Rail Strike: How Do You Measure Remote Employee Experience During Industrial Action?


Busy Station

As of Monday 20th June, talks broke down between rail officials and union leaders and so a week of cancellations and delays commenced for railways across the UK. This has become the biggest train strike in the UK for 30 years, and with currently no sign of alleviating, similarities are being drawn to lockdown. Now whilst the contexts are completely different, there is no doubt that working from home has once more hit the considerations of many employees who cannot commute to the office. Indeed, it is the opinion of Network Rail that such strike action, and by extension increased congestion on major motorways, will encourage many to work from home.

From an employee experience perspective, it begs the question, how are organisations supporting their remote employees when they’re unable to access the office? This is important now since over the pandemic society in general adapted to working remotely. However, the language used during this current UK strike is that the impact of said strike will not be felt as effectively due to people’s familiarity and adaptation to working from home. Whilst this point is valid, we have adapted to this scenario well, it is still important to ensure we are checking in and supporting remote employees and avoid the risk or temptation to assume all is well because we’re all used to this by now.


We often find that people have the equipment they need to work from home. In this case they are able, but do they feel enabled? The key difference here lies in the employee's feeling that they can carry out their job. With a laptop, a remote worker can carry out tasks from arguably anywhere with an internet connection, but a poor connection or distracting environment affects their enablement. Compare this to an office where we generally have the resources, and therefore the ability, to work, or at least the ability to quickly express our lack of ability, to colleagues or a manager across the space. Without the opportunity to meet face-to-face or be physically surrounded by the office tech and resources they work with, how do you measure the happiness and productivity of employees when circumstances insist they work from home?


Read also: 3 Key Learnings For IT Professionals After 2 Years Of Remote Working


Measuring Digital Experience

Working from home

Nexthink is an excellent tool to measure digital employee experience. Recently ranked as a number 1 end user experience management vendor in Forrester's Wave Report, Nexthink has the capability to monitor all experience-impacting endpoints. With this, your organisation can see if remote employees have access to the right tools, what they are lacking in, and the impact this has on their experience.


For example, collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom enable your employees to host online meetings, share content, and generally feel part of the team. However, if they do not have the right tools such as a webcam or headset, then the experience can be quite challenging. Another factor here to consider is internet connectivity. If any of these 3 do not work in unison, then while your employees are able to collaborate, they are not necessarily enabled. A hindrance to any of these factors affects the employees' ability to carry out their job to the best of their ability.


Nexthink can assist here by monitoring the full end to end experience, measuring a wide variety of factors, from Team participant numbers to network, and display commonalities between those who may be having a poorer experience e.g., Nexthink can alert an organisation to specific employees who have expressed poor sentiment with their headset, or to the headset device itself, providing access to the kind of data which would determine a poor collaborative experience. Having this data to hand allows the organisation to take remediate action such as alerting the need for new webcams or headsets to the most appropriate people who can acquire them.


Measuring General Experience and Health

Stressed employee working on laptop

This kind of data measurement need not be exclusive to digital experience. Nexthink can send out sentiment surveys using their inbuilt tools to generate an image of their employees’ wellbeing. It shouldn't be necessary to emphasis the importance of looking after yours and your employees’ wellbeing. The past few years have generated plenty of great conversation surrounding looking after employees' mental and general health, but trying to measure this can prove difficult when the team is working remotely. Nexthink can take a sample of all remote workers and ask them how they feel about working from home with their in-built well-being survey campaign. This will enable an organisation to generate data relating to employee’s stress and wellbeing, but also related to how enabled they feel with the correct tools to carry out their work without any impeding issues.


Read also: Mental Health of Employees: 3 Ways How Companies Can Address Their Workers’ Wellbeing


Government agencies are trying to encourage a big return to the office. Again, using sentiment surveys, Nexthink enables organisations to ask a series of questions to ensure that employees have the right environment to work in when they return to their office locations. This proactive approach will lead to less employee frustration, and may work to encourage employee retention, upon their potential return to office-based work.


Nexthink can greatly help your organisation to improve your employee’s digital experience. As a leading partner, from sales through implementation and support, Bright Horse can enable your business to automate service processes and improve the digital experience of your employees and customers through Nexthink. Contact us to find out more.

Sources

GOV.UK. 2022. Civil servants to lead the way in returning to offices. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/civil-servants-to-lead-the-way-in-returning-to-offices Accessed: 22 June 2022.


Topham, G., 2022a. Rail strikes: passengers face disruption as Britain’s biggest walkout in decades begins. The Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/jun/21/passengers-face-disruption-as-britains-biggest-rail-strike-for-decades-begins Accessed: 22 June 2022.


Topham, G., 2022b. Rail strikes: city centres quieter as people heed advice to avoid travel. The Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/jun/21/rail-strikes-city-centres-quieter-as-people-heed-advice-to-avoid-travel Accessed: 22 June 2022.


Hoggan, K. and Morton, B., 2022. Train strikes: How did passengers cope with day one?. BBC News. Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-61883770 Accessed: 22 June 2022.