Companies and businesses worldwide are trying to solve a few big problems: workers' flagging engagement and tenuous loyalty are negatively impacting productivity, workplace culture, employee morale and a host of other critical areas. As seen in the Workplace Index, employees can clearly identify the kinds of improvements that would make it easier to get more done, from workplace flexibility to better work environment. So how can technology help solve these problems?
Enable workplace flexibility: With 46% of workers saying flexibility is the top priority when they're considering new jobs, this is the biggest piece of the job satisfaction puzzle, and technology has a big role to play in this. The development and refinement of technology has allowed workers to get work done almost anywhere in the world, with smartphones, tablets, laptops, smartwatches and more rising to fill the gaps once created by geographical distance.
Telecommuting is on the rise, and more companies are implementing formal processes and policies to facilitate telework. But when it's time for your office's workers to dial into a web conference from two time zones away or to access information while out in the field with a customer, the technology is what has to deliver. The right devices, the right software, and the right management are all integral to a flexible workplace that doesn't miss a beat no matter where they are.
Take control of email gone wild: Now that you've armed your company with tech that allows them to work from anywhere, you've got another problem—now they can be reached anytime, anywhere. Their email is constantly with them, and half of workers say they receive too much email, lowering productivity. Standardized instant messenger applications used throughout the company can give workers another avenue for "just-in-time" needs and brief questions, saving the inbox from urgent one-line messages that might get missed otherwise.
Tech training can also be a boon to employees drowning in email; educating employees on how to use their specific email client's tools (like filters and folders) can help them streamline and organize their inbox.
Get with the times: 54% of employers and 70% of staff cited poorly performing technology as one of their top productivity drains. In fact, among staff, inadequate tech was the biggest complaint. If employees are struggling with outdated, slow or faulty technology, this not only takes time away from their work, it also creates frustration and contributes to burnout. While IT departments are all too often only thought of when a "fire drill" arises, staff and IT leaders need to work together to plan for the future. Suppliers and other industry experts can assist IT leaders with this, providing direction and recommendations with an eye to what the future holds for office technology.
While there are many areas where employers can help their employees get engaged, keeping these three areas top of mind can help technology leaders foster a more productive, flexible workplace.