How experiences have changed for the better (plus the 8 we’ll never let go of)
We’ve had to change a lot in the past year, but some of the changes we’ve experienced have been for the better. From remote meetings to streaming workouts, virtual experiences mean more people can be included and involved. Here are some of our favorites that are here to stay...
Here are eight experiences we’ve seen improve since the start of the pandemic.
1. Flexible work works
Employees have proven to themselves and their employers that they can be as effective at home as they are in the office. According to our recent Future of Work study, 51% of employees believe they have been more productive working remotely. And their managers agree: 55% of managers think their direct reports have been more productive since the pivot to remote work.
With some people working from home, some in the office, and still others permanently remote, forward-thinking organizations will design digital workspace experiences with employees at the forefront in order to outpace others who simply allow for remote or hybrid work.
Read more: Designing the future of work: 3 steps to improve the digital workspace experience
2. Remote meetings work, too
As companies continue to evolve – including transitioning from all-remote to hybrid work – some have made all-virtual remote team meetings their policy, so no one employee feels left out if they’re not in the room.
Now, having technology in place to connect all employees, no matter where they are physically located, means always having the option to dial in via phone or video – even if an employee is working in the office.
3. … and they’ve helped us collaborate in more inclusive ways
In addition to the benefits of connecting with colleagues via voice and video calls, chat features and virtual whiteboard tools have also empowered employees to contribute in new ways.
Read more: 8 tips for running effective meetings in a hybrid world of work
Employees’ preferences for how they want to communicate during a meeting can vary – e.g., some employees may prefer speaking to the group, adding notes to the shared whiteboard, typing via the chat, and so on.
Utilizing a variety of collaboration and chat tools means your employees can be seen and heard in ways that suit them best.
4. We found more meaning from remote work, too
After more than a year into the pandemic, remote work and physical separation hadn’t prevented employees from feeling closer to their co-workers.
Our Future of Work study revealed that we found ways to grow together, even while we worked apart. 35% of employees actually feel more connected with co-workers than before (vs. 26% who feel less connected).
And that’s largely due to a company’s mission. With everything else in flux, a majority of employees (53%) say their organization’s purpose resonates with them more now than it did before the pandemic. In fact, a year into the pandemic, for every employee who says their organization’s purpose did not resonate with them, 10 say that it did.
5. Virtual events mean anyone (from anywhere) can tune in
Whether it was a work conference or a live concert, there were always some events you wouldn’t have been able to travel to before the pandemic.
Now, the pivot to virtual events has expanded to allow all people (including those not physically located in a destination) to have the same experience wherever they are.
6. At-home workouts at your fingertips
Focusing on our fitness at home has also never been easier. Streaming workout classes – from brands like Peloton, CityRow, and many more – have helped us maintain healthy lifestyles from the comforts of our living rooms, home offices, or basements.
Read more: How Peloton pivoted the business in 36 hours
7. The doctor is in… your video call
While we’ve been home, we’ve also been able to support our health in new ways, thanks to the evolution of telehealth.
As a provider, patients now expect seamless web and app experiences through easy-to-use technology. As an employer, your employees also expect to use technology in their everyday experiences, too.
As such, we foresee healthcare providers continuing to increase their investment in telehealth in order to deliver the virtual experiences driving business outcomes.
8. Small businesses met the world online
From Bookshop to Verishop, online marketplaces that provide access to small, independent businesses (from anywhere) are here to stay.
As a customer, these platforms allow you to support small businesses (plus their owners and employees) that create and sustain communities. Even when you can’t pop down the street to make a purchase, you know you’re “buying local” – an act that benefits the business and the planet.
Experiences will keep evolving
In the future, we expect experiences to continue to evolve, businesses to continue to pivot, and employees to continue to be productive in a hybrid work environment.
It’s the businesses (and employers) that design with this flexibility in mind that will continue to thrive – and win the war for talent.
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