The COVID-19 lockdown has led many employees to reassess what’s important to them, and the satisfaction that they get from doing their jobs. Aside from the obvious financial incentives, many people want to finish work at the end of the day and feel that they’ve done a good job, and that their effort and ability is valued by those working around them.
But how they will be empowered is likely to be very different, as the world moves towards a ‘new normal’ that will lead to some much-changed working arrangements for many.
Technology will play a vital role in fostering this empowerment, as many processes and activities will see a varied approach to incorporate both face-to-face and more digital functionality.
So how will technology drive this empowerment?
In these three key ways:
1. The freedom of remote work
Although widespread remote work has been a big part of the business world ever since lockdowns started to be put in place earlier this year, the potential of it from an employee’s perspective has only gradually been realized.
As it was introduced with such little notice, countless people were forced to work using a makeshift set-up, with many a spare room and kitchen table commandeered around the world. These solutions won’t have left a strong first impression on many people, who would have felt them to be somewhat of a compromise. But now lockdowns are gradually being relaxed, employees may find their new-found freedom opens up all sorts of possibilities.
As long as employees have the right workplace technology in place to allow them to do their jobs (such as devices, software, scheduling and collaboration tools), many can work wherever and whenever they want. Of course, they will still have to fit in with the needs of their employer, but a business that can give their workforce more and more flexibility should reap the rewards of happier, more motivated and more productive employees.
2. The reassurance of contact tracing
Although physical offices will become a more collaborative place for employee post-pandemic, they will still remain a necessity to aid in collaboration efforts. Many employees will still start to go back to the office, even if only for a day or two a week, to conduct certain physical tasks or to collaborate with other members on their team.
But COVID-19 hasn’t gone away, and is unlikely to do so for the foreseeable future, and employees are rightly going to be wary about going back into an office environment with lots of colleagues, even if capacities are reduced. A more wary employee is not a focused, empowered worker, and so steps must be taken to put their health and well-being first; putting your teams safety front and center.
Additional reading: HR tips – 5 differences in a post COVID-19 office
This is where technology that manages the where and when of every employee comes into play in enabling effective contact tracing. If an employee becomes infected or starts showing symptoms, management can easily work out where they have been within the office and who they have worked with, and immediately take mitigating action. Knowing that such fast-acting and robust measures in place will help employees feel at home when they’re back in the office again.
3. The transparency of desk management software
With more people working in lots of different places at lots of different times, it could easily become very difficult for everyone to keep track of who is doing what and where, and importantly who is headed into the office on a particular day. If employees don’t have clear and easy access to this information, it will make it harder for them to collaborate, and significantly impair their abilities to get their jobs done in a quality, timely manner.
The only practical way of achieving this is through desk management software, which every member of the workforce can use at any time, in any place and for every type of device. That way, they always have a complete view of the whereabouts and schedule of all of their colleagues, making it quicker and easier to find times to collaborate, book the appropriate desks and space they need for their time in the office, as well as to coordinate face-to-face meetings for times when all parties are in the office.
Removing the complexity of collaboration between a distributed workforce is essential for empowering them to conduct effective remote work.