BIZ NEWSTECH @ WORK

Employee Empowerment a Priority in Future Workplace Strategy for 96% businesses: NTT Study

NTT’s Intelligent Workplace Report unveils how workplace strategy will be shaped by employee wellbeing priorities

Global technology services company, NTT Ltd released its 2020 Intelligent Workplace ReportShaping Employee Experiences for a World Transformed’, which highlights that the pandemic has put employee wellbeing at the forefront of the business agenda. Almost four-fifths (90.0%) of organizations agree that home-working during the pandemic has been challenging for employees. Connectivity and workspace issues such as bandwidth, a feeling of isolation, and a lack of dedicated workspace have all contributed to their concerns. Organizations have to look at every aspect of workplace strategy to optimize employee experience, these include culture, technology, and location.

The report which surveyed 1,350 participants across 19 markets found that 96.0% of the respondents believe employee needs will be at the heart of the future workplace design. The findings show that 89.0% of organizations agree employees would prefer to have the choice and flexibility to work in an office when it is safe to do so, and 92.0% agreed that face-to-face meeting time is essential to build a sense of teamwork and/or when meeting clients.

As the world continues to adapt to the challenges of COVID-19, organizations must develop a more robust strategy to permanently provide for their distributed workforce. While 92.0% of organizations recognize the value of employee experience as a crucial strategic differentiator, just 49.0% are very satisfied with their current capability.

For now, a third of all businesses (39.0%) have changed their IT policy to help employees work within a new operating model and a half (59.0%) have deployed new communication and productivity tools.

In many cases, employees have been left to use their personal devices and applications which has rapidly increased the risk of security vulnerabilities. In fact, only 64.0% have increased their IT security capabilities to keep their organization and employees secure.

John Lombard, CEO – Asia Pacific at NTT Ltd. comments, “The connected employee – their wellness and employee experience – must be at the heart of the future workplace strategy. Helping people stay connected and keeping their data secure is key to looking after the workforce and maintaining productivity and effectiveness. Yet this must be underpinned by a long-term strategy for digital transformation, with the rollout of new technologies, policies, and of course training so employees feel comfortable with new platforms.” 

Establishing the new workplace strategies today for the office of tomorrow

According to the report findings, almost half (59.0%) of businesses are already reviewing the general office design and how best to align with employees’ new needs.

Respondents are somewhat polarised on what to do with office space in general, with over a third (34.4%) of global C-suite execs saying they are looking to reduce office space, yet almost a quarter (24.0%) plan to increase it. That said, most agree that the physical space will have a more defined, flexible use to provide for a more collaborative environment enabling:

  • Connecting the distributed workforce:0% will install video conferencing/video collaboration spaces to bring remote and office employees together
  • Facilitate creativity and collaboration: 0% will implement creative/thinking spaces
  • Drive activity-based work initiatives: over a quarter (27.0%) will reduce individual office desk space with 39.0% increasing meeting spaces

Intelligent solutions will empower the employee 

We now have access to a vast range of digital platforms and applications, but the rapid adoption of these new technologies has not always been supported with adequate training. To motivate employees to use new technology, it is important to clearly articulate the benefit to them as individuals, especially if they are working remotely.

Just 46.0% of businesses, across the globe, have access to workplace analytics to help them understand and assess new pain points introduced by remote working. By reviewing which applications and features people are using through workplace analytics, businesses can learn how to prioritise, tailor and measure the impact of training to positively impact on adoption, usage, and productivity – all of which contribute to the employee experience.

Businesses must set the foundation for the future employee experience now

Having adapted to the pandemic in recent months, over half (55.3%) of the global C-suite strongly agree that now is the time to create the workplace of the future.

Pranay Anand, Senior Director of Intelligent Workplace, Asia Pacific at NTT Ltd. agrees with the need for businesses to act now, stating: “How businesses combat the challenges posed by COVID-19 and re-shape their workplace strategy, will lay the foundation for an entire generation’s future of working. Businesses must react with agility and purpose. We’re seeing companies driving change in real-time compared to months if not years previously. Those who were already ahead of the game in employee experience – making brave, data-driven, human-led decisions are now in a much stronger position in creating a supportive culture. Empowering people and helping them find greater fulfillment in their work is delivering value to these organizations.”

Brian Pereira

Brian Pereira is an Indian journalist and editor based in Mumbai. He is the Founding Editor of Digital Creed, which he founded in 2015. A technology buff, former computer instructor, and software developer, Brian has 28 years of journalism experience (since 1994). He is sound and confident about his knowledge of business technology concepts. And he is a believer in continual education/learning. Brian is the former Editor of CHIP and InformationWeek magazines (India). He has written hundreds of technology articles for India's leading newspaper groups such as The Times of India and Indian Express Newspapers (among others). And he has conducted more than 300 industry interviews during his journalism career. Brian also writes on Aviation, cybersecurity, startups, and topics directed at small and medium businesses. He achieved certifications from the EC-Council (Certified Secure Computer User) and from IBM (Basics of Cloud Computing). Apart from those, he has successfully completed many courses on Content Marketing and Business Writing. Follow Brian on Twitter (@creed_digital) and LinkedIn.

Related Articles

Back to top button