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The future of work

November 2, 2021

Picture of someone working looking over a beautiful view

ServiceNow SVP of Employee Workflow Products Blake McConnell shares his insights on how organisations are adapting to the future of work.

What’s your opinion on the future of hybrid/remote work?

Blake McConnell (ServiceNow): According to ServiceNow’s 2021 Employee Experience Imperative study, which surveyed more than 3,000 employees at large enterprise companies in North America and Europe, 65% of respondents said they prefer a hybrid approach to work that includes digital and in-person interactions.

With this move toward hybrid work, employees need choice and flexibility more than ever, accelerating the need for digital transformation. Organisations must evolve their business models and scale innovation across the enterprise to safely define the future of the workplace. And they must embrace digital platforms that enable seamless employee and customer experiences, no matter how or where work happens.

What do employers often overlook when it comes to deploying digital workplace technologies?

BM (ServiceNow): In a hybrid workforce, organisations need to be thoughtful about how people and places come together. The physical workplace can be used to create a better employee experience. As a result, the experience employees have with the workplace needs to be seamless and human-centric. For example, with many companies prioritising desk hoteling over permanent seats in the new hybrid working environment, employees need to be able to easily make reservations for workspaces and rooms so that their time in the office can be focused on collaborating with colleagues and completing the work that matters most.

Organisations must evolve their business models and scale innovation across the enterprise to safely define the future of the workplace.

Blake McConnell, SVP of Employee Workplace Products, ServiceNow

What are some ways organisations are adapting to the future of work?

BM (ServiceNow): Hybrid work has presented enormous opportunities and challenges for companies to do more with technology to drive productivity and engagement. Organisations are prioritising solutions that simplify the way employees get work done, from anywhere. Collaboration apps, productivity tools and workflows are taking centre stage.

Organisations are thinking about how an employee engages across departments for services, updates and information. This experience has often had too much friction, with siloed, manual processes and systems frustrating workers. Employees need a single place to navigate moments that matter from anywhere, at any time—whether they are interacting with HR, IT, facilities, legal or other teams. As a result, organisations are embracing unified service portals that allow employees to find personalised information, access applications, complete tasks, get help and make requests across departments—from anywhere and at any time.

Organisations are also prioritising listening and learning in the flow of work. By capturing feedback at the time an employee is receiving help, completing a task or making a request, leaders can ask questions about specific moments in time or experiences. They can use this feedback to make updates to services and processes in real time, acting on employees’ needs more quickly and effectively. Forward-thinking organisations are also delivering learning opportunities directly to employees at the moment they need them, not months later.

What are some examples of how digital workplace technologies are improving productivity for employees?

BM (ServiceNow): To support the new hybrid workforce, the role of workplace services has never been more critical in creating connected employee experiences, driving demand for workplace technology.

The shift in workplace and employee needs has encouraged departments across the enterprise to find new ways to digitise processes, manage workplace safety and unify employee experiences. A key component to this is providing intelligent workspace reservations and understanding workspace utilisation metrics. Whether an employee is in the office or on the go, they need solutions that allow them to reserve workspaces, add service requests and access any workplace-related services. And these tools need to be consumer grade.

Another key workplace technology is mapping technology that helps employees get from point A to point B. In a hybrid work setting, many employees may be unfamiliar with new office layouts. Mapping technology can help employees locate permanent or reserved workspaces and team members, find and reserve conference rooms, and navigate their work campus. These solutions also benefit facilities teams, who can easily keep floor plans updated as utilisation evolves.

The pandemic accelerated digital transformation for many companies looking to create great experiences for their employees and customers. Now companies must leverage digital transformation investments as they plan for a return to workplace that drives employee productivity and supports the hybrid workplace.

The views and opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of TEKsystems, Inc. or its related entities.

This Q&A was originally published in TEKsystems ® Version Next Now: Reshaping the World of Work.

Disclaimer: ServiceNow are a technology services partner of Allegis Group, providing services throughout the APAC region.