With the third wave expected to arrive in the New year, How are Companies Prepared to Tackle the Situation

Mr. Ajay Trehan is an entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience in building and operating successful businesses. Ajay founded AuthBridge in August 2005. AuthBridge has since grown rapidly to become India’s leading provider of solutions and platforms that enable trust. A pioneer in innovation and business transformation, Ajay has nurtured the organisation from a largely services based to a highly tech enabled business model. Today, AuthBridge is a quality-driven, best practice company, delivering proven business impact risk mitigation solutions to top draw clients, including Fortune 500 organizations. With some very marquee offerings like AuthLead, WorkAttest, TruthScreen and Student Services Bureau, AuthBridge is spearheading change in the Indian employee as well as customer screening industries.

In the post-COVID era, 9 out of 10 companies combined remote and on-site working, according to a McKinsey survey. As we move closer to the end of 2021, there is an increasing debate on whether physical workplaces are still valuable with the new COVID-19 variant Omicron knocking on the door. The truth is that the unpredictable nature and the cyclical return of the virus makes a total return to offices impossible. A completely remote model is not without its pitfalls either as alienation, screen fatigue and lack of team coordination are widely-reported concerns worldwide. Hence, in the foreseeable future, workplaces across the world will be re-envisioned for a hybrid work culture. The reinvention will help organisations ensure a safe physical environment that employees use more for collaboration and innovation with their colleagues, and to immerse in the culture of the organisation than for actual work.

A study by NASSCOM and Indeed, a job portal, reveals that around 70% of IT companies are trying to take the hybrid model one level up. The survey also found that 66% reported higher employee satisfaction working in a hybrid model. Employees are expecting an extremely flexible workspace in the post pandemic world. If a company insists on returning to full-time onsite work, there are chances of losing good talent.

 

If the hybrid model is the way forward in 2022 for all organisations, what will be the key parameters that will define success in this model?

The work- what work is being done

The future of work will essentially be centred around ‘people’ and ‘technology’ to enable effective collaboration and maximise human productivity, at scale. A sharpened focus has been observed on process automation with the use of intelligent document processing, AI-based decision engines, etc. to drive greater efficiency and improve online journeys, right from the time of hiring, verification and onboarding to cover the entire employee lifecycle.

The workforce- who/what is doing the work

After the global pandemic, many did not want to head back to metro cities. So, here the greatest challenge was how to access needed capabilities across a broader talent ecosystem, create personalised and elevated experiences for the workforce, and engage them for maximum impact. With automation coupled with cloud usage, there is reduced dependency on physical office campuses. Multi-application adaptability is driving tasks from any geographical location.

Another area of concern that emerged during the remote working period was the lack of constructive communication and collaborative support. AI-driven tools and processes can ensure seamless and adequate collaboration and communication between the remote and on-premises workforce, thereby enhancing productivity and efficiency. For this, the conventional siloed approach is being re-analysed and greater focus is placed on cloud tools, HD audio/video calls, screen sharing, etc., to facilitate real-time collaborative working.

The workplace- where work is being done

If and when employees return to work this year, efforts are in place for a safe and efficient workspace that uses advanced technologies to ensure safety from pandemic risks and overcomes productivity challenges too. Companies are working to optimise the workplace environment that maximises the potential of workers by empowering them with technology, tools, and the ability to choose where and how work gets done. According to Gartner, organisations will lower operational costs by 30% by combining hyper automation technologies with redesigned operational processes by 2024.

Conclusion

Unlike 2020, when businesses lacked a clear direction, organisations are now in a much better place to handle the shift from completely remote to hybrid and vice versa. Greater investment and innovation is expected in automating and digitalising processes, functions and systems that support and empower the hybrid work model. IDC predicts that 65% of the global GDP will be digitalised by 2022, driving over $6.8 trillion of direct DX investments from 2020 to 2023. This will change workplaces as we knew them before 2020, and usher us truly into the future of work.

Source:CXOoutlook