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WorkSpace Wednesday: Leading the Way on Employee Experience


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Awaiting the green light to return to the office, some employees have soured on the idea of working from home forever, for one reason or another. While research shows productivity improvements among work-from-home employees, many of these workers report feeling burned out and fatigued by remote work. This, in turn, has set many enterprises on a path to address this issue proactively, looking for ways to improve the employee experience.
One way enterprises are addressing the challenge is with technology, such as Viva, the modular employee experience platform Microsoft introduced earlier this month. As we covered in a No Jitter news post, Viva features four modules designed to enhance employee connections, make information sharing easier, foster employee learning, and improve management analytics.
Eric Krapf, GM of Enterprise Connect, shared his thoughts around Viva and employee experience in a follow-up post on our sister site, WorkSpace Connect. Technology like Viva can be instrumental in providing analytics and insight into the employee experience and lead to improvements, Krapf noted. However, he pulled back on the notion that technology alone can fix the employee experience, saying “technology hasn’t always affected employee experience for the better.”
Krapf elaborated by saying that the employee experience can only improve with the right leadership and that “no amount of technology” can change a day of back-to-back meetings. However, creating a workplace culture that doesn’t burn out people on video meetings, possibly dedicating a day to no meetings, can improve the employee experience, Krapf said.
Strong leadership will also be important when it comes to returning to the office, which should boost the employee experience for those who are feeling less connected while remote working. In a separate WorkSpace Connect post, Krapf shared how several technology vendors, like Cisco and Salesforce, are thinking about a hybrid model for their employees and how enterprises should start thinking about returning to the office.
With the middle of fall being the new timeline for when life will return to some semblance of normal, now is the perfect time to devise different pilot tests that consider space utilization, technology, and policies, Krapf said. IT and AV leaders can work together on these tests, deciding which technology would be best suited for a post-pandemic office and what employees will need to succeed. After several tests, enterprises should have some hard data on what technology is the best fit for their enterprises moving forward, he added.
For enterprises that are reluctant to plan any return, now is still a good time to reassess the spur-of-the-moment technology decisions made at the onset of the pandemic and see how they are improving (or hurting) the employee experience. Figuring out what worked and didn't will most likely require conversations outside the IT department, asking HR and users for feedback on the technology. And whatever the prevailing working model will be in the future, IT leadership will be key to bringing the future workplace to fruition.
For more on how IT and HR (and facility/real estate) professionals can collaborate, visit WorkSpace Connect for workplace-related insight and discussions. And make sure to register for the WorkSpace Connect newsletter to stay up-to-date with the latest articles and news.