Workplace tech: Creating delight in the new world of work

By: |
January 21, 2021 2:10 AM

The best people leaders must focus on experiences that make work more human using technology. It involves redesigning every touchpoint that matters with the end-user in mind to make it intuitive, intelligent, and personalised.

Joydeep Datta Gupta, Partner, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP, said 2020 has propelled organisations in India, and the rest of the world, to think creatively given the disruptive environment.

Our workplaces have always been much more than physical spaces we occupy. As employees, we expect an experience from our place of work that enables us to do a better job, to build our skills and to have a community that nurtures us. This pandemic, while taking us away from the office we have been used to, has given us an opportunity to redesign the world of work for the better.

To differentiate oneself as an employer of choice, companies need to pursue employee experience with a rigour that matches consumer experiences. The best people leaders must focus on experiences that make work more human using technology. It involves redesigning every touchpoint that matters with the end-user in mind to make it intuitive, intelligent, and personalised.

Establishing a culture where your employees are proud and passionate about their workplace starts with designing great workplace experiences. Let us look at a scenario. Your company’s new recruitment system has carefully analysed available data and narrowed on a tech-savvy candidate named Betty and set up a virtual meeting. Using an AI-based questionnaire, the system determines the areas the interviewer should focus on to deliver a unique experience for Betty to consider your company.

The week before the interview, your virtual scheduler has connected with Betty and given her a run-through for today along with a virtual tour of the office, and interactions with avatars of her manager and co-workers. This intelligent system has connected with Betty’s car as she approached the office, directed to a parking space, and allowed her access through her smartphone.

Betty is then guided to a meeting room, where her future manager waits. As Betty leaves with an intent to join, she downloads the company’s virtual onboarding app on her phone. With answers to a few simple questions as well as permitted access to her social media accounts, the advisor has already paired her with the best-fit buddy, assigned her a comfortable work location, configured her IT tools, and optimally scheduled her day one. By connecting commercially available technology with internal systems, you can create a unique experience for any individual.

The first step in creating a great employee experience is in knowing the touchpoints that matter to your employees. A self-service digital platform for employees to conduct all transactions and obtain all company information on the go could be a real game-changer. From applying leaves, checking compensation and benefit entitlements, booking travel, submitting claims, creating project opportunities, or even identifying talent can be done at a mere click.

Next is to build and sustain a healthy and productive workplace by promoting health and well-being, ensuring safety, improving productivity and encouraging work-life balance. An AI-based performance system can come in handy to flag potential work or health-related problems faced by employees through the company’s network analysis algorithm.

And finally, we need to bring human intuition and creativity to work with systems and data to come out with solutions that are meaningful to employees. The importance of user based testing and rapid prototyping of solutions helps in getting solutions into use at a pace that is useful.

The global shift to remote work has created both opportunities and challenges for the future of our world of work. On the positive side, companies have seen the need to accelerate their investments in workplace technology as office workers have adapted better to using these solutions. We have a unique opportunity to help make our workplaces more human by using technology paired with human thought.

The writer is executive vice president, Head HR, Infosys

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