It’s no secret that 2021 has been another challenging year for many businesses. So let’s brush over that and focus on the positives, namely, the digital workplace trends that have improved employee experiences and digitised businesses across all industries.
Here’s our list of key trends that we’ve seen take hold over the past 12 months:
Digital workplace trend #1: Digital transformation has increased in priority
After another year that’s seen many working from home or adopting a hybrid work setup – which is the combination of office-based and remote work – businesses have fast-tracked their digital transformation strategy.
In fact, 97% of business leaders state that, as a result of the pandemic, they’ve sped up their organisation’s digital transformation processes in order to keep up with the sudden influx of remote work. No longer relegated to the bottom of the to-do list, digital transformation has been one of this year’s biggest workplace trends.
Digital workplace trend #2: Teams want intranet software that does it all
Tired of getting lost amongst too many different systems, 30% of people want more streamlined technology instead of fragmented apps that don’t interconnect.
Intranet solutions that include built-in integrations are the perfect antidote to this conundrum, providing teams with a centralised digital workspace for getting work done. Indeed, modern intranets house all kinds of apps, including social tools, team collaboration spaces, and internal communications features that strengthen company culture, as well as file sharing capabilities, knowledge management features, and content management software that increase productivity.
Give teams a comprehensive intranet platform, and you’ll be fulfilling one of the most important digital workplaces trends 2021 has seen.
Workers want all-inclusive and streamlined tech like intranet platforms
Digital workplace trend #3: The employee experience is about more than just perks
Calling all HR and recruitment teams: stop adding “unlimited fresh fruit” and “ping pong tournaments” to your company benefits package in lieu of useful benefits like pension, parental leave, and flexible working options.
Whilst a nice bonus, these perks are not at the top of most employees’ priority list, and should not be a substitute for tangible benefits that improve the employee experience on a day-to-day basis. Indeed, if faced with several job offers, which one would a candidate choose: the company with a well-stocked fruit basket, or the company that provides flexible and remote working arrangements? With 73% of workers wanting a hybrid working setup post-pandemic, the answer is pretty clear.
Therefore, it’s essential that your organisation’s benefits package reflects the needs of today’s workers. 2021 has seen a focus on improving workplace environments (whether in-office or remote) through modern digital workplace technology, collaboration tools, and virtual meeting software, as well as mental health support, childcare provisions, and home office expenses. Get behind this digital workplace trend, and your business will be well-equipped to improve employee experiences and stay relevant in the future of work.
Digital workplace trend #4: Cloud based tech continues to dominate
If you’ve been involved in your organisation’s digital transformation or digital workplace strategy, you’ll know that cloud based technology is a major part of the process. And its dominance is only going to grow.
A recent report by Deloitte found that, after the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, organisations are renewing their interest in moving their core technologies to the cloud. The reasons for doing so include being more cost-effective, improving efficiency, and enabling innovation such as artificial intelligence capabilities.
So if any of your core business processes or workplace services are still hosted on a clunky old server (or worse, offline) it might be time for a rethink and a swift move to the cloud. Not only will this save money in the long-term, it will also make your essential services more robust and less prone to system failure.
Businesses want to move their workplace services from on-premise servers to cloud hosting
Digital workplace trend #5: Businesses are starting to value remote and in-person working equally
It’s unlikely office life as we knew it will return. Enthusiasm for commuting to the office five days a week was never high to begin with, and now, after experiencing the benefits of remote working, just 7% of UK workers want to work from the office full time.
That said, many don’t want to say goodbye to the bricks and mortar HQ completely. Everyone is different, and whilst some enjoy working from home 100% of the time, others prefer to keep home and work separate by being based in the office.
If businesses want to keep their staff and attract new ones, they must understand that there is no one way of working that’s “better”. If the pandemic has taught us anything about working life, it’s that both remote and office working should be valued equally. This is an approach that organisations should continue throughout 2021 and beyond.