A refocus on the hybrid working technology experience is now critical to employee satisfaction and retention

Flexibility and lifestyle are critical concerns for the modern employee. While the “Great Resignation” – a trend that has caused unprecedented rates of employees quitting and churn over the past few years – looks like it is finally starting to ease, the changes it drove in how business is done will persist. Companies were incentivised to invest in employee welfare and development, and those that do that best are now seeing massive improvements in retention. Going forward, IT and the CIO will play a critical role in facilitating that.

The Human-Centered Insights To Fuel IT’s Vision 2022 report, conducted by Reach3 for Lenovo, highlights the importance of IT in delivering employee satisfaction. According to the report:

85 per cent of employees believe technology delivers greater flexibility and control over work.84 per cent say that flexibility has made them more satisfied with their jobs.75 per cent say they are more productive when working from home.

CIOs, meanwhile, also want to deploy technology that will do more than boost productivity and operational efficiency. A full 83 per cent of IT leaders want to deliver digital transformation that is focused on contributing to the greater good.

Delivering hybrid work environments that work

As the Reach3 and Lenovo report notes, driving a hybrid working environment across the organisation is key to meeting employee expectations around flexibility and work/life balance. Employees want to access the office one time per week, and for CIOs, the challenge then is to continue to find ways to enhance the remote working experience so that it can continue to deliver seamless and stress-free working conditions.

Currently, while most organisations allow some form of hybrid work, 29 per cent of employees say that difficulty reaching co-workers is more of a work-from-home issue. Meanwhile, only 47 per cent of IT leaders say that collaboration tools have improved overall productivity and efficiency.

There is a gap between the expectation and experience with hybrid work that technology can address.

As cited in a report on CIO from earlier this year, this means that CIOs need to proactively invest in transformative technologies:

“In its Future of Work predictions for 2023, IDC called hybrid work “a mainstay for our global future work landscape,” adding that “hybrid work will drive new technology solutions across functions and industries alike.”

Technologies cited by IDC include intelligent space and capacity planning tools, which the firm predicts 55 per cent of global enterprises will use to reinvent office locations by 2024. IDC also predicts 65 per cent of G2000 companies will consider online presence to be at parity to real life across their engaged workforce by 2025, with 30 per cent of those same organisations adopting immersive metaverse conferencing tech by 2027.”

With IT budgets being increased by around 50 per cent across the board towards these transformative goals, CIOs have some runway to make these investments. Some of the areas that they should be looking at include:

5G. As 5G rolls out to more locations across Australia, it will become a more viable tool for working. With speeds that are greater than what the typical home Internet connection can provide, as well as better latency and mobility, 5G is set to underpin a new wave of changing work styles and remote capabilities.Secure solutions. The kind of BYOD that tends to come with remote working environments does present security implications, and while VPNs and zero-trust security solutions can help, many organisations need to go further than that. Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) such as the Lenovo VDI Hosted Desktop seeks to address this challenge by maintaining secure control over corporate data while still allowing employees to access it remotely as they need to.Peripherals and accessories that promote wellness. CIOs will also find benefits in providing employees with headsets that have AI-powered noise cancelling features, as well as standing desks and computers that feature eye care modes. Additionally, webcam privacy shutters are essential – people want to be able to use their webcams for meetings, but also to guarantee their privacy outside of work hours, given that the technology is in their homes.

A good example of technology built to capitalise on these trends is the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon, powered by Intel vPro, An Intel Evo Design. With leading connectivity, security and built-in capabilities, it has been built for what IT needs and users want.

There are benefits to partnering with an end-to-end supplier for remote work

One of the challenges that many CIOs face is that in the initial rush to enable remote work, a few years ago, many organisations adopted technology piecemeal. This has consequently resulted in a large portfolio of vendors to manage. This creates inefficiencies and can frustrate employees when connections don’t work, and technology incompatibilities hinder what they need to do.

Consolidating the number of vendors down to a single end-to-end provider, and delivering technology that has been designed to be seamlessly interoperable is going to significantly enhance the remote working experience for employees, while freeing the IT team up to shift focus from support to further transformation and innovation.

For more information on Lenovo’s end-to-end solutions and the benefits that delivers to hybrid work environments and employee satisfaction, click here.