It is important to create transparent feedback channels to measure critical metrics and track efficacy of course correction interventions and define service SLAs to identify manual/digital and Organisational bottlenecks.
Organisations that consider migrating to a hybrid work model need a flexible digital workplace to bring people together, enable social connections and continuously enhance productivity in remote settings. They also need new ways of engaging employees in the company culture and goals to build a sense of belonging and alignment. This calls for an agile ecosystem that provides access to multiple services that enable workplace efficiency and productivity for employees and families/associates, and additional services that support education and medical requirements for the extended families within a connected environment.
Workplace Experience (WX) is a new holistic approach that coupled with customer and employee experience fills out the overall experience picture. The WX approach embraces technology, operations, culture and employee experience to drive cost efficiency, productivity and growth. For WX to work, platform or digital solutions need to ensure close collaboration and communication between IT/HR/Medical/Security/ Corporate services, operations, and distribution channels if required.
The Future Workspace
The future workspace needs to focus on smart work and inclusive workspaces, with consideration for gender, age and other demographics. Personalisation in a seamless manner is key to designing a workplace experience. A well-designed solution would facilitate the following:
• Reorient approach on future of work from a workspace lens (physical & digital) than a pure workplace (physical) lens
• Provide the right mix of expertise and technology and provide organisations with resilience and scalability in a rapidly changing world
• Create a hub for collaboration for meaningful purposes, with responsive environmental settings
• Permit work settings to suit employees’ nature of work and track all metrics, e.g., how employees use physical office space
• The Employee would be at the receiving end of multiple diverse services that combine to render and deliver a compelling experience
• Infrastructure for people platform to support and strengthen an effective Digital/Hybrid workspace strategy that encompasses varied needs of stakeholders with tailored hyper personalised experiences
• Proactively address needs basis individuals/employee’s personal and professional attributes to curate solutions
• Minimise manual interventions/ digital breaks to support effective working in a stress-free and autonomous manner
• Optimise physical, digital and social inventory, infrastructure, services and costs to render a seamless platform experience
• Ensure ease of asynchronous working across time zones, locations, and devices to provide flexibility and enhance productivity
• Create platforms that have high adaptability to change and contribute to increased efficiency via automation and analytics
• Ensure safety, security, and ease of access to life-critical services such as medical and emergency response
The future workspace needs to focus on smart work and inclusive workspaces, with consideration for gender, age and other demographics.
An integrated workspace platform would combine infrastructure and people to aggregate, optimise, and personalise diverse elements that impact the workforce. The platform will ensure that each associate at a fractal node - be it site/retail outlet/ warehouse/corporate office - has their needs met seamlessly without manual intervention. It would also attract and reward talent by providing a personalised and unique benefit bouquet for self and family. While ensuring this, the platform would look to render smooth, connected experiences, rather than merely aggregate disparate services that an employee might use in his trajectory.
An integrated people and infrastructure platform would aim to provide a tightly integrated yet highly customised ecosystem to meet the needs of varied workforce types and to cater to the unique requirements of different stakeholders such as:
• People Managers
• Business/Function Leaders
• Family members
• Contract workforce z Alumni
The Hybrid integrated workspaces would equip teams to collaborate in digital-physical dimensions with optimum resources. The focus would be to optimise employee-facing processes to enhance employee experience to support individual and team’s productivity. The hybrid work culture might require the creation of ‘satellite workspaces’ or ‘flexible Travellers Work Stations’ in all locations, basis job role requirements. An integrated WX platform might need to be able to accommodate individual preferences for working such as WFH, WFO, flexible work and optimise the team’s working mechanisms while providing the managers with a line of sight to outcomes.
The infrastructure for the people platform will re-engineer the endto-end workplace experience. It adds the critical perspective of what platforms, devices, physical spaces, user interfaces, collaboration tools and ways of working are necessary for people to perform at elevated levels.
