How Organizations are Adapting to Maximize Employee Empowerment and Engagement

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The COVID-19 pandemic and shift to remote work have pushed organizations to quickly implement and adapt to new tools, technologies and settings. What was presumed to be a short-term change evolved into a hybrid work situation that became permanent for many. Organizations have had to navigate this new territory and find creative solutions for new challenges their employees face in order to maintain business continuity and remain relevant in today’s ever-changing market.

To get a better sense of how the landscape has evolved, CDW commissioned a survey in partnership with Angus Reid to analyze the sentiment of IT Security and Risk Compliance professionals. The survey focused on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and revealed how organizations are adapting to maximize employee empowerment and engagement. Interestingly, some of the key challenges included a lack of access to technology and services, dwindling productivity, deteriorating relationships, insufficient collaboration and an overall lack of engagement.

Providing employees with the right tools, technologies and mobility solutions has never been more important for organizations. Having the right collaboration tools in place can support employees by ensuring they maintain productivity and continue to stay engaged – regardless of where they are working from.  Keeping employees happy and engaged is particularly crucial to the modern workplace now that many people can’t see each other face-to-face as often as they may have been used to pre-pandemic.

Some of the major trends we are observing as Canadian organizations continue navigating working from home include:

Increased Importance Placed on Tools and Technology That Enhance Employee Productivity and Engagement

Implementing the right collaboration tools and technology continues to be a critical aspect of employee empowerment. When employees feel empowered in the workplace, productivity and engagement increase which ultimately helps propel organizational success.

Some of the most popular tools organizations have been implementing include video conferencing platforms (such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Webex), shared drives and data centres (such as Google Drive and SharePoint), cloud productivity software and software as a service (SaaS) tools (such as Microsoft Office 365 and Salesforce).

Of all the tools mentioned here, video conferencing platforms have been cited as the most important to organizations’ productivity and engagement (89 percent of respondents), followed closely by shared drives and data centres (87 percent of respondents). We also observed that Microsoft Teams was one of the tools that most Canadians began using during the pandemic and continues to be important to their organization throughout the pandemic, indicating that the increased collaboration and video conferencing tools trend will likely remain post-pandemic.

Flexible Work Arrangements are Here to Stay

Some of the most common flexible work arrangements organizations have been implementing over the last 18 months include flexible start and end times (staggered hours), work-from-anywhere policies, compressed workweeks (4-day workweeks) and reduced hours.

Individuals overwhelmingly desire to have flexibility in their work schedule and work arrangements, and many (59 percent) are finding that their engagement and productivity at work has been positively affected by this.

This indicates that flexible work arrangements are not going anywhere, even once the pandemic is behind us. Organizations are already beginning to implement plans and strategies that support this permanent change and it’s key for these organizations to ensure they have the right tools and technology in place to have lasting success and positive results as we look to the future.

Invest in Your Employees’ Home Offices to Ensure Comfort and Productivity

Many organizations have helped their employees invest in their home offices to make up for some of the deficiencies that the home office inherently has. Investing in tools that provide employees with comfort and flexibility at home doesn’t require as much capital or real estate to build out or maintain as regular office spaces. Some of the home office tools we’ve seen organizations investing in include a company-supplied laptop, monitor, webcam, printer, software and subscriptions. We have also seen many organizations (92 percent) supply ergonomic tools such as desks, chairs and risers to ensure their employees are comfortable at home and can work effectively and productively.

It’s important to remember that in order for an organization to have an empowered workforce, they must provide their employees with the proper tools, technology and services that will boost productivity, promote collaboration and foster engagement in the workplace – wherever employees choose to be.

To learn more about the results of our survey, you can read the full market trends report here.

To learn more about how to empower your workforce and improve workplace productivity, flexibility and engagement through collaboration and mobility solutions, connect with our team of seasoned experts today at: CDW.ca/digital-workspace.