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WorkSpace Wednesday: Employee Experience Critical IT Concern
In the new e-book from our sister brand, WorkSpace Connect, our editors have illustrated a story entitled, “5 Needs for Building the Ideal Home Office,” using a picture of a woman sitting at a table, working at a computer, her fluffy ginger cat perched on the adjacent windowsill. When I saw the cat in the picture, my first thought was, “OK, what are the other four needs?”
Our family’s cats are definitely an essential part of my home workspace, but your mileage may vary, I suppose. As an IT professional, you may not have cats in your budget alongside monitors, headsets, remote management systems, external webcams and upgraded lighting — the five tech elements that our author, Irwin Lazar of Nemertes Research, calls out as the building blocks of an ideal home setup.
(You, a non-cat person: Why don’t cat people ever shut up about their cats? Me, a cat person: My cat appears to be trying to write code when he walks across my keyboard….)
Cats, dogs, kids, and other domestic distractions have all become part of the employee experience for those working from home because of the pandemic. Irwin’s list of technology needs for the home worker offers a solid prescription for giving your end users the best possible experience via the best possible technology, but that’s just a piece of the employee experience equation for the home worker.
Our WorkSpace Connect e-book is entitled, “Workplace Strategy for Today & Tomorrow: How IT, real estate/facilities, and HR intersect and provide guidance in navigating through and beyond the pandemic,” and as the subhead suggests, employee experience is not something that IT can manage in isolation.
Our e-book also has an article from HR consultant Jon Ingham, who explains why IT, HR, and facilities management leaders must align their efforts to respond to the new realities of employee experience in the pandemic age. The focus for each of these teams has changed since the pandemic began, and will continue in a state of transition as enterprises try to determine and then execute their back-to-office strategy for the post-pandemic world — as Jon writes, “The return to the office needs both a strategic and cross-disciplinary response.”
And my colleague Beth Schultz points out in another e-book article that much of the work in the return-to-office phase will actually represent a continuation of facilities trends that were already underway before the pandemic hit, specifically an emphasis on wellness, smart building technology, and sustainability and work-life balance. “This COVID-19 moment in time is an accelerant, not a changing of the course,” Melissa Marsh, of real estate strategy firm PLASTARC, told Beth.
In many ways, communications professionals have already been getting more comfortable with the reality that employee experience is as much a part of their job as are tasks like number porting and deploying team collaboration systems. Pre-pandemic, the challenge was driving user adoption of new systems; now, it’s responding to unanticipated employee requirements arising from the new demands of the pandemic.
Either way, it’s a job that means greater collaboration with peers from the HR and facilities teams within the enterprise who are likewise trying to implement the details of an employee-experience strategy that will remain a work in progress for some time to come. Our WorkSpace Connect brand covers this emerging need, and in addition to downloading the e-book for a quick summary of this space, I encourage you to check out our WorkSpace Connect website for daily news analysis.