The pandemic has ushered in the so-called Great Resignation, as well as several new workplace trends. These trends have catapulted the popularity of software and tools that allow workplaces to support remote workers and adapt to a rapidly changing work landscape.
Workplace Trends to Watch
Expect companies to dedicate more attention to these workplace trends:
- Employee experience
- Ever-expanding device ecosystem
- Unconventional work models
- App sprawl
- AI-powered automation
These trends present unique opportunities and challenges for businesses. We’ll cover the tools and software that business leaders have begun using in response to this dynamic environment.
Companies are increasingly turning their attention towards employee experience and satisfaction, particularly through diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) initiatives. According to Sunaina Lobo, Chief HR Officer at Marqeta, companies ignore DE&I at their own peril: “Companies that do not invest in the employee experience from the very first touchpoint, through the hiring process, and into the workplace will be left behind.”
This means the way we recruit and hire can make a difference in fostering a more diverse workplace. Software like Fetcher, Greenhouse, Paylocity, Salesforce, and Suited have built-in features to mitigate bias and support a more equitable workplace. Such features mask identifying information like names or addresses in the resume evaluation stage, allow applicants to record their name pronunciation, and so much more.
Read more at TechRepublic: Workplace Diversity: Actionable steps companies can take for recruiting, promotion and accountability
Dispersed Device Ecosystem
As much of the workforce has shifted to remote or hybrid work, the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) model has skyrocketed in popularity. At the same time, Jeffrey Gabriel, co-founder of Saw.com, notes that “workers [don’t] want work matters constantly clogging up their own devices, nor [do] they want to be responsible for maintenance and repair.” In addition, businesses risk greater cybersecurity vulnerability by allowing employees to use their personal devices.
The BYOD trend has increased demand for services that bolster security in IoT, BYOD-driven enterprises, such as DaaS.
Gabriel has taken advantage of Device-as-a-Service (DaaS) to increase security. DaaS is when a third-party company supplies and manages desktop and mobile devices for a company’s employees. Outsourcing devices — and their associated maintenance and security — allows employees to focus on work without worrying about security or blending personal and work apps. Two major providers of DaaS are HP and Microsoft.
Flexible Working Models
Remote and hybrid work models are here to stay, even the hours we work are becoming negotiable. According to Shane Howard, VP of Global Operations at Simplus, “the need to come to work or even work a standard 9-5 will become less important.” In light of this tendency, tools that help employees collaborate across different time zones and schedules will continue to feature in the new work paradigm.
Vartika Kashyap, Chief Marketing Officer of ProofHub, reports that common challenges of flexible working models include:
- Disjointed remote communication and collaboration
- Ineffective work planning
- Productivity drain
To meet these obstacles, several business leaders have found the following tools indispensable:
- Zoom for internal and external conference calls
- Slack for employee engagement and internal communication
- Trello for project and workflow management
- Proofhub, which provides a central interface for app consolidation
Though flexible work may benefit many employees’ well-being, and several companies have rushed to develop solutions for the new workplace, Kashyap addresses a growing concern: “teams who use too many tools for remote collaboration end up compromising on productivity.”
Too many tools has led to what Jeff Evernham, VP of Strategy at Sinequa, calls “app splintering.” He adds that “employees are expected to master increasing numbers of specialized applications. While these apps are great for task productivity, [their] rapid proliferation … hurts overall productivity and overwhelms workers.”
To combat tool fatigue, solutions such as ProofHub or Sinequa’s Enterprise Search Platform unify programs and apps into one central interface. This reduces strains on employee concentration and focus.
AI-powered automation continues to play a significant role in today’s businesses, helping humans keep track of an increasingly complex network of devices, apps, and associated workflows. Further, AI continues to have an impact in the areas of hiring and employee development.
In the process of recruiting and hiring new talent, HR professionals rely increasingly on AI-powered automation to reduce time spent on repetitive tasks. Automation comes into play, for instance, in reaching out to several candidates at once while providing a personalized experience and building a network of talent to tap into later.
In fact, AI aids HR in “remembering” previous candidates via recommendation tools within applicant tracking systems (ATS) and recruiting software like Manatal or Workable. In addition, AI makes it possible for an ATS like Freshteam or Zoho Recruit to parse resumes and efficiently sort out the top candidates for a role.
To accommodate widespread skill gaps and labor shortages, AI has a role to play in reskilling and upskilling current employees. John Li, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Fig Loans, finds that AI-based training programs “help round out an employee’s technical skills even in remote and hybrid workspaces” by “using training data analytics to improve the learning experience, and predictive analytics to create more intuitive learning content.”
KEA, for example, is an AI-based learning experience platform that provides employees with a personalized learning experience through a facilitator that’s powered by AI and machine learning.
Given the human tendency towards bias and the growing device and app creep that keep companies operating 24/7 around the globe, it’s no wonder that AI-powered automation continues to be of significant importance to today’s businesses.
Ready or not, the new work paradigm will continue to bring challenges — but also new opportunities. Check out TechnologyAdvice’s Guide to Remote Working Software for ideas and tools to adapt to the ever-evolving work landscape.
Read next: How to Hire For the Future of Work