A Silver Lining in the Pandemic Cloud — The Employee Experience has Changed Forever

It’s not about getting the most out of people anymore, but giving them the space to perform at their best and adapt to the new world of work

Where and how work gets done has forever changed. But one thing remains consistent: the need to provide a superior and consistent work experience that empowers employees to perform at their best across any work channel or location.

Work is no longer a place. It’s happening in kitchens and basements, in parks and on sidewalks and scaled back, socially distanced offices. Many companies initially viewed remote work as a short-term fix to the COVID-19 problem, but are now making it part of their long-term strategies. Why? Because it works — for both employers and employees.

Acccording to a study conducted by Citrix and OnePoll, 70% of of 10,000 global employees across six countries feel they are as or more productive working remotely than in the office — and 83% feel they have a better work-life balance when working outside the office.

Regardless of where they are working, employees need a workspace that provides a consistent experience that minimizes distractions and interruptions from a myriad of apps and collaboration channels so they can think, create and explore, and work the way they want.

For a long time, this meant equipping them with technology designed to increase output. But times have changed.

Employees today need space to focus on what they can become, not just what they can do. Space that is free from distractions in which they can think, create and work the way they want. Space in which they can unlock their potential and deliver value. And research shows they do better work when their employers provide it. In a recent Quartz study, 75% of employees said that workspace technology, combined with flexible work models, empower them to be more creative and innovative.

Tame the Complexity

While consumer experiences keep getting faster and simpler, employee experiences remain as cluttered and complex as ever. During a typical day, employees:

· Use more than a dozen apps to get work done — often four or more just to complete a single business process like submitting expenses, booking travel, submitting purchase orders or approving time off.

· Spend at least 20 percent of their time searching for information they need to do their jobs

· Are interrupted by a text, chat, or application alert about every two minutes.

New team-based collaboration tools are only adding to the noise, forcing employees to adopt yet another work channel, increasing alerts and disruptions, and significantly hindering their ability to get meaningful work done. Add to this the pandemic-related challenges of spouses working from home, kids learning online, pets lurking about and makeshift office set ups, and it’s clear that employee experience — and the technology used to drive it — need a fresh look.

Quiet the Noise

To thrive amid constant disruption, organizations must cultivate a workforce empowered to adapt to changing conditions and innovate quickly. Work needs to be designed around an employee experience that removes friction stemming from clunky technology and empowers people to work the way they want — wherever work needs to get done. Savvy companies are using this time to embrace new, flexible work models and simplify the work experience so employees can access the resources they need to perform at their best whether working in the office, on the road, or at home.

Applications shouldn’t frustrate employees. They should liberate them from mundane tasks so they can focus on meaningful work that inspires them. When employees feel empowered by the tools they use rather than encumbered by them, they can focus. And when they focus, they can innovate and deliver value.

Enterprise apps largely fail on this front, forcing employees to work the way they work, not the way they want. Yet they continue to dominate the technology landscape within most organizations. And it’s killing the experience of modern employees who just want a simple way to get work done.

Rethink what’s Possible

With the right technology, companies can remove the distractions that get in the way of individual progress and unlock an employee’s full potential to innovate and deliver value. Digital workspaces for instance, can organize, guide and automate everyday tasks to boost productivity and create a sense of personal accomplishment that fuels engagement and productivity. With digital workspaces, companies can:

· Empower the employee/end-user by securing all tools, apps, content, and devices they need and prefer to use in a simple experience that can be customized to fit personal preferences and evolving work styles.

· Deliver an engaging experience over any network, leveraging advanced application delivery capabilities that make it easy to deliver an optimal app experience across hybrid and multi-cloud environments.

· Bridge the gap between productivity and innovation using built-in intelligent features to prioritize everyday asks, enabling employees to focus on the meaningful work they want to do.

Focus on Personal Progress

According to a study conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit, a superior employee experience not only drives better productivity, engagement and retention, but also improves customer satisfaction and profitability. The happier employees are, the more engaged they will be. Complex technology designed to drive menial tasks and measure output don’t make people happy. Solutions that eliminate busy work and drive value do.

Companies that invest in removing clutter and noise from the workplace — wherever that happens to be — can deliver a simple, consistent experience that keeps their employees engaged and their business moving forward.

Tim Minahan is Executive Vice President of Business Strategy at Citrix, a leading provider of digital workspace solutions

Tim Minahan is the executive vice president, business strategy and chief marketing officer at Citrix, a leading provider of digital workspace solutions.

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