We all know that the world of work has changed forever, but figuring out how to evolve towards sustainable working practices is an altogether more complex discussion.
While remote working seems here to stay – at least as far as most organizations are concerned – the technological foundations and processes in place for most employees remain the same. If productivity, wellbeing, and employee experience are to maintain high levels in this new environment, something has to change.
According to IT services vendor DXC, this challenge starts by shifting digital workplace conversations away from technology towards a more people-centric focus. This is partly to align to the changing stakeholder landscape. Workplace services are now vital to businesses, with a growing influence from decision-makers across IT, HR, Facilities, and organizational change management. This will see DXC lean more into its business-led engagement style, working with clients to identify their requirements and working with IT to deliver them.
As is often the case with DXC, the firm is keen to test out its latest solutions internally. Their current approach – focused on enabling a 'Virtual First' workplace – will see the firm shift away from traditional person-based environment design to a highly personalized one. From here, using a catalogue of services with a user interface that matches consumer models, the firm can bring choice to employees, via an easy-to-use and simple point of entry to all workplace services. Existing models, for example, contain IT solutions as one would expect, alongside the option to request an ergonomics expert to visit and assess home office setups. The goal is to ensure employee productivity and wellbeing within a framework that enables them to create and manage their own experience rather than be lumped into a persona group that may have worked in a formal office environment but goes out the window when variables multiply due to every worker's unique home working environment.
Over time, the firm will develop additional services and capabilities based on the data and insights generated by the firms sprawling modern workplace business, tailored by regional preferences and organizational culture.
Over the past 12 months, DXC has followed a similar approach to help enterprises deal with the pandemic's immediate fallout. For some enterprises, their offices and workspaces are the only locations where their teams can work, so designing safe routes to return to the office is essential to its core operations. Indeed, many want to return to the office simply because that's where their employees want to work, and they want to do so safely. To this end, DXC worked with one client to design an end-to-end AI solution to handle the safe return to work and manage the gradual reopening of offices and facilities to help clients do so.
As the situation develops, solutions that helped teams return to work during the pandemic are still likely to play a vital role. In the optimistic scenario that COVID-19 is wholly eradicated, AI solutions that map capacity and risk will instead manage hybrid workforces that fluidly utilize resources such as meeting rooms. Dependent on the organization, finding a free meeting room in a well-populated office is a constant challenge. One made all the more unmanageable as enterprises shift to hybrid models that make predicting capacity and attendance almost impossible at scale. Working with a client in the medical equipment space, DXC implemented a virtual service that recognizes employees in a touchless environment and enables them to control meetings with their personal devices. Employees can now reserve physical meeting spaces and engage with remote workers, making the process easier and safer while improving real estate utilization.
As we shift away from traditional working practices to 'virtual first' or hybrid models, it's essential enterprises and providers work to intelligently deploy technologies that tackle major pain points now – such as worker safety in the middle of a pandemic – while adopting a longer-term view that gears up to tackle the inevitable challenges that come from working and managing remote workplaces. This has not been lost on DXC, as it works to build out critical solutions that cut to the real core of business challenges.