a half-time remote worker saves the equivalent of 11 work days per year in time they would have otherwise spent commuting. Extreme commuters save more than three times that amount.
Simply put, technology that provides a good employee experience enables people to do more, to do it better, to do it faster, and to derive more satisfaction from doing it.
The trouble is, many organizations have a divided view of the digital employee experience that they provide.
According to research carried out by global research firm, Vanson Bourne, prior to the current crisis and the added pressure of home working, IT functions have one view of the digital employee experience—and employees quite another.
Surveying 6,400 employees, HR professionals, and IT specialists across 19 countries, the study found that although 95% of IT decision makers thought that their IT functions provided employees with the digital tools they needed in order to be successful in their jobs, 42%—in other words, nearly half—of employees don’t agree with this.
Which is a perception gap that many organizations should find troubling. They can’t both be right.
What’s needed are facts—cold, hard facts. And facts that are specific to the individual organization. Your organization.
But where are these facts and insights to come from?
Enter Scalable Software. Scalable automatically tracks the usage of your organization’s systems and technology investments, monitoring digital KPIs that map directly onto pointers to employees’ digital experience. The solution speeds up the process of collecting and then visually reporting on large quantities of complex data to give accurate, and previously unattainable intelligence and insights needed for successful work anywhere initiatives and cloud migrations. For the facts about digital employee experience, and not just opinions, visit www.scalable.com.
We are committed to helping businesses around the world implement robust ‘work anywhere’ IT infrastructures that help facilitate remote working and enhance productivity. Scalable is providing 90 days free access to the Asset Vision service to help organizations answer the key questions that they need to know.
The offer is to analyze up to 5,000 employees free for 90 days. If you have more than 5,000 employees we can analyze a particular segment or extend the service.
For more information, visit our website.