The workplace of the future is no longer abstract. It is a reality, but a reality that is different for each business. Every workplace has changed since March 2020, although no two have changed in exactly the same way. However, there is one common theme: Most companies now rely more on technology to increase workplace flexibility and resilience. A majority of midsized companies invested in technology throughout the pandemic, and 69% plan to continue doing so.
The biggest reason for this trend is the move to a hybrid work structure. Even though not every employee will be eligible for remote work, and not everyone who is eligible will want to work remotely, everyone at the company needs to be able to collaborate in real time. In a hybrid office, every employee must be able to access the business tools they need from wherever they are so the business can reap the benefits of the technology it has invested in.
The crux of the issue for many companies is ensuring that everyone is trained to properly use the various technologies the company has adopted. This ability, often referred to as digital dexterity, is what drives the company’s ultimate goal: using technology to increase flexibility and profitability.
Every employee approaches technology with his or her own preconceptions about it. Gartner identified five distinct digital personas and described their approach to technology:
- Caretakers. Employees in this group do not believe they have good technology and do not think technology helps them do their jobs better.
- Engineers. Well-positioned in their companies, engineers are late-career digital experts who are happy with their work.
- Mavericks. Mavericks are young professionals who bring their own technology to work. They have their own ideas about technology, and, according to Gartner, 29% believe their companies are not tapping into their knowledge.
- Navigators. Employees in this group are deft with technology but are not technology experts. They are happy to work from home and place a lot of value on digital skills.
- Pilots. Employees in this group are comfortable with technology, want to spend time away from their desks and believe their digital skills will enhance their careers. They are likely to extend their skills using authorized or unauthorized devices and applications.
Using this model as a guide, businesses can develop their own personas and map learning and career paths that fit each profile.
Collaboration is key
Issues can arise when businesses try to design these paths, often because IT and HR must work together. Before COVID-19, these two departments did not have to collaborate on designing new ways to work. Now, however, the relationship between them is integral to success. Technology needs to be matched to tasks and personality; career paths need to sync with the desire to learn new ways of doing things. In addition, some technology, such as online meetings, requires attention and participation in the moment, while other applications, such as recordkeeping, can be accessed and utilized at any time.
Building digital dexterity across the company requires the cooperation of all departments, even those that worked together infrequently in the old normal. The goal is encouraging digital dexterity by recognizing the various technologies needed for different jobs and finding ways to motivate all employees to learn how to use them in a way that meets the company’s guidelines.
If you have any questions or concerns about the above information, please click here to contact a BlueStone representative.