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Adopting a Transformative Mindset in the New Era of Flexible Work

Read on for key insights from our Work Transformation Summit in EMEA to help you elevate the employee and customer experience.
7 min read

Updated on September 23, 2022

Published on June 15, 2022

EMEA Work Transformation Summit
Nikhil Virmani
Nikhil Virmani
Program Lead, Integrated Marketing, Platform, EMEA

In the past few years, organizations around the world have transformed their operations to navigate new challenges. At the heart of this transformation is a renewed effort to support customers and employees in new ways — a fresh take on meeting the evolving expectations of customers and the needs of an increasingly distributed workforce.  

At our recent Work Transformation Summit in EMEA held on May 25, we brought together an all-star panel of industry experts and leaders from organizations around Europe, including HSBC, Emmelibri, IDC, Forrester, & Omdia, to learn how they are enhancing the experience of customers and employees in this new age of work. 

Here are some key insights from the event to help give you an idea of how leading organizations are using technology and new strategies to elevate the employee experience, retain talent, reimagine your workspace, and deliver better customer experiences (CX):

Reframing the employee experience (EX)

Reframing the employee experience

The workplace has changed in the sense that work is no longer a place, but a space. Employee expectations have evolved alongside the workspace as well, and how your teams experience your organization in this flexible work world requires careful planning and consideration. Here are a few key insights to help empower your employees and attract the best talent to your organization:  

Build employee development into the employee experience

Today’s employees and job candidates are looking for more than just a paycheck and a place to work — they’re also looking for opportunities to grow. Organizations and managers that prioritize the development of employees and devote time and resources to maintaining their wellbeing will have a happier, more productive workforce. 

Prioritize employees or lose them

To highlight how important employee experience has become, Angela Salmeron, Research Director, European Future of Work IDC, shared a startling statistic — 40% of companies in Europe are struggling to fill roles, while 1 in 3 employees reported wanting to change jobs. If organizations want to avoid turnover and fill new roles, they need to prioritize their employees and focus on their needs. 

Lean into work-life integration

Tim Banting, Senior Principal Analyst at Omdia, explained in this session that work-life balance can be difficult. However, he also explained that work-life integration, in which employees integrate work into their daily lives, is much easier. When people can take a pet for a walk during a meeting, employees feel more productive and less stressed about taking care of their daily lives.  

Real-world examples of organizations transforming work

Real-world examples of organizations transforming work

Organizations around the world are using this opportunity to enhance employee collaboration and customer service processes through technology. Here are some insights into how they are approaching these new endeavours:  

Leverage technology to streamline operations

Leading organizations like Emmelibri.IT are leveraging Zoom’s Software Development Kits (SDKs) to streamline its day-to-day operations. Luca Paleari, CIO of Emmelibri.IT, explained that by building their own integration with Zoom Phone that helps agents quickly identify who is calling and pulling up their relevant details, his teams can save time and create a more streamlined customer experience. 

Take this time to rethink the office

When the offices of HSBC were empty during a pandemic, the banking organization took the opportunity to completely rethink its offices. And not just to move things around or add a few more desks — its teams built new, technology-enabled meeting spaces that encourage on-site collaboration and create a more effective hybrid experience. 

Embrace flexibility 

Dan Simpson, Global Head of Unified Collaboration at HSBC, detailed how his employees often transfer a Zoom Meeting to a personal device to enhance flexibility. He explained that this kind of functionality helps to create a better work-life balance and doesn’t force his teams to choose between arriving on time for their son or daughter’s soccer game or finishing their work call. 

Embracing ‘The Nowhere Office’ in the era of flexible work

Embracing ‘The Nowhere Office’

What used to be the central hub for work still plays an important role, but work now takes place wherever employees are — whether that’s in the office, at home, or somewhere in between. Here are some key insights that Julia Hobsbawm, author of “‘The Nowhere Office’: Reinventing Work and the Workplace of the Future,” shared during this illuminating session: 

Freedom of choice is a top priority

As Hobsbawm explained, not having control of their time is a huge issue for many employees. They want the freedom to set the working patterns to fit their lives, which may include avoiding the daily commute to the office. And to empower employees to do their best work, organizations need to provide them with the freedom to choose where they work. 

The office serves a new role

We no longer travel to the office just to work — the office has become a place where we can socialize, attend training sessions, and get to know our team members better. To provide the best employee experience, organizations need to design their spaces with this new role in mind, ensuring that their spaces encourage employees to interact and offer unique experiences they can’t get at home. 

The rise of ‘The Nowhere Office’

Much of our day-to-day work will take place in one or two places, such as the home or office, but will also take place elsewhere — airport terminals, on the road, or even in the car. Employers need to embrace the idea of “The Nowhere Office” and equip their offices and employees with the solutions they need, such as cloud communication solutions and dynamic hardware, to make that idea a reality. 

Enhancing flexibility to create happy employees, customers

Enhancing flexibility to create happy employees, customers

The first step in creating happy customers is ensuring you have happy employees. James McQuivey, Research Director at Forrester, shared some critical insights on how the employee experience is directly tied to the customer experience:

The future of employee experience relies on leaders 

McQuivey explained that his teams found that 46% of workers trust their senior execs to do what they say they will, and of that 46%, 80% are proud to work there. However, for those who do not trust their senior executives to follow through, the percentage of people proud to work at their organization falls to 40%. It’s clear that to improve employee experience, leaders need to enhance their trust with their employees and follow through on their goals and promises. 

Remote employees are here to stay

In relation to remote work, McQuivey shared more eye-opening statistics — 53% of remote employees are hoping to continue remote work, 61% of executives predict remote work will increase permanently, and 51% of companies are using a hybrid work model. Needless to say, remote work is here to stay. Leaders and managers need to ensure they develop policies and design spaces with remote workers in mind to provide an ideal employee experience. 

Happy employees = happy customers 

McQuivey also highlighted industry research that shows that in an environment where employees rate their experience highly, they are much more likely to take the customer’s needs into account when making decisions and designing processes. When employees are happy, they are less likely to focus on the problems at work and focus on their teammates and customers, creating a richer experience for both employees and customers. 

Discover how to adopt a transformative mindset

To hear from industry leaders and experts on how you and your organization can support a flexible working model, improve your employee’s experience, and create exciting customer experiences, be sure to watch the free recording of the event!

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