A lot has changed in a year.
Before Covid-19 started spreading across the globe in early 2020, there was no such thing as “social distancing.” No one thought about quarantine bubbles. And few people could have imagined spending months isolated at home due to pandemic lockdowns and public health precautions.
Now 12 months later, these changes have completely altered the way we socialize, spend our time, use technology, and, of course, work. And we can’t help but wonder what happens now.
That’s especially true for business leaders grappling with the monumental task of moving companies and workforces forward. Instead of keeping things running strictly for business continuity, organizations are finally able to shift their focus toward innovation and growth.
But the journey might look a little different than what executives expected a year ago. Although work is often associated with a physical office, remote work has been a complete gamechanger that is opening the way for permanent flexible work options to suit the needs of employees and companies.
Like most of the transitions from office to home last March, this change won’t happen overnight. There’s still work that needs to be done to tackle IT challenges and make remote work experiences just as productive as — if not better than — those in the office.
In our latest e-book, "Let’s Get to Work: Eliminating Digital Friction for Remote Work Success,” we take a closer look at where remote work and all its forms are headed, as well as:
- Factors that contribute to employee productivity
- The emergence of the remote work experience
- Technology challenges users and IT teams face with remote work
- Possible solutions and strategies for dealing with digital friction and productivity roadblocks
Here’s a quick rundown of the key insights uncovered in the new remote work e-book, now available to download.
1. Remote work isn’t going anywhere.
As businesses look to the future, remote work is increasingly becoming part of the plan.
Many big-name companies around the world — including Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., Twitter, Facebook, REI, Fujitsu, Shopify, Siemens, and Revolut — have already announced that some form of remote work will be an option for workers going forward. The percentage of permanently remote workers is also projected to double worldwide in 2021 to 34.3% compared to the pre-pandemic 16.4%, according to a survey of CIOs by Enterprise Technology Research.
2. Productivity is key to the future of remote work.
Surveys and studies indicate promising productivity potential with remote and hybrid work. A January 2021 PwC US Remote Work Survey, for instance, reports a third (34%) of employees and nearly half (52%) of employers believe productivity has improved over prolonged working from home during the pandemic.
But the big question on everyone’s mind: Can productivity from remote work reach, or even exceed, pre-Covid levels?
Well, that depends on a few factors that greatly influence productivity — including employee well-being, engagement, and good digital experiences — and how organizations can meet remote worker needs to improve and maintain high-quality work performances.
How to Optimize Your Remote Work Setup
3. Remote work experience is the new focus.
As organizations use remote work in some form to move beyond the challenge of maintaining business continuity, understanding digital experiences and improving productivity for remote workers will be the next critical steps.
To do that, IT must first answer some fundamental questions:
- What is the digital experience of these remote workers?
- What makes a user’s experience good or bad?
- How can IT identify and measure the impact technology has on users at any given time?
- And how can they support and improve those experiences — even if when employees are spread out across regions and time zones?
Remote work experience is made up of all the interactions involved in working from a location other than the office and, because of its complete dependency on work technology, is a big part of overall digital employee experience (DEX).
4. Digital disruptions threaten end-user experience (EUX) and productivity.
With just an internet connection and basic hardware keeping remote workers on task, digital friction can become especially distressing.
Common remote issues many users face include:
- Insufficient hardware
- General “slowness”
- Home network problems
- App and cloud service outages
When those kinds of problems arise, employee experience suffers, productivity comes to a screeching halt, and it can be difficult for isolated users to reach out to IT.
Employee Experience Q&A with Forrester
5. IT faces visibility, support, and resource right-sizing challenges with a distributed workforce.
Having users spread out across regions and time zones makes it more challenging than ever for IT teams to maintain good digital employee experience.
Not only is it nearly impossible for IT to see beyond corporate infrastructure and networks to solve issues within users’ home environments, but it’s also difficult to monitor apps and cloud services; provide support and troubleshooting; and refresh devices and rollout new software.
6. DEM holds the solution to many remote work challenges.
Data is vital for providing IT with the expanded visibility and actionable insights needed to support remote workers and build better strategies.
By using digital experience monitoring/management and gathering metrics directly from endpoints, organizations will have a far better view of user environments and can better understand remote work experience from employees’ point of view.
And while DEM is a critical function to monitor day-to-day operations, it’s also essential for establishing a proactive approach to IT support and allowing organizations to successfully transform digital environments with new technology and other innovations.
Gartner Market Guide for Digital Experience Monitoring Solutions
7. Lakeside’s Digital Experience Cloud powers productivity.
With deep data, intelligent analysis, and AI-driven capabilities, Lakeside’s SysTrack-powered, cloud-native DEM solution gives organizations the ability to take remote work to the next level.
Some of the platform’s key uses include:
- End-user experience management
- Digital workplace planning
- Service desk operations
- IT asset optimization
These areas are not only critical for maintaining remote work experience and a high level of productivity, but they will also guide organizations forward — whether employees are at the office, at home, or everywhere in between.
Lindsey Poisson is a technical journalist at Lakeside Software focused on the latest news, trends, and innovations in the IT industry and digital experience management market. Previously an award-winning newspaper reporter, she now delves into topics surrounding remote work, digital employee experience, proactive IT support, and the future of work. She also currently lives, works, and adventures around Ann Arbor, Michigan.