Science and Technology

Choosing the right technology platform for the future of work

Annil Chandel | Updated on March 02, 2021

As businesses continue to build a robust ‘work-from-anywhere’ model, the role of technology becomes important in facilitating the 4 P’s – Productivity, Play, Performance and Planet

In the initial lockdowns, businesses had adopted basic technology to keep teams connected. It was an effective measure in the short run, but studies showed that it increased feelings of isolation and stress in the workforce, despite increasing productivity. Employees missed casual water-cooler moments with colleagues, which led to stifled creativity and reduced team collaboration. Harvard Business Review reported that in the US employees were reporting alarming levels of stress and fatigue, and the risk for depression had risen by 102 per cent because of Covid-19. According to an internal survey conducted by Deloitte, 70 per cent of employees felt left out of the workplace. Despite regularly interacting with co-workers via communication and collaboration tools, the employees stated that they missed office interactions.

As the pandemic extended, the ‘work from anywhere’ concept emerged as the new normal. Offering both temporal and geographic flexibility to employees and employers alike, ‘work from anywhere’ demonstrated many benefits and also challenges. Businesses now need to have a roadmap that helps prepare them for the long run.

What businesses now need is seamless technology integration that consciously focuses on employee wellbeing and enables teams to ‘work from anywhere but together’. Technology-enabled platforms must virtually replicate the immersive experience of the physical office environment and facilitate video calls when required. The right technology platform will help employees feel like a part of the larger organisational structure and not as individuals contributing to a specific task. That is why, in current times, to compete, businesses are strategically adopting technological innovations to attract the right skill set and increase efficiency.

As businesses continue to build a robust ‘work-from-anywhere’ model, the role of technology becomes important in facilitating the 4 P’s – Productivity, Play, Performance and Planet.

Productivity: The ‘work-from-anywhere’ model ensures that the workforce does not have to face long commutes. The time saved raises productivity, which can be further enhanced by adopting the right technology platform for better time management. A platform that replicates the office environment and keeps teams connected like they were working from the same room is what is required. Surveys across companies indicate that technology is aiding teams to develop better communication plans to help the workforce stay engaged and sustain productivity with a work-life balance. According to an internal survey conducted by Chegg, 86 per cent of workers have found their productivity to be just as good or even better while working from anywhere.

Play: Digital advancements can recreate the experience of a physical office online. As a result, technology can revive the ‘play’ element that a physical office space offered. Technology has helped metamorphose the water-cooler moments and coffee breaks into a fun and new-age digital experience. The virtual replica of a physical office provides a pleasant and playful twist, viz. social interactions outside of the family. It elevates an employee’s wellbeing by providing social interactions and a sense of structure.

Performance: The right technology platform should be an easy-to-deploy platform, which can be used by employees of all skill sets. The right platform will prove to be a secure channel of communication that maintains privacy. The platform should be able to manage teams seamlessly across geographies. Hence, businesses can hire talent irrespective of their physical location.

Planet: The majority of the workforce spends over an hour commuting between work and home, which also impacts the planet. By reducing work commutes, ‘work-from-anywhere’ platforms help start-ups and businesses contribute to the environment by reducing the carbon footprint. Global Workforce Analytics has estimated that if work commutes are restricted by 50 per cent, we can reduce emissions by up to 54 million tonnes in a year! In addition, we can save fossil fuels and enjoy better air quality. It has also been observed that workers also tend to use more paper (for printing), plastic and other such materials in the office. Consumption of these items also reduces when we are not working from a physical office space. The work-from-anywhere approach helps in reducing environmental degradation and minimising the ecological impact while managing a physical office space. The office-on-cloud platforms also help businesses to not only increase employee efficiency but also contribute to sustainability goals.

We continue to live with uncertainty. So, technology is our only reliable partner as we transform our businesses for the long run. Businesses must continue to accelerate digitally and find the right technology partner to integrate the ‘work-from-anywhere’ model. Technology-based platforms that achieve these four Ps can help businesses shape an effective work environment and attract the right talent.

The author is the CEO of Wurkr

Published on March 02, 2021

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