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Employee needs to guide future workplace design: Report

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on October 16, 2020 Published on October 16, 2020

96 per cent of businesses believe that employee needs will be at the heart of future workplace design, says a report.   -  worldofstock

A majority of employers are likely to prioritise employee needs while designing their future workplace in a post-pandemic shift, according to NTT’s 2020 Intelligent Workplace Report ‘Shaping Employee Experiences for a World Transformed.’

According to the report, 96 per cent of businesses believe that employee needs will be at the heart of future workplace design. Eighty-nine per cent of them also agree that employees would prefer to have the choice and flexibility to work in an office when it is safe to do so.

Covid-19 challenges

The pandemic has proven to be a major challenge in adaptability for employees, according to 90 per cent of businesses as per the report.

“Connectivity and workspace issues such as bandwidth, a feeling of isolation and a lack of dedicated workspace have all contributed to their concerns. Organisations have to look at every aspect of workplace strategy to optimise employee experience; these include culture, technology and location,” the report said.

“As the world continues to adapt to the challenges of Covid-19, organisations must develop a more robust strategy to permanently provide for their distributed workforce,” it said.

In the current scenario, businesses have increased their reliance on technology and have adopted new operating models to adapt to these changes. Thirty-nine per cent of businesses have changed their IT policy “to help employees work within a new operating model,” the report said. While 59 per cent of organisations have deployed new tools to improve communication and productivity.

However, “employees have been left to use their personal devices and applications, which has rapidly increased the risk of security vulnerabilities.”

According to the report, 64 per cent of businesses have increased their IT security capabilities.

“How businesses combat the challenges posed by Covid-19 and re-shape their workplace strategy will lay the foundation for an entire generation’s future of working,” said Pranay Anand, Senior Director of Intelligent Workplace, Asia Pacific at NTT Ltd.

“Businesses must react with agility and purpose. We’re seeing companies driving change in real-time compared to months, if not years previously. Those who were already ahead of the game in employee experience – making brave, data-driven, human-led decisions, are now in a much stronger position in creating a supportive culture,” Anand added.

Collaborative, flexible workspace is the future

While 49 per cent of businesses are satisfied with their current capability, over 55 per cent of C-suite executives believe that now is the time to create the workplace of the future.

While designing this future workspace, 92 per cent of organisations recognise the value of employee experience as a crucial strategic differentiator.

As per the report, the future workspace is likely to be more flexible and tech-driven.

“59 per cent of businesses are already reviewing the general office design and how best to align with employees’ new needs,” the report said.

Over 34 per cent of global C-suite execs said that they are looking to reduce office space.

“That said, most agree that the physical space will have a more defined, flexible use to provide for a more collaborative enabling environment,” the report said.

Organisations will facilitate more connectivity, creativity and collaboration as part of their future workspace strategy. Sixty-four per cent of respondents said they will install video conferencing or video collaboration spaces to bring remote and office employees together, while 50 per cent of businesses said they will implement creative/thinking spaces.

27 per cent of organisations plan on reducing individual office desk space, with 39 per cent increasing meeting spaces.

“The connected employee – their wellness and employee experience – must be at the heart of the future workplace strategy,” John Lombard, CEO – Asia Pacific at NTT Ltd,.said.

“Helping people stay connected and keeping their data secure is key to looking after the workforce and maintaining productivity and effectiveness. Yet this must be underpinned by a long-term strategy for digital transformation, with the roll-out of new technologies, policies and, of course, training so employees feel comfortable with new platforms,” Lombard further said.

The report is based on a survey of 1,350 participants across 19 markets.

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Published on October 16, 2020
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