When businesses move to this new post-COVID era of remote and hybrid work (or are we still mid-COVID?), work processes are bound to change. And one significant adaptation is the introduction or increase of digital capabilities – with 28.2% citing DX as a change triggered by the shift to hybrid / remote work.
What does that mean? Increased DX means an evolution of the workplace. We’re seeing a lot of talk about this out there, including in a new PwC report that specifically highlighted workplace technology as the way forward if employers and organizations want to stay relevant.
Why? In short, it’s what workers want especially in the new flexible workplace. It’s also what businesses want, if they want to see processes made easier for their employees – including utilization of AI, machine learning, automation, and the cloud, according to PwC’s report.
Meanwhile, Gartner’s Senior Director Analyst, Sandy Shen echoed those sentiments about workplace digital transformation:
“The value of digital channels, products and operations is immediately obvious to companies everywhere right now…this is a wake-up call for organizations that have placed too much focus on daily operational needs at the expense of investing in digital business and long-term resilience. Businesses that can shift technology capacity and investments to digital platforms will mitigate the impact of the outbreak and keep their companies running smoothly now, and over the long term.”
“Businesses that can shift technology capacity and investments to digital platforms will mitigate the impact of the outbreak and keep their companies running smoothly now, and over the long term.”
To emphasize: COVID-19 was a wake-up call for orgs to evolve.
And Kate Smaje at McKinsey Digital also notes:
“COVID-19 has only made digital more relevant as companies … have undergone their own massive, overnight experiment in agile, and remote ways of working.”
Honestly, it’s not just about COVID. That was just the catalyst to something that was already in the works for a long, long time.
All that being said, let’s return to our survey and see what our respondents say about DX in the workplace.
DX is the bridge
Many companies updated both their business (54.5%) and customer-facing operations (56.9%) to a more digitally friendly format during the pandemic.
… and that bridge is built to last
Moreover, more than half of all respondents consider the digitization of their business (52.8%) and customer-facing (51.9%) operations to be permanently established in their company.
The great enablement
Meanwhile, when it comes to employee performance, existing technology enabled three in five businesses (58.8%) to move their workforce to a remote-first environment. And two thirds (67.5%) say their colleagues can go remote because there was no viable need for them to be physically present at the workplace.
What does all this tell us?
It’s as if a perfect storm took place. The tech and capabilities were already there; it just took a pandemic to push forward into this new world of work. And the logical next step became further and deeper digitization of business operations and working processes.
What kind of tech?
Now, let’s look at the types of technology that businesses are now using in digital transformation in the workplace.
Collaborative tech beckons
Communications technology – or more specifically, tech to support work collaborations – is by and far the top focal point for respondents to ensure employee engagement, with 75.8% of respondents choosing that as a key to success. Virtual team meetings (46.7%) also ranks high on the scale.
Socially enabling tech, not so much
Virtual coffee dates and / or happy hours (15.2%) registers as the least-popular focal point to ensure employee engagement.
Employee tracking on the backtrack
Time-tracking and / or employee monitoring technology isn’t popular either, with just 22.5% of respondents using that to ensure engagement.
What does all this tell us?
In short, it isn’t so much about connecting your employees socially or personally, or making sure your employees are actually working on the clock. It’s more about minimizing disruption to overall workflow by ensuring that employees are well-informed (as seen in the popularity of regular all-hands) and are working together seamlessly.
Businesses are also ensuring that the lines of communication are open and free-flowing regardless of the environment they’re working in. This is crucial to success.
Want to dive into the full report? Check it out.