Digital Employee Experience: How the “new normal” doesn’t become the “new pain”

Employees have high expectations of hybrid working. Christoph Harvey, CEO of Deskcenter AG, explains in his guest article which strategy ensures satisfaction.

Appetite comes with eating. This is also the case with remote working: for months, employees were condemned to work at the kitchen table because of the home office obligation. Now they have acquired a taste for it: Nine out of ten employees want to work, at least partially, from home in the future. That’s according to a recent Bitkom study from March 2022, but that’s not all. They would also prefer to decide for themselves at what times they work and how often they are present at the company location. And every fourth applicant even turns down a job offer that obliges them to be present in the office full-time.

Deskcenter Digital Employee Experience GIF

So the ladies and gentlemen of the executive floors have no choice but to come up with a suitable digital strategy. Moreover, the flexible workplace of 2022 no longer has anything in common with the improvised kitchen table of 2020. Employees expect the same professional IT services and equipment at home as they do at the employer’s premises. A focus on the digital employee experience is therefore called for.

Briefly explained: Digital Employee Experience

Digital Employee Experience (DEX) summarises how employees perceive the IT infrastructure provided by their employer. This includes more than adequate workplace equipment with an ergonomic office chair, laptop and WLAN. IT processes and support that run like the proverbial clockwork are just as important. Instead, if there are regular problems, both productivity and employee satisfaction suffer.

DEX pays off for companies. A study by Accenture proves this. According to the study, 63 percent of companies with above-average growth have already established a working model that can be described as “productivity anywhere”. And VMware found that for three quarters of the companies surveyed, DEX is a very high or even the highest priority. They realised: CIOs and their teams have no choice but to establish a DEX strategy with their employees in mind. This is essentially based on 5 pillars.

„1-Click-Checkout“: The employee Marketplace

Private online shopping is the benchmark. One click and the desired product is delivered within a very short time. The same convenience is expected by the workforce for their hybrid workplace. From the company mobile phone to training to the Swopper – everything should be easily orderable in the company’s own marketplace. This is best categorised clearly and shows an employee only those products to choose from that fit his or her role. Meaningful descriptions go without saying. In the background, workflows process the orders automatically and route them reliably to the right approval office.

Always up-to-date: automated processes

When a user orders an app, he or she wants to use it immediately. Professional software management therefore supports the process-controlled ad-hoc distribution of applications – regardless of location. To ensure that nothing goes wrong even remotely, the same mechanism also automatically distributes updates and patches. Installation takes place in the background or outside working hours, so that employees do not have to interrupt their work. In this way, their devices are always kept up to date.

woman-with-laptop-in-hotel

Always ready to go: support and knowledge base

Hardly anything is more stressful than when the computer in the home office breaks down or the online meeting cannot be started. With the right support, many employees see themselves as capable of solving simple problems themselves. However, they need “help to help themselves”, such as a portal with an extensive knowledge base. In times of scarce IT resources, such a portal helps twice over. Because if they can’t solve the problem on their own, it supports the helpdesk agents in finding a solution. In order for the support staff to reach their goal even faster, they need direct access to all relevant data on the colleague’s assets. However, these are often hidden out of reach in the system for IT asset and software management (ITAM). Better: integrate the service desk seamlessly into the ITAM.

Inventory: 360-degree view

A reporting tool here, a mobile device dashboard there and an Excel list of all SaaS solutions on top: ITAM for the digital workspace is different. Modern solutions provide a complete and always up-to-date overview of all software and hardware used. What does the remote employee gain from this? They benefit, for example, from smooth processes and trouble-free work, keyword cyber security. Thanks to a complete inventory, potential weak points can be recognised and eliminated in time before an attack paralyses the computer.

IT management: are you already automating or are you still running?

Those who tackle digital employee experience (DEX) pay for the satisfaction of their internal clientele. At the same time, it protects and relieves the burden on IT resources. The days of “IT by trainer”, when the team was sent from desk to desk, are finally over. Instead, automated processes with workflows take over standard tasks. This not only saves time and nerves for IT staff. The quality of service improves noticeably, and with it the DEX.

Hectically updated inventory lists for the next licence audit are then history. What was ordered when, by whom and for what purpose is also clearly documented and can be retrieved at any time. Companies and employees benefit from this compliance. Because if you generate reports at the push of a button, you simply have more time for tricky problems and the end users in the departments. And this pays off not only in terms of IT efficiency, but also in terms of employee satisfaction within the company – regardless of where they work.

Conclusion

“Nine to Five” was yesterday and the classic presence model has had its day in many places. On the winner’s podium are the companies that meet the expectations of their employees with hybrid working models – and know how to keep them that way. Soft factors such as the digital employee experience make a key contribution to this.

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