How Can CIOs Contribute Toward Sustainable Work From Home Experience
As the world tries to wipe out the pandemic, businesses are looking to adopt a more flexible work culture that can accommodate various working requirements. We are in a remote working era that undoubtedly increases the significance of CIOs and IT teams. CIOs now have the responsibility to create a work environment that caters to the agile work models of their employees while ensuring the best work from home experience.
Gartner recently released a report on how CIOs should “embrace radical flexibility” to deliver great remote work experience in the post-COVID world. According to the report, “CIOs need to create a post-COVID-19 work environment that supports radical flexibility for the evolving IT workforce. CIOs must now consider and plan for the purpose and structure of the emerging work environment for the IT organization and workforce.”
Here is a quick look at the actionable steps CIOs can take to meet the varying employee and employer needs and expectations.
1. Building a robust remote work culture
Most leaders are used to managing people at the office or primary work location, but they often feel uncomfortable when it comes to managing remote teams. More trouble arises when legacy systems and remote work policies cannot address the changing needs for working from a different location or not being scalable to meet the evolving demands. Therefore, to create a sustainable work from home experience, CIOs need to adopt flexible work patterns and the right tools to manage remote teams.
Gartner recommends that it is important to survey managers and workers about workplace expectations, preferences, requirements, and limitations. It will help employers determine their employees’ work location preferences to create a flexible post-COVID-19 work environment. At the same time, it is also essential to communicate all the changes, work expectations, and deadlines to the relevant team members using a unified platform. This is where an all-in-one work management solution like InfinCE can be of great help.
InfinCE is a modern, innovative digital workplace orchestration platform that helps you manage every aspect of your business, including:
- workplace collaboration
- project management
- communication (video, audio, chat, email, video meetings, etc.)
- ERP, CRM, finance, accounting, and a host of day-to-day workplace activities
When you have InfinCE adapted to your workplace, you can easily integrate it into your existing applications. You can also choose to adopt a wide range of leading, open-source third-party applications supported by the InfinCE app marketplace. InfinCE has everything to support your business – Office online tools, productivity apps (calendar, task manager, chat, email, video, and audio meetings, etc.), and a plethora of enterprise applications to manage your business from anywhere.
2. Adopting a flexible work pattern
According to a 2020 survey about the post-COVID-19 work experience by Gartner, most employees have a “clear preference and expectation of having flexibility in selecting their primary work location and in arranging their schedule.” The report also suggests that “around 80% of workers expect to continue to work from home at least three days per week”. What’s more, around 50% of employees even indicated that they would quit their jobs if they do not get a work from home option from their employers.
These stats clearly show the importance of building a work culture that embraces and delivers the right remote work experience. However, as adopting a flexible work environment can mean including new variables that were not part of the usual work culture earlier, CIOs should clearly understand the emerging work patterns before defining workforce policies.
A study from Owl Labs and Global Workplace Analytics highlighted that following a hybrid work culture that combines remote work with office work can be a potential solution for most companies. “The majority of the workforce expect to work from a home office two or three days per week, with the option to attend the employer office the other days. Although this hybrid combination is emerging as the dominant pattern for the majority of workers, it only accounts for 50% to 60% of the workforce,” the report said.
This means that CIOs should understand employee needs and work patterns across different variations and make adjustments to create the right work policy for the company. Collaborating with the HR team and surveying the staff, managers, and executives can be pretty helpful here. That data can determine the different expectations of the company and employees and help CIOs develop the most flexible work policy guidelines that accommodate everything.
Download White Paper: Adapting to The Changing Face of Enterprise Collaboration
3. Communicating the expectations
Another crucial role of the CIOs in building a robust and flexible work culture is to communicate the relevant staff’s expectations appropriately. The Gartner report says that remote work has increased from around 29% before the Coronavirus pandemic to more than 75% by April 2020. The report further states that “On average, clients expect that 57% of their workforces could work entirely remotely, and 63% could work remotely at least sometimes.”
This indicates that leaders should plan for around half of their staff working from home in the post-COVID-19 era. It could either be working from home every day or a couple of days every week. No matter what, CIOs need to develop remote work policies that go beyond the traditional pre-COVID criteria and definitions. As legacy remote work policies do not have room for scheduling flexibility and guiding decisions, CIOs must adopt new work policies that address the expectations from everyone across the organization.
Nonetheless, developing a flexible work policy should not be limited to sending a signal to the staff and management about how new patterns and expectations are incorporated into the work environment. Instead, it should also focus on delivering consistency across the different functional areas of the company, especially when there is no enterprise policy in effect.
Read more: 7 Ways to Improve Team Collaboration in 2021
Discussing the work policy changes with the HR manager and various department leaders can help CIOs identify how the planned approach can work out to support the needs of the staff while keeping up with the management decisions. Meanwhile, CIOs should also determine how they can replace legacy practices and applications with modern solutions to benefit remote work experience. The new remote work solution should also support the growing needs of the company. Likewise, CIOs should figure out the contractual obligations and regulatory requirements before implementing the remote work policy.
CIOs also need to realize what types of interactions or meetings are common in the remote workplace and find the right digital workplace solution to address all their needs. You need an all-in-one team management platform that can furnish all kinds of communication needs, be it video conferences, audio calls, file sharing, and instant messaging. The platform should also help you track time and attendance, assign tasks, monitor the progress of a project, etc. CIOs need to take the appropriate actions now to support the purpose and structure of their evolving work environment.
Download White Paper: The Business Value of InfinCE for Business Owners and Employees
InfinCE is the preferred choice of many CIOs in managing virtual teams. Interested to know why? Drop us a message, and let’s help you realize a seamless workplace collaboration and project management with InfinCE.