How hybrid work is impacting tech: Top trends every CIO should know
May 25, 2023 / Weston Morris
Short on time? Explore the key takeaways:
- CIOs play a critical role in creating a thriving hybrid workplace. They must collaborate cross-functionally to help ensure workplace technologies drive employee productivity and satisfaction.
- Employees lose significant productivity due to IT issues. CIOs need to adopt a proactive, data-driven IT support model to improve employee experience.
- After salary and compensation, the provision of tools and support to help employees do their jobs effectively was ranked as the second most influential factor impacting employee retention. Employers need to meet the technology needs of their hybrid workforce to retain talent.
- Sufficient training resources and reliable technology are key to success. Both employers and employees agree that better training and consistent technology are the two most important factors for a successful hybrid work environment.
Organizations are striving to perfect their remote and hybrid work models in a changing economy, and IT leaders must adapt to an evolving reality. As finance and procurement departments examine every expenditure, it’s critical for CIOs to understand the potential impact on enterprise technology in the hybrid workplace.
To shed light on the latest trends in hybrid work, Unisys commissioned a research study in partnership with HFS Research. The study, called From Surviving to Thriving in Hybrid Work, surveyed more than 2,000 employers and employees in the U.S., U.K., Germany and Australia to identify the most significant drivers of workforce motivation and productivity, as well as C-Suite priorities for investment in workplace technologies.
By examining the perspectives of C-Suite executives and employees, this study provides valuable insights for IT leaders navigating the hybrid work landscape. Here’s a snapshot of what we found.
Employees spend too much time resolving technology failures
Given the various technologies and platforms organizations have deployed to enable a digital workplace, employees expect to run into tech issues at some point. Our research reveals that the larger problem lies not in the technology failures but in the amount of downtime employees face when trying to resolve them.
Nearly half (49%) of employees surveyed report losing between one and five hours of productivity per week dealing with IT issues and 23% report losing six hours or more. While these figures reflect employees’ estimates, CIOs often lack additional quantitative insight into how much time their workforce spends on back-and-forth communication with the service desk. The study also shows that 42% of employers do not measure workforce productivity loss due to IT support issues.
The rise of hybrid work and distributed workforces demand that organizations pivot to a proactive, rather than reactive, data-driven IT support model to improve the employee experience (EX). The good news is that employees are willing to meet their employers halfway. About 92% say they are open to sharing data around app and device performance and network usage if the data is used to develop more predictive and proactive IT support — and not to look over employees’ shoulders.
Which tech tops all?
If employers aren’t meeting the technology needs of their hybrid workforce, employees will find other companies that can deliver. It’s not just speculation. Our research shows that after salary and compensation (57%), the provision of tools and support to help employees do their jobs effectively (56%) comes in a close second as employees’ top influencing factor in whether to stay with or leave an employer. This data further speaks to the significant impact of EX on workforce productivity.
The study confirms, however, that employers and employees are largely on the same page regarding the importance of certain technologies. For example, 70% of employees rank online portals for data access as the most important tool for collaboration and efficiency, which 51% of employers deploy. About 68% of employees identify web-based collaboration tools as very important, and 76% of employers provide those tools. Both groups agree that better training and consistent technology are the top two most important factors for a successful hybrid work environment.
Ultimately, it's up to technology leaders to collaborate cross-functionally to deploy the most useful tools and ensure their reliability. Technology needs will vary across departments, roles and employee demographics, so CIOs must consider EX in any IT provisioning strategy.
Create a thriving hybrid workplace
In the hybrid work landscape, CIOs carry tremendous responsibility and influence in driving workforce productivity and satisfaction. By shifting to a data-driven, proactive IT support model, delivering the tech tools employees most need and providing sufficient training, IT leaders can help unlock the full potential of their hybrid workforce to drive business outcomes.
To explore the research findings in more detail, download a copy of From Surviving to Thriving in Hybrid Work: How employee experience defines the digital workplace. To learn more about how Unisys can help your organization create a hybrid work environment that drives business growth, visit online or contact us today.
This article originally appeared on CIODive.com.