The Digital Workplace And The Employee In Focus

A successful company can only function well if the employees participate. Therefore, the design and equipment of a modern workplace play a vital role in many companies: It should be digital, offer freedom in the choice of devices, easy access to apps, and the possibility of working from any location. In a study, Vanson Bourne examined what such a “digital employee experience” means for the employer and further business success. The digital workplace, as a door opener for satisfied employees, can also be used as an argument for an attractive employer in times of a shortage of skilled workers.

Not a bad idea because nowadays, you have to stand out from the crowd as an employer – that’s the only way you have the prospect of a qualified and, above all, motivated employee. It is therefore not surprising that a study by VMware sees a “strong connection between the ‘digital employee experience’ and business development – measured in terms of annual growth, a progressive corporate culture as well as employee satisfaction and positive evaluation as an employer.”

Flexibility And The Right Tools As A Guarantee Of Success

According to the study conducted by Vanson Bourne at the beginning of 2019, the “Digital Employee Experience” is primarily characterized by the freedom to choose devices, easy access to apps, and the possibility of working from anywhere. And this has a positive effect on the recruitment of young talent. More than half of the employees surveyed (57 percent) confirm that flexibility and digital tools influenced the decision to apply to or accept a position at a company. Of course, there is still room for improvement: 67 percent of employees think their current employer should place more value on the “digital employee experience.”

Why “Digital X Experience” Is So Important

In addition, the study results show that higher-growth companies offer their employees a better “digital employee experience” (average value 6), such as access to devices, tools, apps, and technologies from any location, compared to companies with lower revenue growth (average value 3-4; scale from 1-10). On average, fast and highly fast-growing companies achieve a Digital Employee Experience of 6.3, while companies that grow below average or not at all only achieve an average of 3.7

Underperforming or stagnant companies are far less likely to give their employees the ability to work on their devices (26 percent), access apps to be productive (26 percent), and use apps for key roles on any device (excluding e- Mail; 56 percent) – these values ​​are far lower than for high-growth companies (88 percent, 88 percent, and 100 percent, respectively). Companies can only grow if they manage to inspire young talent. The study clearly shows that investing in “digital employee experience” that combines technology, work environment, and culture is crucial for company success,” said Ralf Gegg, Senior Director of Sales, End User Computing, CEMEA at VMware.

From Mood And Contentment To Pride

Understandably, the digital employee experience has a comprehensive effect on the mood and satisfaction of employees. Respondents whose company offers the opportunity to work remotely as efficiently as in the office are significantly more likely to be proud of their employer than those whose company does not provide this option (73 percent versus 26 percent). Employees are also more likely to say their employer has a progressive culture (75 percent vs. 24 percent) and that their company is a top workplace (71 percent vs. 28 percent).

It offers an excellent work-life balance (66 percent vs. 33 percent). The study results correspond to the experiences of Dirk Eckert, Managing Director at Deutsche Telekom Individual Solutions & Products GmbH. He says: “It is essential that we allow our employees to design their working environment how they want it. Traditionally, traditional values ​​such as job security, salary, and company benefits were the focus when choosing an employer. Today, however, flexibility and the ability to choose how, where and with which device to work are becoming increasingly important, especially for young talent.”

Unclear Responsibilities: HR, The Boss, Or IT?

It is still unclear who is responsible for the “Digital Employee Experience”: 84 percent of employees call for better cooperation between HR and IT departments in this context. But only 16 percent of respondents report good collaboration between their company’s HR and IT departments. Therefore, eight out of ten respondents also demand that the HR department, i.e., the human resources department in smaller companies, be given more responsibility for improving the “digital employee experience.”

Closer collaboration between HR and IT is imperative to improve the digital employee experience. Employees must be informed accordingly who is responsible for this topic. Forty-eight percent of those surveyed don’t know whether to contact HR or IT about this – and 23 percent see this as another hurdle in improving the “digital employee experience.”

Different Perspectives: Employees And Decision-Makers

On the way toward “Digital Employee Experience,” companies face various challenges. Almost a third of decision-makers need clarification about what employees want (27 percent), and nearly a fifth do not see a better digital employee experience as a priority. Almost two-thirds (63 percent) of employees surveyed feel they don’t have a say regarding digital tools in the workplace. Nevertheless, 82 percent of HR and IT decision-makers believe they give their employees a voice in this area.

The Journey To The Digital Workplace

A two-and-a-half-minute presentation on YouTube provides a good overview of the “Journey to the Digital Workplace” – challenges, paths, and solution approaches. The “Flexible Enterprise Workplace,” a joint product of VMware and Deutsche Telekom Individual Solutions & Products, also emerged from this approach. As a cloud-based modular service, the Flexible Enterprise Workplace allows companies to introduce this new way of working quickly and relatively easily.

Employees get secure remote access to company resources via devices of all kinds. This should improve not only productivity but also increase employee satisfaction. As further advantages, the two providers name a reduced management effort for the IT department thanks to a high degree of automation and policy-based controls. It also ensures the “required level of reliability and security” when delivering business-critical applications and sensitive corporate data.

Self-Service Portal

An essential function of the Flexible Enterprise Workplace service is the convenient self-service portal for employees. They only have to log in once via single sign-on to access all IT applications or services via devices of all kinds. Workspace ONE with App Volumes simplifies access to applications, eliminating problems with passwords or complex PINs while improving security with multi-factor authentication. All components of the Flexible Enterprise Workplace service run from secure data centers operated by Deutsche Telekom Individual Solutions & Products, which is based on a software-defined data center model and leverages VMware vSphere, vSAN, NSX, and vRealize.

The Study

Vanson Bourne surveyed a total of 3,600 people on behalf of VMware in March and April 2019, including employees (1,800), IT decision-makers (900), and HR decision-makers (900) who work with PCs or other devices. The number of respondents per country: UK (600), Germany (600), France (600), Italy (200), Netherlands (200), Russia (200), Poland (200), Norway (200), Sweden (200 ), Spain (200), UAE (200) and Saudi Arabia (200). Respondents come from companies with 500 or more employees and work in the public or private sector.

The conclusion from the editors: While the term “digital transformation” has been overused in marketing terms like hardly any other for some time now, the “digital experience of employees” questioned in the study finally shows the practical advantages of digitization comprehensible. What is positive is that the focus here is on the employee. Because one thing should be clear, especially when there are few qualified specialists: technical aids are only part of the potential success.

without the appropriate professional handling by the employee sitting in front of the screen, you will get the best, most expensive, or most modern equipment, nothing. Employees should be satisfied and free to choose the work equipment and location because only happy employees can do their job well. Seen in this way, the role of a fictitious Chief Happiness Officer suddenly makes sense.

Also Read: One-third Of Employees Telework 3.6 Days On Average Per Week

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