The future of work is a technical (and management) challenge

Even Apple must now definitely recognize that the future of work is a technological challenge. Solving that challenge requires new generations of office equipment designed to support much deeper experiences of remote and hybrid collaboration, and solutions must reflect the needs of employees.

Looking for a collaboration superstar

Corel offers new insights from his Collaboration Survey, which surveyed 2,027 office workers in the US, UK, Germany, Netherlands, Italy and Australia. The survey found that 54% of company employees believe that poor collaboration tools are a problem and 70% believe that they limit productivity and waste time.

So, what’s the status?

Between the lines, companies must think much more deeply to ensure that the tools they provide are appropriate and good enough for employees to use them. They should provide ease of use and functionality, and people should be properly trained in their use.

Corel’s data shows:

27% claim that companies are not investing in the right tools. 25% agree that collaboration tools have poor functionality. 22% of employees say they don’t use the tools at their disposal. 21% of employees say they are not trained to use the tools.

What are the characteristics of a good collaboration solution?

Corel’s data suggests that tools should be cross-platform, work on any device, and allow multiple people to work on the same project at the same time. They should support people who work asynchronously, are simple and intuitive, and improve the employee experience.

Because the tools that are used most effectively are inevitably the ones that employees like to use. (Here are six virtual collaboration tools you might want to try.)

We’ve always known this, of course. Think back to the years before the pandemic, when the twin mantras of employee choice and employee experience taught us that no company should insist on employees using poorly designed software. There has long been a reactionary belief that work-related products should be difficult to use because they are used for work, but the advent of the iPhone and BYOD should have put an end to this thinking.

No modern company should rely on an interface that wasn’t designed with the employee experience in mind, especially when Corel’s research shows that 41% of employees have left their jobs or are considering leaving because of poor collaboration in the workplace. work.

It’s also worth noting a recent MindGym survey; it showed that workplace transformation also takes its toll on managers, 70% of them feel burned out as they struggle to get to grips with these changes.

Business leaders must recognize that their employees need help at the senior and junior levels.

Relevance is a business challenge

While simplicity is a design challenge, relevance is a business challenge. Therefore, employers looking for collaboration tools should first talk to their teams, engage with them to learn the challenges they face, and work to identify and select the most appropriate solution for that unique set of needs. For example, Volvo improved its own field service teams.

That is not to say that every company will find a one-fits-all solution. But employee engagement and collective decision-making can at least help optimize success. You won’t invest in autonomous decision-making (an essential quality for remote work) if you insist on forcing people to use ineffective tools chosen in the boardroom.

At the front of your business, the employee experience is your business, not an afterthought, meaning your choices affect how employees experience their day.

[Also read: Enterprise tech? Don’t forget to make it human]

It’s not rocket science.

Shiny happy people holding hands

A happy employee will use the tools you provide and improve your bottom line. Tools that are not used because you have forced them on your employees are much less likely to be successful.

That’s true for face-to-face teams, but is much more of a problem for remote teams, which require a high level of loyalty and engagement to succeed.

And yet, despite this reality, some managers are pushing for hierarchical approaches to remote working. That’s why 78% of employees say leadership could do more to drive collaboration.

“Respondents reported issues with their company not investing in the right tools (27%), current tools lacking the necessary functionality (25%), a complete lack of access to collaboration tools (22%), and lack of training on the tools they use. access (21%),’ says Corel’s research.

Employees say of course they need video conferencing, remote access and instant messaging. But they also look for tools for mind mapping, concept creation and direct collaboration such as design and assessment.

Where tomorrow shines

The jury has already passed a verdict on remote and hybrid work. Since the pandemic hit, we’ve learned that hybrid and remote working can be productive, but with the right tools, that opportunity can be maximized. Even Apple knows this and that’s why it keeps trying to find its own new models for work.

Corel’s Chief People Officer, Scott Day, said in a statement:

“This research underscores the alarming costs of inadequate collaboration tools and highlights that organizations of all sizes are being held back by the rapid solutions implemented at the start of the pandemic.

“Rather than improving employees’ ability to be productive, these contingency solutions often act as a barrier to getting work done and can significantly reduce the overall productivity of hybrid and remote workers. Listening to employees, creating an environment where people want to work and investing in simple and intuitive collaboration tools is what will make companies successful in 2022.”

Meet me in the crowd

The future of work is a technological challenge. Understanding what that means requires close collaboration, both within and across teams. It may also be necessary to conduct discussions with key partners to ensure that systems work together effectively.

And don’t forget to think about the lessons of Shadow IT – and that’s how your employees are already asking for help getting the job done.

Corel’s Collaboration Survey Report 2022 is available for download.

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Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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