COVID-19 has created a massive shift in the employee experience. To promote safety and comply with government regulations, companies have implemented remote working policies for employees. While some companies are remote work veterans, others are implementing this for the first time and are facing some challenges.  

While some companies eagerly wait for their office return, other organizations have come to enjoy the savings and flexibility associated with remote working. Organizations such as Twitter, Shopify, and Facebook, have recently shared that they are going to keep remote working as a permanent setup. Others, like Google, are making it a long-term option. 

But what does 100% remote working mean for these companies? Well, it means that the employee experience will no longer be defined by carefully designed branded environments, such as fancy offices, meeting rooms, games rooms, or cafeterias. Instead, the employee experience will be primarily influenced by an organization’s digital real estate.  

For remote workers almost every day-to-day interaction will be digitally mediated in some way — whether that employee is interacting with a colleague, their employer, or an application provided by their employer.  

But this brings about an important question – will organizations realize that they need to focus on their digital real estate to fill the void left by the office 

Let’s take a look at three components of digital real estate that will help shape your employee experience 

  

Interactions with Your Team

It’s reasonable to be concerned about employee and client interactions when thinking about working remotely. For many of us, collaboration with customers and co-workers fills most of our workday and provides opportunities to discuss goals and objectives, obtain feedback, and build professional relationships.  

As remote working becomes the new normal, companies have had to rely completely on digital applications to keep people connected as they remain physically distanced. Instead of brainstorming in front of whiteboards, employees are now collaborating with others in applications such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, Outlook, and Zoom. Since these applications are the only means of connection, they remain constantly open on employees’ laptops.  

In order to facilitate a productive collaboration experience, it is critical that these tools are setup properly. Employees shouldn’t have to repeatedly switch between applications and browsers in order to get their projects done. Instead, organizations should create efficiency by ensuring that processes can be streamlined across the applications that are used the most. 

For example, many of us might notice that we are spending more and more time in our corporate messaging tool. But it can be inconvenient to constantly switch between this platform and other applications such as Workday, Salesforce or PeopleSoft to fill out expense approvals or manage time sheets. Eliminate wasted time and frustration by integrating these HR applications into your collaboration tools, instead of making employees jump between applications.  

  

Interactions with Your Job-Specific Tools

We all have applications that we rely on daily to get work accomplished. If you’re an engineer, you might spend most of your time in Jira or AWS. If you’re a marketer, then you might rely on HubSpot or WordPress to complete your work. 

Before the pandemic, we could easily turn to a colleague if we faced issues with these day-to-day tools. With experienced workers all around us, it was easy to overcome roadblocks and discover new tips to better optimize these systems. 

However, now that employees are separated, some workers might find that interactions with these day-to-day tools have become more challenging. Perhaps there was a change to the user interface or a new update – what was once easy to manage has now become more of a chore as we learn to operate it independently. 

Fortunately, your team can still have positive experiences with these applications in a remote environment. Start by making sure that there is an easy way for your team to share best practices. Consider starting a folder where your team can share tutorials and other helpful resources. Or consider establishing a dedicated channel in your instant messaging platform where colleagues can access support and share insights. 

If employees can easily share tips and gain advice with these common tools, then they will continue to have a good experience with the software that they rely on the most. 

  

Interactions with Your Company

Large organizations rely on large pieces of software to run their operations, control their finances, and manage their people. These applications play a large role in the employee experience largely because of the heavy reliance on the technology’s self-service functionality. 

Today’s workers are eager to eliminate inefficiencies in their workflows since they have less time and fewer resources to do their jobs. If they encounter applications that stunt their progress, then you can guarantee that their employee experience will be compromised.  

If you can make tasks and workflows within your HR and Financial applications more efficient, your workers will appreciate it. They’ll be able to focus their time and energy on more valuable work. 

Consider how your existing enterprise applications currently function: 

  • Do users need to log into multiple systems? 
  • Do they require training and support? 
  • Do they deliver a branded digital experience? 
  • Are they mobile-optimized? 
  • Are transactions efficient? 

If your existing enterprise applications present any of these obstacles for workers, consider investing in an employee experience platform like InFlight. This will allow your applications to be accessed in one streamlined and mobile-optimized platform which reduces training and support for employees. Plus, your finance department will be happy as you simultaneously cut IT and HR costs. 

Since employees no longer have a branded physical experience – one defined by your company’s sign, office building, and brand colors – you’ll want to ensure that your brand is ingrained into your enterprise applications in a meaningful way. These applications can allow your company to maintain the strong brand perception that your office experience formerly created. 

  

Final Thoughts

You’ve made it over the first hurdle of transitioning to remote work and your employees are all set up at home. Now, you need to ensure that your company invests the proper amount of time and energy into selecting and optimizing your digital applications. Your employees’ digital experience will now be their only experience. There will no longer be in-person stand-up meetings, a cozy office setup, and catered team lunches to support the employee experience and build relationships.  

Fortunately, there are a wide variety of tools on the market to promote a good employee experience. If you keep these considerations in mind when choosing and using your software, then you will be able to support a positive company culture and employee experience exclusively through digital real estate.  

You never know – you might be surprised to discover that your company thrives in a remote setting. Perhaps your organization will join the growing group of companies that sustain remote working policies over the long-term. 

 

Get in touch with our team to learn how InFlight can facilitate a digital transformation at your workplace.
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