The past two years have been very tough not just for individuals but also for businesses. Along with their employees and customers, businesses should also thank technologies, those who developed them, and the entire digital ecosystem that helped everyone work better.
From working from the office to working remotely to working in a hybrid model, our workspaces have evolved quite a lot in the past 2 years. Now, space and office are not just physical, but also digital. Along with our workspace, workspace management solutions and work collaboration tools have evolved to meet the changing needs of businesses and employees.
However, our hybrid work systems are not without any problems. The first challenge is that they’re constantly evolving. And then, there are the challenges of keeping employees engaged in distributed teams, employee wellbeing, cultural shifts, and maintaining work productivity.
Here are some recent developments in the software product sector that helped us in dealing with unexpected changes in our work modes and prepared us for even the most uncertain times. An important point to note is that, though in the past couple of years these solutions helped us deal with pandemic-induced disruptions, they’re equally effective in increasing enterprise mobility and dealing with technological disruptions in the future.
1. Digital Workplace Management Systems
As our perception of work or office space has been changing, companies are concerned with unutilized or underutilized office spaces and increasing real-estate prices.
Moreover, employees’ preferences have changed a lot. Many employees ask for flexible work timings and hybrid work increasing the demand for enterprise mobility. Companies are employing technologies to maneuver workspace management according to changing requirements. These technology solutions automate boring and repetitive work while making intelligent work measurable and possible even in hybrid working conditions. They are also using technologies like data analytics, digital tracking systems, etc., in assessing the conditions continuously or regularly, and in gathering feedback and workspace usage data.
2. Employee engagement solutions
Hybrid work requires totally different ways of binding employees. As not everyone is physically present in the office or sits together as a team, digital employee engagement tools like intranet are essential in binding employees together with a shared purpose or vision.
Collaboration is essential and a lot of collaboration tools are being used to enable a seamless hybrid working environment. Those who do not come to the office and work from home should not miss out on anything or lag. ISVs and software solution providers are building or customizing various tools for ERP, employee experience, and team collaboration to enable such hybrid working conditions. They are incorporating unified communication, collaboration, and enterprise social tools while retaining the data and IP security.
3. Employee wellbeing initiatives
Employee well-being is no more optional, and it should not be. Whatever your working model may be, hybrid, remote, or physical, unless a business cares for employees along with its customers, it cannot check attrition and realize its business goals.
Employee wellbeing initiatives are being incorporated into internal processes, intranets, and other collaboration tools. For example, the new option in Microsoft Outlook, Delay Send, enables postponing the delivery of emails for a specified time.
Employees are seeking better work-life balance. Some of them prefer spreading their workday or spacing it as per their convenience. Various collaboration and communication tools are being built that offer flexibility to employees while maintaining productivity.
The tools discussed in the previous points used to be personalized for businesses or teams. Now, with advances in AI, these tools are being personalized for each user. The solutions are connected to other tools and knowledge management systems. They have knowledge of users’ personal and work information and use the information to provide customized solutions to users.
For example, various Agile collaboration tools are integrated with other tracking tools and provide a dashboard customized for each user depending on their work, role, and responsibilities.
Another good example is that employee experience platforms are now embedded with conversational chatbots. They provide personalized replies and solutions to employees.
5. Change management
Digital tools measure preferences and most used functionalities. They help in tracking changing needs and predicting changes in the ecosystem.
All software products and solutions are equipped with the ability to track their usage. They can measure which functionalities are being used more often, where the instructions are not clear and users spend more time trying to figure them out, user personas, and their usage patterns. Chatbots can track commonly asked questions and keywords, intranets, tools, and web products can show the most frequently visited pages and links. This information is quite useful in improving and simplifying software products.
Companies across domains and industries are on the path of digital transformation. Every company now wants to function as a software company. The pandemic forced businesses to adopt various digital solutions to enable hybrid working conditions. Though the situation is almost back to normal, these digital solutions, collaborative work tools, workspace management systems, and employee engagement platforms are increasingly being used for the convenience they offer.
Building engaging workplaces and change management is quite essential now more than ever. Software products that aid hybrid working conditions will continue to expand their functionalities and evolve further. Moreover, they are effective in reducing Operational Expenditure without affecting productivity and growth.
These are such exciting times for software product makers and ISVs. Their work helps in enriching the digital ecosystems and enables businesses to transform and thrive despite challenges and disruptions.
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