According to Pew Research, roughly 60% of U.S. workers who say their jobs can mainly be done from home are working from home all or most of the time. This is a stark contrast to the 23% of U.S. workers who said they normally worked remotely in 2019. This normalization of hybrid work has altered both employees’ and managers’ expectations about the employee experience, which has impacted the recruiting process and the retention of workers. It has been a rocky road to navigate, and the work complexities that arose with the Digital Age have been exacerbated by remote and hybrid work and the many apps and systems put in place to support it.
Employees use 14 apps a day on average to complete their work, and 61% feel stressed because they don’t have all the information they need to do their job, according to a new Wrike survey. Work just lives in too many places. Thankfully, technology platforms have begun to embrace new ways of thinking and working to combat and solve these challenges caused by hybrid and remote work. Here are the most significant ways that work management platforms have evolved alongside the world to improve the employee experience in 2022.
With these technologies, work management platforms have eliminated time-consuming tasks done regularly, especially for admin purposes, which allows employees to focus on work that matters. According to Wrike’s research mentioned above, employees spend 4.4 months of the year doing mundane work like taking notes, drafting action items, and tracking tasks. This leads to more burnout and less time spent focusing on productive actions contributing to the team’s goals.
Ultimately, both workers and the business feel the negative impact of this work. However, with features like workflow automation, a task can pass ownership automatically, allowing a person that works on the east coast to log off work knowing that their colleague on the west coast will pick up follow-up actions for the project. The rise of low-code and no-code technology is also making it easier for employees across the organization, not just in the IT department, to develop and roll out automations.
This software enables all workers to create technical solutions and applications regardless of their programming or coding capabilities. With low-code software, they can create solutions to problems they’re presented with quickly and easily, building them around their existing workflows so that they complement their work. This gives them more time back to focus on higher priority assignments and more strategic and meaningful work. Improving Visibility Additionally, work management platforms provide managers with more visibility into work taking place, including the status and progress of the most important tasks. In hybrid work models, it can be hard for managers to know what their employees do daily.
In fact, 57% of employees say their employer doesn’t understand how hard they work, while 66% of function leaders say it’s very hard or impossible to tell when employees are over-working unless they say it directly. This lack of visibility leads to time being spent doing low-priority tasks or disconnects around business goals. To keep teams on the same page, technologies have evolved to help managers get insight into the work their teams are doing. These platforms allow managers to be more forward-looking, too, with the capability to forecast projects and possible resource needs and manage them accordingly.
This enables them to evaluate scheduling scenarios before assigning work to team members across departments, avoiding burnout from overworked employees and ensuring a fair distribution of tasks. And, if priorities change or a conflict pops up, managers can translate that into the platform by changing task ownership or flagging the status of the task appropriately.
When managers and employees are more closely aligned on projects and can ensure those projects are in turn aligned with the overall business goals, the entire organization can operate more seamlessly and with minimal frustration. Measuring Impact Instead of Time Lastly, work management platforms today have made it easier than ever for managers to measure employees’ impact on goals instead of the time they spend working. In the aftermath of the initial shock of the COVID-19 pandemic, teams became disparate, with work taking place in many different locations and time zones.
The working hours across teams don’t always match up, so it can be hard for them to get on the same page. Additionally, even when an employee works 8+ hours a day, it doesn’t always translate into visible output. Measuring impact on goals instead of time allows workers to understand better what they bring to their team or organization. With this information, managers can also better understand the value employees bring to the table and how that aligns with business objectives. For example, previously, managers might have overseen employees who put in the time each day, but they were never sure how these employees were faring with their work due to their remote status.
Now that modern work management platforms can give insight into task ownership and status, that manager has the ability to check in on the progress as their employee is working, all without having to check in for updates. This also allows managers to make more data-driven decisions about employees and offer better feedback when reviewing performance. In addition to easily measuring an employee’s contributions, work management platforms now also have capabilities that save managers time while onboarding and bringing a new colleague up to speed. Employees can be assigned a series of onboarding tasks, which will clearly guide them through the process.
And with ownership being flexible, multiple teams can be kept in the loop while allowing a manager to have insight into the employee’s progress. See More: It’s Time to Tackle the Tricky Parts of Hybrid Work These key factors have changed the employee experience to create a more focused, transparent workplace, which is vital in a world where the Great Resignation is still being felt. Companies must provide the best possible experience for workers while fostering a collaborative, flexible culture that upholds resilience and balance. A vital part of making employees happy is ensuring they know their work is important. That, along with emphasizing clarity and making work more efficient, are key selling points in today’s hybrid world that will make employees not only want to stay with a company but also excited to come to work every day.