Pandemic response encouraged many organizations to focus on previously overlooked areas of corporate resilience

Published: Wednesday, 10 November 2021 10:15

The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed workplace transformation into hyperdrive, triggering a rush to build corporate resilience that has created both benefits and issues for enterprises, according to a new report published by Information Services Group (ISG).

The ISG Provider Lens Future of Work – Services and Solutions Archetype report finds that the mass migration of workforces to online tools and platforms has led many organizations to address previously overlooked requirements for corporate security and business continuity. This has overlapped with the need to adapt to new delivery channels, support mechanisms and technology challenges.

Service provider clients that planned ahead for resilience rather than just efficiency have been able to sustain themselves during the pandemic, the report says. Forward-thinking organizations also are considering the needs and wishes of employees, a majority of whom now want to continue working from home at least half the time.

However, companies that have moved their employees to home offices and believe this solved all their problems are mistaken, the report says. This is only the beginning of workplace transformation, and issues have already emerged, including Zoom fatigue, loss of the social aspect of business and employees reporting they are working up to 40 percent longer with no correlated increase in productivity. Employers cannot simply rely on workers to resolve these issues, ISG says.

ISG’s Future Workplace framework recognizes three distinct workplaces: physical, digital and human. Service providers are working with enterprises on holistic solutions that encompass all three.

In the post-pandemic era, the physical workplace needs to provide an environment safe from COVID-19 and one that is flexible and adaptable to meet employees’ needs for collaboration and innovation, the report says. It should ensure higher productivity while allowing for a net reduction of spending on physical space through seamless integration with digital work modes.

The digital workplace requires a unified communication and collaboration suite that employees can access from around the world, along with a cloud strategy to keep applications and operations running under all circumstances, ISG says. Finally, the human workplace is a vision focused on making physical location irrelevant. It puts customer experience at the heart of a company’s people strategy and includes a shift from performance-based service-level agreements to experience-level agreements.

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