Even though the UK's lockdown has been lifted, the exact date for a permanent return to work remains unknown. Many professionals are working from home offices, dining rooms, or bedrooms, leveraging technologies such as the best cloud storage or hosting.
There are two main lessons that IT teams should examine among the many repercussions and impacts of this transition in the usual style of working: the effectiveness and endurance of the hybrid working model, and the critical necessity of digital employee experience (DEX) regardless of location.
However, in order to put these two lessons into practice, here are three key learnings that IT professionals must pay attention to after two years of remote working:
Remote Working Is Now Mainstream
In 2020, working from home was not a novel idea. For many years, many organisations - particularly in the technology sector - have offered/provided remote or flexible working options. Working from home was an exception rather than the standard, as the actual office remained the centre of the enterprise.
The general reluctance among employees to return to the physical workplace, at least in the manner it worked pre-Coronavirus, demonstrates the appeal of this. Virtual working has been highlighted by employees as having improved work-life balance and increased health and wellness. Many businesses are embracing a hybrid working style on a permanent basis, citing logistical benefits such as lower overhead costs, more employee engagement, and increased productivity.
Digital Employee Experience (DEX) Has To Be Your Priority
Many IT executives failed to create a smooth digital experience outside of the office setting when the pandemic necessitated a hasty switch to remote working. IT teams failed to properly manage the implementation of distant technologies, such as new collaboration and communication tools, due to a lack of access and understanding of remote systems.
According to 2021 research conducted by Nexthink, 70 per cent of IT executives observed increased IT ticket and call volume during the pandemic, with VPN difficulties (77 per cent), bad video conversations (65 per cent), and Wi-Fi connection is the top challenges staff experienced (51 per cent).
However, here is where IT and people diverge: a large proportion of IT executives believe their staff are capable of addressing those particular issues: 63 per cent believe they can deal with video problems, and nearly half (40 per cent) believe they can deal with VPN difficulties.
With two years of remote working under their belts and the online capabilities that Millennials and Generation Z have become accustomed to, the workforce is increasingly expecting the same level of digital experience outside of the office as they do inside. Despite this, many have an unfavourable impression of IT. Years of IT catching up to employee difficulties has resulted in a failure to report issues: just slightly more than half of all technical issues are reported to IT teams.
With remote working far from being a passing fad, the challenge for organisations in the future is to eliminate the expectation gap in remote digital experiences in order to cultivate a contented, engaged, and productive workforce.
Proactiveness Always Wins Over Reactiveness
Taking a tailored and proactive approach to technical challenges is the key to IT teams effectively adapting to new hybrid or "Work-from-anywhere" (WFA) models. Instead of waiting for employees to identify problems, the past year has taught executives that they must have visibility and insight into the digital experience regardless of location. This will go a long way towards avoiding a lengthy, manual approach to problems, which wastes time and money for both employees and IT personnel.
Employee dissatisfaction and time waste are increased by IT teams who just supply a uniform digital environment, such as self-service IT. Then, in a frenzy, they act on impulse and try to solve problems by reacting to them, adding to IT's workload in responding to individual requests. Instead, IT personnel should have enough insight to be able to take a focused and particular approach to preventing and fixing issues before the employee ever detects them.
Clustering employees into groups based on their day-to-day operations and requirements, rather than their job descriptions, is one technique to gain a better knowledge of the diverse demands within the workforce. This allows IT teams to launch customised remote campaigns based on more precise needs, allowing them to perform speedy adjustments without involving staff.