In our last blog, we shared the results of Soffos’ latest survey – a poll of more than 650 UK business leaders, which investigated the challenges they have been facing since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This research clearly resonated with our audience, and has, in fact, already been published recently in Forbes and IT Pro Portal: two leading authorities on leading-edge international business and technology trends.
Our CEO Nikolas Kairinos shared his thoughts on the findings, which highlighted that productivity, customer service and employee development have all taken a hit since March 2020, as businesses made the swift transition to digital. He stressed:
“Technology itself is not the issue, but rather the adoption of poor or inappropriate tech that likely occurred because businesses had little time to prepare for lockdowns, social distancing and remote working.”
As new frontiers of hybrid work take shape, how are businesses planning to leverage tech to their advantage as they attempt to strike the right balance between online and offline modes of working?
All eyes on AI
Employees who have been working remotely for the last 18 months might naturally be feeling detached from their wider organizations. Conversations on certain subjects are likely to have become a distant memory, with most exchanges taking place only between colleagues who must work closely together on projects. Unfortunately, such interactions work at the expense of establishing valuable relationships with peers from further afield.
The evidence suggests that employees are nostalgic for face-to-face collaboration, even if only once or twice a week. Our survey confirmed that this is a general sentiment within businesses: almost half (48%) of the decision-makers we polled said employees within their organization have expressed a desire to return to in-person meetings or days in the office. More significantly, similar numbers (44%) said that their organization became a less appealing place to work when in-person interactions stopped during the pandemic.
Clearly, there are improvements to be made when it comes to strengthening workplace relationships - businesses are already investigating the features of new technology to achieve this goal.
We asked executives which technologies are at the forefront of their plans, and it appears that all eyes are on artificial intelligence (AI) – nearly a third (32%) of businesses said they plan to invest in AI solutions over the coming 12 months.
No doubt, the answer to many of the above problems lies in sophisticated tech. Businesses must think carefully about the number and caliber of the solutions they are using, with capital investments likely to go a lot further when quantities are streamlined, but quality is prioritized. To ensure employees’ long-term needs are being met, decision-makers must seek out comprehensive technologies that can improve interactions, consolidate workflows, and help colleagues to re-connect.
Nikolas has some helpful advice for those considering their next steps:
“I would encourage business leaders to think carefully about the technologies they are investing in, and how these are being used. As the old saying goes, sometimes “less is more”. So, whether it is by condensing the number of communication platforms used, or investing in fewer (but more advanced) technologies, narrowing down tech requirements and creating a well-thought-out investment plan will give businesses a leg up on their digital transformation journeys.”
If your business is looking for the whole package – a platform that can elevate the employee experience, support learning and development and enhance productivity – then be sure to sign up for Soffos’ beta program to see our corporate KnowledgeBot in action!