A CIO’s Guide To Hybrid Work

As businesses are transitioning from surviving mode to thriving mode, one thing is certain: No matter which work model (virtual, hybrid or in-office) you choose, digital transformation is imperative to succeed and build a great employee experience that will drive customer satisfaction. Organizations that are fiercely customer-centric are doubling down on technologies powered by AI and ML to enhance employee experience to continue to deliver value in a highly competitive and ever-changing business environment.

CIOs play a key role in creating a supportive work environment that accentuates digital dexterity by empowering employees with the right technology. As CIOs evaluate their organizations’ IT landscape and fortify the tech ecosystem, they need to look for scalable, flexible, configurable, global, mobile and open solutions to be future-ready. Today, organizations are embracing a hybrid work model. But nobody knows how this will evolve. So, CIOs should think futuristically and invest in solutions that will help improve the employee experience.

Here are three simple steps to help CIOs like you on their journey.

1. Determine The Right Balance

Creating an effective digital transformation strategy for a hybrid workplace warrants a thoughtful exploration of your organization’s specific needs. The best way to go about this is by listening to the voice of your employees. The reason is simple: Nobody can better describe the pain points than the users themselves. All employees want to be productive when they are at work. But when they are bogged down by cumbersome tech solutions, switching between applications, navigating through complex UI and manually transferring data between systems, it can limit their ability to thrive. Therefore, it’s critical to bring employees to the core and base all the decisions on their feedback.

The next step is to carefully evaluate your existing tech stack to identify gaps in the IT infrastructure and close those gaps by providing tools that enable employee productivity and engagement, irrespective of their work location. Reevaluating the tech stack allows organizations to adjust and realign IT strategy with organizational goals and post-pandemic changes. AI- and ML-backed technologies will catalyze user adoption, as they will further reduce manual work while fueling innovation and flexibility.

Getting employee feedback and reevaluation of the tech stack applies to organizations that have already started a hybrid strategy, too. Since the hybrid workplace is still evolving, CIOs have to monitor their processes regularly and adopt best practices to suit their organizational needs.

2. Commit To Your Digital Strategy

Last year, when the global workforce had to transition to a remote work environment quickly, IT teams had to move mountains in terms of rolling out several new tech deployments while scrambling to navigate through uncertainties and multiple lockdowns. Today, the situation is much better, and tech leaders have more time to plan their hybrid strategy.

CIOs reimagining an organization’s digital strategy need to ensure that their employees can communicate effectively and have complete access to resources needed to perform their jobs. This means that employees do not receive just their laptops and an email account but have full access to a complete tech stack and set of solutions that empower them to interact with their peers and customers. AI- and ML-powered solutions help enhance the employee experience by saving time for people to connect with their teams and helping infuse mental well-being along with a company’s values and purpose.

The best way to understand whether your employees are well supported to carry on their job is by gathering feedback from them. Send out a simple form with both open and closed questions on the potential communication gaps, remote work support and access to available resources. Once you have all the information, analyze the gaps and improvement opportunities to pick the right tools. Make sure that the tools you choose integrate with your organization’s tech ecosystem while delivering value.

3. Invest In Technology

By investing in the right technology, CIOs can help automate mundane and administrative processes, freeing up employee time for tasks that require creative decision-making and empathetic judgments. This will make employees feel more confident at what they do and value their work. Comprehensive workforce management software, for instance, automates fundamental business processes such as employee time tracking, crew management, global pay calculations, synchronization of work data and more. This gives teams more time to interact with their peers and managers in a more human way to build positive relationships — even when working virtually.

Before investing heavily into any workforce management technology, CIOs often face a build-versus-buy dilemma. While building an entire tech stack may seem like a preferred option on the surface, it can quickly become overwhelming to meet the evolving needs of a global workforce. Instead, forward-thinking CIOs look for scalable, configurable, global and mobile-first solutions to drive better employee experience and productivity.

Choosing a modern and user-intuitive solution that seamlessly integrates with your existing tech environment helps get employee buy-in and encourages enterprise-wide user adoption. For instance, an intelligent time-tracking solution that leverages AI to accurately harvest employee time data to auto-fill timesheets and present them for final review can save several hours for an enterprise and boost user adoption.

Preparing For The Future

The best digital transformation strategy helps to build a resilient enterprise by reviewing their existing process to implement cutting-edge technologies while keeping employees at the center of all strategic decisions. CIOs future-proofing their organizations and building a strong hybrid work environment need to invest in solutions that bring long-term results.

Original Source: Forbes

Raj Lakshmi
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Raj Lakshmi
Lakshmi is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Replicon. Replicon provides award-winning products that make it easy to manage your workforce. With complete solution sets for client billing, project costing, and time and attendance management, Replicon enables the capture, administration, and optimization of your most underutilized and important asset: time.
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