At one point, the biggest concern regarding the future of work was that machines would replace employees.
Then the pandemic happened and accelerated the future of the workforce, proving that remote work was possible.
As organizations attempt to pull employees back into the office 16 months later, they are struggling with turnover and retention. Recently, the Wall Street Journal reported that the percentage of Americans leaving employers for new opportunities is at its highest level in more than two decades.
So, what gives?
Employees aren’t quitting for unemployment, which has sunk to an all-time low during the pandemic. Rather, employees are quitting for more flexible options.
The biggest caveat to business owners is now ringing loud and clear: Don’t revert back to physical workspaces.
Employees know that not only does work get done at home, but they can be more productive from home. So, they aren’t going to settle with a company who reverts to a fully on-site model for the sake of returning employees to the office. Companies will outscore their competition and gain a leg up in the talent gap by providing flexible working models and embracing the digital transformation that proved to be possible during the pandemic.
Companies must reimagine their workplace and find ways to use technology to support employees. On top of that, successful companies will find ways to use technology to simplify work and enhance the employee experience.
Here are the top four trends in tech to consider when digitizing your processes to embrace post-pandemic work:
Automating physical processes, including data collection, and optimizing workflows must be included in any post-pandemic plan. In fact, McKinsey & Company reported that by 2025, more than 50 billion devices will be connected to the industrial internet of things (IIoT), and across industries, about 10 percent of today’s manufacturing processed will be replaced by additive manufacturing (AM) by 2020. Project service automation, and automating core hiring, onboarding and payroll processes and using AI within your workforce management solutions will impact your return on investment by speeding up processes and connecting stakeholders faster.
With employees missing the physical connection from onsite work models, it’s important to find solutions that engage employees in other ways. Boost remote employees’ wellbeing with regular check-ins and feedback through a performance management system or prevent burnout with mindfulness techniques in an employee experience platform. Employee engagement is also even more important during the onboarding process. Delivering an engaging onboarding experience makes a critical first impression and engages new employees into the company’s culture. Find an onboarding solution that allows new hires to remotely build familiarity and connect with employees.
Cybersecurity is significant in facilitating productive remote work. Ongoing hybrid working models can threaten a company’s security with workers scattered remotely. Companies need to give users easy access to corporate resources and data. That makes companies more susceptible to cybersecurity issues and data breaches. Make phishing attacks a thing of the past with round the clock data security and support from teams, like Microsoft Threat Intelligence teams, that protect, detect and respond quickly to security threats.
There’s a reason why virtual transactions such as telemedicine, online banking, and streaming entertainment have also taken off, and the share of e-commerce grew at two to five times the rate before COVID-19 (McKinsey). It’ll be crucial for companies to adopt policies and hybrid remote arrangements that allow employees to work in ways that are most convenient for them. Workers don’t need to visit the office to request time off or capture a manager’s physical signature. The pandemic already proved that those things don’t need to happen. Invest in solutions with e-signature and Employee Self-Service Portals.
Companies that reimagine the source of work post-pandemic with investments in tech make a clear statement to employees: We value you, we value your time, and we value being innovative to keep top talent.