The WX platform could be reimagined as the node intersection of three dimensions:
• Physical dimension
• Social dimension
• Digital dimension
As the workforce moves from one role or position to the other, one or more of these coordinates change. The WX platform is about offering a personalised solution for each node at any point of time. A holistic experience through an employee journey would integrate multiple components across the Physical, digital and social dimensions as envisaged below.
The employee is at the node of the combined services, and as his unique requirements vary in different physical or digital coordinates, the infrastructure for the people platform would seek to render a seamless integrated employee-facing services.
Actioning this would necessitate the provisioning of slots for booking seating and parking spaces in these hubs, and employee time and attendance tracking mechanisms would need to be modified. A deskbooking system would allow the deployment of flexible and activitybased workspaces throughout the organisation, enabling users to reserve a workspace as and when they need it, to suit their work-life needs. Effective mapping of WFH/WFO to job role requirements would enable employees and managers to navigate the hybrid workplace effectively.
As workforce diversity and inclusiveness norms evolve, the new workspaces need to be able to cater to disabilities and physical impairments to provide an equal opportunity forum for talent. Multi generational workforces might come with varying requirements of timing, environment and these would need to be increasingly personalised to cater to unique needs. The organisation would also need to invest in building people manager and business leader capability to manage geographically spread teams and focus on cybersecurity and zero-trust architecture. A great deal of thought would have to go into streamlining enterprise processes to benefit from connectivity, automation, and insight.
An integrated WX Platform would integrate services across employee life-cycle events and needs e.g.:
• Onboarding Services
• Travel/Transfer/Relocation Services
• Physical/ Digital Benefits disbursement
• Physical Workplace service and facilities
• Auxiliary services and support post-marriage/child Birth/self or family member demise
• Employee Growth-vertical and lateral
• Employee Separation
Constituent Elements of WX Platform
• Digital Connectivity Services (IT) ensure high performance and security for traditional and techenabled endpoints.
• Workforce and Visitor Experiences promote RIL as an organisation that is sensitive and caring to stakeholder needs.
• Smart building services optimise space allocation, right size office environment, reduce environmental footprint and drive automation
• Smart Spaces services focus on improving everyone’s interactions with their surroundings and facilities
• Wellness Spaces focus on enhancing physical and mental health and allied services
Design principles guidelines for creating WX are as follows:
• Redesign to prioritise employee life cycle followed by physical dimensions and constraint and then digital dimensions
• Demonstrate sustainability, flexibility, scalability, and resilience over an extended timeframe
• All attributes to be accessed through wired and wireless connectivity
• Ensure information from technology systems is real-time and available to all relevant stakeholders
• Maximise interoperability between different technology platforms that feed into this platform
• Offer an opportunity for serendipitous interaction and innovation between stakeholders of diverse types
• Platform to be adaptable to future ways of working including remote and mobile working, “satellite hubs and spokes”, “pop-up” establishments and collaborative working spaces
• Platform to supplement good governance policy that operates respecting individual’s right on the use of personal information
The services can be delivered through and supported by a combination of physical, digital and social dimensions as below:
WX platforms could assist organisations in lowering carbon footprint and power consumption supporting net-zero business strategy, enhance the brand image resulting from more productive and satisfied employees, have the potential to Harness IoT, analytics, and intelligence to improve facilities management, enable optimisation of demand and capacity planning allowing organisations to right-size space requirements, create a seamless workforce experience with lower real estate costs and improved office safety. For employees, WX could result in faster, easier collaboration with colleagues in various locations. enhanced employee experience, single window access to self-service and faster, easier collaboration with colleagues in various locations.
Effective governance of Employee Experience (EX) could be enabled through AI-powered benchmarking to provide insights on workplace experience capabilities to measure progress over time based on their efforts. Regular and focussed external market benchmarking of services and employee expectations could align the platform solution to changing needs. It is important to create transparent feedback channels to measure critical metrics and track efficacy of course correction interventions and define service SLAs to identify manual/ digital and Organisational bottlenecks.
Does your organisation support you in maintaining work-life boundaries?
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