The future of work is a technological (and management) challenge

Even Apple must surely see now that the future of work is a technological challenge. Solving this challenge will require new generations of office equipment designed to support much deeper remote and hybrid collaboration experiences, and solutions must reflect the needs of employees.

Looking for a Collaboration Superstar

Corel offers new insights from its Collaboration survey, which surveyed 2,027 office workers in the US, UK, Germany, Netherlands, Italy and Australia. It revealed that 54% of company employees think poor collaboration tools are a problem and 70% think they limit productivity and waste time.

So what’s the status?

Reading between the lines, companies need to think much deeper to ensure that the tools they provide are appropriate and good enough for workers to use. They must be easy to use and functional, and users must be properly trained in their use.

Corel data shows:

  • 27% say companies aren’t investing in the right tools.
  • 25% agree that collaboration tools have poor functionality.
  • 22% of employees say they do not use the tools made available to them.
  • 21% of employees say they are not trained in the use of tools.

What are the characteristics of a good collaboration solution?

Corel’s data suggests that tools should be platform independent, should work on all devices, and should allow multiple people to work on the same project at the same time. They should support people working asynchronously, be simple and intuitive, and improve the employee experience.

Because the tools that will be used most effectively will inevitably be the ones employees like to use. (Here are six virtual collaboration tools you might want to try.)

We always knew that, of course. Think back to the pre-pandemic years, when the dual mantra of employee choice and employee experience taught us that no company should insist that employees use poorly designed software. There has long been a reactionary belief that work-related products should be difficult to use because they are used for work, but the advent of the iPhone and BYOD should have put an end to that thinking.

No modern business should rely on an interface that isn’t developed with the employee experience in mind, especially when Corel’s survey shows that 41% of workers have left or would consider leaving their jobs due to poor cooperation at work.

Also worth noting is a recent MindGym survey; he showed that the transformation of the workplace also weighs on managers, 70% of them feel exhausted as they struggle to master these changes.

Business leaders need to recognize that their employees need help at the senior and junior levels.

Relevance is a business challenge

While simplicity is a design challenge, relevance is a business challenge. That’s why employers looking for collaboration tools should first talk to their teams, engage with them to uncover the challenges they face, and work to identify and select the most appropriate solution for that set. single of needs. This is how Volvo improved its own field support teams.

This does not mean that every company will find a unique solution. But employee engagement and collective decision-making can at least help optimize success. You’re not investing in autonomous decision-making (a vital quality for remote work) if you insist on forcing people to use ineffective tools chosen from the boardroom.

Upstream of your business, the employee experience is your business, not an afterthought, which means your choices impact how employees experience their day.

[Also read: Enterprise tech? Don’t forget to make it human]

It’s not rocket science.

Happy and bright people holding hands

A happy employee will use the tools you provide and increase your results. Tools that go unused because you forced them on your employees are much less likely to be successful.

This is true for in-person teams, but it’s much more of an issue for remote teams, which need a high degree of loyalty and commitment to be successful.

And yet, despite these realities, some managers insist on hierarchical approaches to remote work. That’s why 78% of employees say leaders could do more to drive collaboration.

“Respondents reported issues with their business not investing in the right tools (27%), current tools lacking necessary functionality (25%), complete lack of access to collaboration tools (22%) and a lack of training on the tools they have access to (21%),” the Corel survey says.

Employees say they need video conferencing, remote access and instant messaging, of course. But they are also looking for tools for concept mapping, concept creation, and direct collaboration such as design and review.

where tomorrow shines

The jury has already given its verdict on remote and hybrid work. Since the pandemic hit, we’ve learned that hybrid and remote working can be productive, but having the right tools helps maximize that opportunity. Even Apple knows this, which is why it keeps trying to find its own new working models.

Corel Director of Human Resources Scott Day said in a statement:

“This survey underscores the alarming cost of inadequate collaboration tools and highlights that organizations of all sizes are constrained by the quick fixes that were implemented at the start of the pandemic.

“Rather than improving employees’ ability to be productive, these stop-gap solutions are often a hindrance to getting work done and can significantly impair the overall productivity of hybrid and remote workers. Listening to employees, creating an environment people want to work in, and investing in simple, intuitive collaboration tools is what will enable businesses to succeed in 2022.”

Meet me in the crowd

The the future of work is a technological challenge. Understanding what this means requires close collaboration both within and between teams. It may also require conversations with key partners to ensure the systems are working together effectively.

And don’t neglect to consider the lessons of Shadow IT – this is how your employees are already asking for help to do their jobs.

Corel Collaboration Survey Report 2022 is available for download.

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Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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