Business has reopened and as your organization tries to scale to meet sudden demand, your workforce looks nothing like it did before lockdown. Before the pandemic, your organization was structured for in-person work with some allowances for supporting a small amount of remote work. Post-lockdowns, while your core workforce is strong, you are struggling to scale headcount to meet unpredictable demand. You need to strategize toward altering the work environment to be more flexible and meet new workforce demands.

IDC recently found that 82% of employees demand more flexibility and autonomy in their work, including how and where it gets done. We expect that by 2023, 70% of G2000 companies will prioritize remote and hybrid work models to meet these employee conditions and engage diverse talent pools. Aspects of remote work expand the geography of talent pools that organizations can tap. However, talent expansion and work style diversity pressure business leaders to rethink their digital resource strategy to replicate the benefits of the in-person environment wherever employees access work.

IDC has found that HR often takes the lead on measuring the changing field of employee work style needs and responding with recommendations and drivers for infrastructural and systemic change. According to our research, 58% of HR teams lean into employee sentiment data to identify trending disruption between employee expectations and workplace realities, and 45% of global IT decision-makers are moving to embed individualized resource responses driven by HR’s understanding of profiled work demands. 

As change takes hold, hybrid work is becoming a euphemism for flexible work models. It is growing more important for IT and procurement to understand what employees require to keep workstations functional and accessible. Underlying resource readiness is a need for a strong and integrated connectivity plan that incorporates immediate response, resolution, troubleshooting and access to information to resolve downtime issues.

Access support is prioritized toward core office infrastructure for an in-person work model. When remote employees experience equipment challenges, IT and procurement can send out a loaner device until the primary one can be repaired or replaced. Employees can also be asked to bring devices into the office for evaluation and recovery. When more than 40% of the workforce is at least partially remote, scaling IT support is cost, resource and personnel prohibitive, requiring a shadow copy of a higher percentage of the remote environment across devices. When resources for support fail to keep up with the demands of the remote work environment, employees get sidelined in terms of their work, collaboration, voice, and overall contributions and performance. 

Across HR, IT, and operations stakeholders, there is a growing consensus that the digital ecosystem strategy needs to change. IDC’s data shows that 91% of organizational leaders prioritize digital uptime as a requirement for successful hybrid work environments. LOB managers and HR start out by expanding digital communications channels that internalize feedback data. Digital feedback supports a focus on pathways to workforce equity that include diverse digital access channels supported by multiple network models across mobile and terminal devices inside and outside the physical work environment. As communications decentralize, managers can focus on surfacing resource, work model and collaboration needs. IT and procurement can turn to network analytics to pattern system use, traffic and downtime. When resource need and use insights come together, organizational leaders can plan and structure outreach, collaboration, tasks and more around trending work habits and the evolving sate of digital accessibility. 

As digital decentralization takes place, more than 80% of IT organizations are expanding access to a comprehensive and interactive digital support environment to reduce the burden on the IT help desk, according to IDC. Network analytics and connectivity help surface trends in current or emerging downtime, enabling IT to preempt problems or ready replacement equipment when events cannot be remotely prevented. Organizational leaders are also 22% more likely now than a year ago to use digital assistance across resource channels. Digital assistance evaluates employee requests and directs them in real time to self-guided troubleshooting and, in some cases, insights to drive IT-recommended habits for digital risk management.

The inclusion of remote work as a mainstream work model component decentralizes the focus for digital access support. For employees, success hinges on making the remote digital environment undiscernible from the in-person digital workspace. Executing on the infrastructure change requires HR to gather feedback about the digital employee experience through open and accessible communications channels. The feedback is used by IT and procurement to design remote resource options that meet employees where and how they work. IT also needs to engage network analytics to minimize work access disruption, sustain open communications and collaboration channels and augment digital ecosystem support through internal tools such as digital assistance. 

To build a singular work experience wherever work happens, organizations should:

  • Focus first on digital communications channels backed by near universal accessibility across mobile and terminal devices
  • Channel feedback about the in-person and remote work experiences to design alignment between them at a digital resource level
  • Use feedback and encourage collaboration between digital resource stakeholders (usually HR and IT) to design a digital resource strategy that meets employees where they work
  • Engineer a digital support and network infrastructure that focuses on uptime for individual terminals and workspaces rather than prioritizing the central office
  • Expand the IT support presence through innovative tools like digital assistance and self-guided troubleshooting

DXC Technology’s Modern Workplace solution empowers employees to connect, collaborate and work seamlessly and securely on any device, anywhere — accommodating today’s hybrid work environments. Workplace services are centralized to help employees access the services they need, when they need them, allowing them to stay focused on their work — not IT.

Modern Workplace enables you to harness both operational and experience data to monitor the workplace and the employee experience. Advanced analytics provide a 360-degree view of the workplace to derive insights and drive continuous improvement. DXC UPtime™, our Experience Platform, provides employees with a simple way to interact with technology and gives IT a consolidated view of systems for easier asset management and more effective service delivery.

DXC and Dell Technologies enjoy a deep and long-standing technical partnership, as evidenced by their collaboration across the "Build, Sell and Deliver" of innovative solutions. While Dell is a leading enabler of IT infrastructure, DXC assists with a critical systems integrator perspective, helping Dell meet design-to-run requirements for our joint clients to ensure a complete service delivery for our joint customers.

To hear more about the DXC Modern Workplace, listen to theCUBE interview with Mike McDaniel, president, and Jeff Monaco, vice president, of DXC Modern Workplace.

About the author

Zachary Chertok is the research manager for IDC in employee experience (EX). Mr. Chertok’s core research coverage includes all aspects of employee experience management including but not limited to wellness and wellbeing, adaptive and responsive learning and development, recognition, employee engagement, corporate culture, diversity, equity, and inclusion, employee journey mapping, analytical personalization, and supporting digital and consultative services.

This blog was sponsored by DXC Technology.

Learn more about DXC Modern Workplace.