The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge effect on the working landscape. As companies have been forced to activate distributed, remote workforces at a rate never seen before, many aspects of the workplace will never be the same again. That is asking questions of the organisation’s ability to deliver on ‘employee experience’ – giving employees the flexibility to work where and how they prefer.
Understanding the playing field
Amidst these momentous changes, we wanted to make sure we fully understand the drivers and consequences. We commissioned a global survey together with VMware to find out how IT, HR and business decision makers are navigating this new world, with all its opportunities and uncertainties.
Based on this survey of 5,700 Dell Technologies personas, Vanson Bourne present some fascinating findings in the report The New Remote Work Era: Trends in the Distributed Workforce. Half of the recipients are based in the EMEA region, so it gives us good insights into the realities of our local customers.
The report confirms the utmost relevance of the services and technologies we provide, particularly in the areas of enhancing employee experience, reducing IT costs through device intelligence, and creating efficiencies with a comprehensive IT ecosystem that enhances productivity.
A new mindset
When the world changes around you, you have to change with it. After the initial shock to business as a result of the pandemic, we’re now in a phase of dealing with its constant evolution. Organisations need to adapt accordingly, and just as quickly as when the pandemic first hit.
The mindset shift has been felt globally, particularly with smaller organisations of under 1000 employees. There’s a strong indication that smaller organisations are better able to seriously compete with larger organisations, which is levelling the playing field.
Opportunities outweighing challenges
Somewhat paradoxically, the distributed workforce model may be strengthening the organisation as satellite offices and teams become better integrated. Here, three key parameters are in play: more individuals in the organisation contribute to innovation, employees in regional and satellite teams are more empowered, and resources are more easily shared among locations.
In some industry sectors, the organisation’s opportunity to innovate has come to the fore with the emergence of new business models. While most acknowledge significant short-term challenges, organisations in education and healthcare, for example, believe strongly in the creation of new, long-term opportunities.
In the education sector, people will have more access to quality education, universities see a path to new revenue streams, and the costs of higher education are likely to trend downwards. In healthcare, we’re likely to see an increase in tele-health services and new reimbursement and payment models, while new job opportunities are on the horizon.
Embraced by all
Remote working has brought great opportunity. Most organisations, for example, believe that a strong remote working culture can fuel the recruitment of top talent.
Again, opportunities are especially noticeable in organisations of less than 1000 employees. Many have made light work of adapting to the new normal and have transitioned smoothly into remote work, which is improving their competitive advantage in recruitment.
Optimise the new playing field
Among the biggest challenges pointed out in the survey is ‘collaboration in person’. Business leaders are concerned that their team will not stay on task. At the same time, they worry about employees’ well-being, with social isolation a particular concern.
Interestingly, this highlights another key finding. Remote work is not just welcomed by the younger workforce; it’s embraced by boomers, too, who are showing their valuable experience with a mature approach to remote work. More so than their younger counterparts, they trust that their colleagues will stay on task. Their concerns are more to do with maintaining interpersonal relationships.
With the evidence pointing firmly at employees across the board experiencing the benefits of remote work, we’re seeing a bright future. Indeed, I believe we’re entering what is likely to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for businesses everywhere.
So, as the playing field has changed – and continues to change, can your IT keep up and deliver?
Does it inspire a better, more productive employee experience where artificial intelligence is put to work on behalf of the user? And does it reduce technology costs and create the operational efficiencies that your business needs to thrive?
To read more about Dell´s remote work solutions click here.