As companies adapt to the new normal of hybrid work arrangements, technology is playing a critical role in ensuring that employees remain engaged, productive, and connected. In 2023, we anticipate the widespread adoption of technology that facilitates remote collaboration, communication, and feedback.
Here are four hybrid workplace technology essentials that companies should consider implementing to improve employee engagement.
1. Video conferencing and collaboration tools
Video conferencing and collaboration tools have become a staple in the remote work environment, enabling teams to connect face-to-face, regardless of their physical location. In 2023, it is likely that these tools will continue to evolve, with an increasing focus on improving collaboration and engagement.
One trend that is expected in collaboration tools is businesses moving their IT infrastructure to the cloud, as well as an increased focus on hybrid cloud environments that combine public and private cloud services. This trend started after 2020, when around 65% of decision-makers increased their cloud budgets after seeing how cloud implementation helped them build resilience and inject flexibility into their operations.
With a greater number of employees working remotely, cloud computing allows for easy access to data and applications from any location. It also enables organizations to easily scale their IT infrastructure to meet the needs of a remote workforce. Additionally, cloud computing can provide increased security and data protection, which is critical when employees are accessing sensitive company information from various locations. Due to these benefits, cloud computing will continue to be a foundational technology for the hybrid workplace in 2023 and beyond.
2. Employee feedback platforms
Employee feedback platforms are an essential tool for keeping remote employees engaged and connected. In a hybrid work environment, it can be challenging to maintain a sense of community and ensure that employees feel heard and valued. Feedback platforms can help address these issues by enabling employees to provide feedback, share ideas, and raise concerns in a safe and confidential manner.
In 2023, it is expected that employee feedback platforms will become more sophisticated, incorporating features such as sentiment analysis and natural language processing. These technologies can help managers to identify patterns in employee feedback and take action to address any concerns or issues.
Another trend that is likely to be seen in employee feedback platforms is the incorporation of gamification elements. Gamification can make the process of providing feedback more engaging and rewarding for employees, encouraging them to participate more actively in the feedback process.
3. Digital workplace assistants
Digital workplace assistants, such as virtual personal assistants and chatbots, are becoming increasingly common in the workplace. In a hybrid work environment, these tools can be particularly useful for remote employees who may not have easy access to IT support or other resources.
Digital workplace assistants can assist employees with a variety of tasks, such as scheduling meetings, accessing files, and troubleshooting technical issues. They can also provide personalized recommendations based on the employee's work patterns and preferences.
According to Gartner, at least 37% of employees will be using virtual assistants on a daily basis by 2025. Therefore, it is expected that digital workplace assistants will become more intelligent and context-aware in 2023. This means that they will be able to understand the employee's needs and context better and provide more accurate and personalized assistance.
4. Employee wellness platforms
Following employees prioritizing their health over salary and other benefits, around 93% of organizations now offer telehealth services as part of their employee support. That change signifies that employee wellness platforms are a critical tool for promoting employee well-being and preventing burnout, particularly in a hybrid workplace, where employees may struggle to maintain a healthy work-life balance. These platforms can provide resources and support for employees to improve their physical and mental health, such as fitness programs, mindfulness exercises, and counseling services.
In 2023, it is likely that employee wellness platforms will become more personalized and data-driven. These platforms will be able to collect data on the employee's health and well-being, such as sleep patterns and stress levels, and use this data to provide personalized recommendations and support.
How to select the best technology for a hybrid workplace?
As companies continue to navigate the challenges of hybrid work arrangements, technology will play an increasingly critical role in:
- Facilitating remote collaboration
With the help of video conferencing tools and cloud-powered collaboration tools, employees will be able to communicate more effectively, completing their tasks and staying aware of the updates.
- Optimizing workload
In the busy world of tomorrow, virtual assistants are becoming increasingly helpful to human employers as they assist them with a number of tasks: from handling the bulk of client requests, to scheduling meetings or generating tickets. In addition, digital assistants can gather useful client and performance data, letting companies provide more personalized services.
- Supporting employee well-being
As employees show preference towards employers who can provide them with healthcare benefits and attention to mental and physical state, employee wellness platforms and employee feedback platforms have become a must-have component of a digital workplace. The future of business growth is directly related to the employers’ ability to communicate with their teams – therefore, leaders need to invest into the technology that enables them to connect with employees.