86.4% of UK&I companies prioritising employee empowerment — NTT

The report from NTT has proved the wellbeing of the workforce as a key focal point within the business agendas of UK&I organisations, leading to employee empowerment being a priority.

Almost four-fifths (77.6%) of those surveyed agreed that remote working during the Covid-19 pandemic has posed challenges for employees, with bandwidth, feelings of isolation and lack of dedicated workspace being the most commonly cited concerns.

While 88.8% of UK&I firms recognise the value of employee experience as a key factor in strategic operations, only 26.4% are currently satisfied with their current capability.

Adapting to the new normal

When looking to aid the workforce’s adaption to remote working during the pandemic, less than a third (30.4%) of responding companies changed their IT policy to suit a new operating model.

Meanwhile, just 35.2% have deployed new communication and productivity tools, which has resulted in frequent cases of employees having to use personal devices and applications for work, which has increased security vulnerabilities.

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In addition, only 42.4% of UK&I organisations have increased their IT security capabilities while employees have been working remotely.

“The connected employee – their wellness and employee experience – must be at the heart of the future workplace strategy,” said Marilyn Chaplin, chief human resources officer at NTT Ltd.

“Helping people stay connected and keeping their data secure is key to looking after the workforce and maintaining productivity and effectiveness. Yet, this must be underpinned by a long-term strategy for digital transformation, with the roll out of new technologies, policies and, of course, training so employees feel comfortable with new platforms.”

Facilitating future offices

Elsewhere in the NTT Intelligent Workplace Report, 45.6% of organisations globally are already reviewing the general office design and how it can meet employees’ needs, while over half (55.3%) of global C-suite executives strongly agree that now is the time to create the workplace of the future.

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“How businesses combat the challenges posed by Covid-19 and re-shape their workplace strategy, will lay the foundation for an entire generation’s future of working,” said Alex Bennett, vice-president of intelligent workplace at NTT Ltd.

“Businesses must react with agility and purpose. We’re seeing companies driving change in real-time compared to months, if not years, previously.

“Those who were already ahead of the game in employee experience – making brave, data-driven, human-led decisions are now in a much stronger position in creating a supportive culture. Empowering people and helping them find greater fulfilment in their work is delivering value to these organisations.”

The 2020 Intelligent Workplace Report surveyed 1,350 participants across 19 markets, with 125 participants from UK&I.

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Aaron Hurst

Aaron Hurst is Information Age's senior reporter, providing news and features around the hottest trends across the tech industry.