With remote working more popular than ever before, so too is making sure that employees can remain happy, secure and productive. Here’s a quick overview of the things that matter most to the employee experience.
While remote working is nothing new, it has recently become a serious priority for many organizations. Keeping employees on-task and happy is paramount, yet it’s not always easy to figure out the best way to ensure that happens. In addition to salary and benefits, employees are often most satisfied by less tangible things, like feeling productive at work. Sadly, anyone who has ever worked remotely or out in the field will be familiar with the frustration of technology that not only performs poorly, but actively gets in the way of getting work done.
For many employees this includes devices that don’t connect to WiFi or cellular networks easily. There may be issues with dropped calls and unresponsive applications. It may be difficulty accessing corporate data and time-consuming authentication and security processes that seem counterintuitive. The one common thread is that many of these problems typically don’t exist inside the office, and yet for those working outside it they greatly impact an employee’s productivity by breaking their workflow.
22 minutes are wasted daily by every employee
In a survey conducted by Robert Half Technology, the average office worker lost 22 minutes every day to troubleshooting general IT-related issues. This adds up to more than two weeks every year for every full-time employee.
A 2019 CCS insights study highlighted growing frustration among employees, caused primarily by the gap between workplace technology practices and the way employees increasingly choose to work. In response, organizations are called upon to provide employees with a modern, robust work environment for remote workers.
“integrated, flexible and modern working experiences, intuitive applications that support autonomy and personalization, and secure unobtrusive underlying infrastructure and management that enables effective working in a way that meets the needs of employees.”Nick McQuire, VP enterprise research at CCS Insight
The benefits of nurturing a more positive work environment for employees cannot be underestimated. As Forrester’s “Why EX? Why Now?” report points out, improving EX results in better work performance, more engagement, lower employee turnover and reduced recruiting costs.
Are we there yet?
Even without quantifying the effects of a positive employee experience, most companies have long been tacitly aware of its importance. So, why is EX getting so much attention now? It’s not only because of the lockdowns happening in 2020, it’s something that has been a growing focus for years.
One of the major reasons why EX is in the spotlight is due to the rapidly changing labor market. As more tech-savvy employees join the workforce each year, younger employees bring expectations about technology and work environment that do not exist for older cohorts – millennials and generation Z workers are far more demanding when it comes to the experience of their workplace.
Analyst firm IDC believes that during 2020 the number of mobile workers will top 105 million in the U.S., accounting for nearly three quarters (72.3%) of the total workforce. 2020 will also be the year when millennials make up the majority of our workforce.
105 million people, or 72.3% of the total U.S. workforce, are mobile in some way
Start at the beginning
With so much riding on the success of the employee experience it’s clear that HR departments cannot and should not have sole responsibility for driving any significant transformation. Improving EX is an important and long-term undertaking that needs the involvement of everyone from marketing and communications teams to IT and senior management.
22% of companies believe they have a quality employee experience
A study by Deloitte showed that while almost 80 percent of executives saw employee experience as a priority, only 22 percent believe their companies provide a differentiated employee experiences that actually promotes the brand.
As mentioned above, one of the weakest and most frustrating aspects of the employee experience is the way that technology has been used in the mobile environment. The rise of things like BYOD and the heightened risks of hacking and phishing attacks have certainly unsettled security leaders in terms of data security, device vulnerabilities and general usability. But many IT teams haven’t done themselves any favors when it comes to the tools they’ve chosen and the policies they’ve implemented to manage employees’ mobile experience.
So, how can IT leaders diagnose and remedy potentially poor user experiences for their mobile workforces? One answer is the humble VPN – some of which have evolved dramatically beyond simple remote access. NetMotion is used by over 3000 organizations and one million workers to solve exactly these problems, providing visibility, security and access management in a way that actively improves the user experience. For companies that realize the employee experience has never been more important, it’s time to demand more from your current VPN.