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COVID-19 Expediting the Rapid Transformation of the Future of the Digital Workforce

By May 19, 2020 No Comments

Jim Steinlage, President & CEO of Choice Solutions,

It’s possible when we looked back at the COVID-19 pandemic it will be viewed as the time when how people work fundamentally changed. There’s no denying the immediate impact has been massive. The coronavirus pandemic and subsequent stay-at-home orders have made employees working from home the new normal for more than 80% of organizations.

Executive leaders have been forced by these unprecedented circumstances to make rapid, informed decisions that not only protect and support their workforce but ensure critical business operations continue. Strategies that had been deferred or kick around have moved to priority as organizations realize they must take steps now to create digital workplaces. They need solutions that allow them to quickly scale and adapt to changing employee and customer needs yet keep security top of mind.

The Changing Digital Workforce

As employers and employees alike discover just how productive working from home can be, we will see an increase in the number of remote workers, particularly in industries like manufacturing, banking, and personal services who in the past were against allowing working from home.

Many organizations were already moving towards digital transformation as they saw the trend coming before the current crises.  A topic which I have blogged for some time about is the need for HR and IT to foster collaboration and engagement across different departments and  generations in the workforce.  Adopting innovative technologies to deliver true business value while providing new ways to provide great employee experiences will be the expectation. One such solution is building digital workspaces that streamline access to information and applications while boosting collaboration.

Attraction, Satisfaction, and Retention

As Doug Conant (a former CEO) and founder of ConantLeadership says, “To win in the marketplace, you must first win in the workplace.” Leadership with direction will be essential in  the competitive and changing world of tomorrow, and some strategies vital to our future success are to:

  • Set standards, but allow flexibility for workers
  • Expect excellence from everyone
  • Every day is an improvement day
  • Win your team over with positive experiences so they help you win in the marketplace.
  • Make sure all team members understand your organizations WIG’s (Wildly Important Goals) and how they can contribute

Businesses that follow a humble, bold, honest and servant-based path that’s focused on “How can I serve?” can have a positive influence on the people who work for them. To do this, IT and HR departments must work together to create modern digital workspaces that generate a remarkable employee experience that’s focused on empowerment, automation and innovation. This will be necessary to give the current workforce a compelling reason to buy into the organization’s mission but also to maintain competitive in recruiting and retaining future talent.

Key Components to Digital Transformation

Before COVID-19, the future of work was already heading rapidly towards a model that invested in remote employees and a rapidly growing contractor workforce. The current pandemic has expedited that transformation and businesses are rapidly realizing they will need to adapt to this new normal very quickly. Some organizations will still be recovering from the financial impact of lost revenue while also investing to compete. This new normal is here to stay whether organizations are ready or not. This incredibly disruptive shift however can be a force for positive change in many ways:

  • Greater investment in tech and platforms that maximize remote workforce efficiency
  • Prioritization of a work/life balance
  • Faster movement toward agile work
  • Environmental sustainability that also lowers employees’ mental and physical stress
  • Competitive edge in recruiting and retention
  • Flexibility and Scalability in mergers and acquisitions
  • Easier adaptability for Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery

Organizations looking to retain or create momentum must invest in systems and tools that ensure their workers have access to the resources and applications that deliver an amazing digital workspace employee experience. Using innovative software and hardware with cloud-based principles with scalability, flexibility and automation is a great first step.

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