With the majority of businesses embracing remote or hybrid work, laptops have become emblematic of the conventional office. They represent, almost in their entirety, what the office once stood for: a place for work, collaboration and communication. With this change in dynamic comes new challenges, opportunities and considerations that will have three direct consequences for businesses.
Embracing remote employees will open your organisation up to a global talent pool
The beauty of life is that no two people are the same, so why should businesses treat them as anything other than unique? When we’re untethered from the office yet still able to work (thanks in no small part to laptops), it encourages personal accountability for our own lives, irrespective of an office location. It means employees could be located anywhere in the world and still be working, and organisations can fully realise the strategic advantages of being a truly global business.
This new freedom afforded to employees makes them more loyal, engaged and productive, because they’re worrying less about where or when they’re working and thinking more about what they need to get done. Geographical autonomy al so opens the organisation up to talent across the world, spurring innovation and diversity in the workforce as well as a spike in productivity.
The relationship between the employee and the business will evolve
An opportunity has arisen for organisations to create a much closer and more personalised relationship with every employee in the long term. Here’s why. In the office world, employees’ first and main point of contact was their manager. So it was down to managers to monitor engagement, satisfaction and productivity, and feed back to HR if anything was amiss.
That changed when the pandemic hit. It became the collective responsibility of HR teams, IT organisations, and line managers to check in on employees they could no longer physically see, whether that be to monitor wellbeing or check they had the right equipment to work from home.
Enlightened IT and HR teams used this unprecedented scenario to discover new ways to engage with employees via laptops, effectively deploying experience and sentiment analysis to respond to challenges as they faced them. This strategy will only mature further in the world of hybrid work, obviating the need for full-time office workers.
Employers will adopt a more outcome-based contract with the workforce
Traditionally, work contracts have specified core working hours as a stipulation for good work. But that sort of agreement didn’t work too well during the pandemic: parents had to care for young children around work, some had to care for older relatives, others experienced personal grief or mental health problems as the virus ravaged every nation. It was virtually impossible for work to continue as normal. Forward-thinking organisations quickly realised that it mattered not whether an employee’s status light stayed green, but that things got done. What we saw was a shift from presenteeism to objectivism.
“Objectivism” is a focus on what you want an employee to achieve, not how many hours they work. What does this mean in practice? That organisations can ensure all employees are working to a common goal, driving business success and know what they need to achieve around their responsibilities outside the workplace. It doesn’t matter what time of day work is done (with obvious exceptions), just that it is.
Reshaping our approach to device management
There’s no doubt that laptops will be the driving engine of long-term hybrid working and where meaningful experiences are created. It seems only logical, therefore, that we give them the same amount of thought and consideration as we give to physical office spaces. In the long term, organisations’ plans to move to hybrid working require a robust process for managing employees’ experiences so our people can be productive and engaged no matter where they are.
By Sumir Karayi, CEO and founder at 1E
For more information visit www.1E.com