The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the IT-employee relationship and digital workplace

Dion Hinchcliffe
Dion Hinchcliffe
Jul 17, 2020
Dion Hinchcliffe

In the first of this series by guest blogger, Dion Hinchcliffe, he wrote about the importance of endpoints in a work from anywhere enterprise. In this second article of the series, Dion delves into how the IT-employee relationship has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic and what IT can do to improve the digital experience in the post-pandemic, work from anywhere world.

The relationship between IT and the worker has always been a story of the former providing enablement and productivity for the latter. This dynamic hasn’t changed during the pandemic; if anything, it’s only been further reinforced. That’s because the digital employee experience has always been the very lifeline upon which workers depend to stay productive and continue to carry out their job responsibilities. The difference is that in the pre-pandemic era, IT focused on the digital transformation of physical workspaces to boost employee productivity and engagement. Now, digital experiences must be cultivated and nurtured everywhere and anywhere.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that an organization’s IT infrastructure is the primary delivery channel for work. But now the IT infrastructure must evolve to undertake a new role or risk holding enterprises back from digital transformation. Thus, as we look beyond the transformational events of the pandemic and prepare for the work from anywhere world, it’s absolutely critical that IT leaders focus on employee-driven digital innovation, starting with endpoints.

The IT-employee relationship during COVID-19

Of course, due to its suddenness, the shift to remote work as the primary employee experience has been a rather challenging one for most IT teams, as well as the wider workforce. IT has struggled to establish a fully capable IT experience that is on par with the office experience

Because most endpoint management tools weren’t designed to support endpoints outside the office, there’s been an increase in disruption to employees in general when working from home, as well as a larger than usual number of technology faults, including connection issues. Technical support requests generally have skyrocketed due to the much more variable nature of remote endpoints. This has led to backlogged IT support teams, slower time to resolution, and a reactive posture in general to helping users that are struggling with some facet of their endpoint experience.

With over 35 million workers now working remotely full-time in the U.S. alone, the burden on the digital employee experience to match what workers had in the office has put a significant strain on every aspect of endpoint management, straining the IT-employee relationship along the way. Succeeding in these conditions requires both scale and depth of coverage in endpoint management that’s been specifically designed for a highly heterogeneous endpoint operating environment.

Endpoint management for the work from anywhere world

With 98% of remote workers in a recent 1E survey currently reporting that the performance of their endpoint is important to a significant degree, endpoint managers that seek to establish and maintain a high-quality level of service in the Work From Anywhere Enterprise are advised to do the following:

  • Ensure all remote work endpoints have proactive coverage for routine issues
  • Measure what the worker is actually experiencing at the endpoint, just as much as the individual endpoint components (hardware/software/network connection)
  • Enable workers to self-service as many Tier 1 and Tier 2 endpoint support issues as possible
  • Focus on short service desk turnaround times to minimize worker frustration and business impact through automated issue resolution that goes beyond trouble ticketing to actual issue resolution
  • Map endpoint performance metrics closely to a widely accepted digital employee experience score such as Net Promoter Score (NPS) on a weekly, preferably daily, basis

To find out more about the future of the digital workplace and what IT must do to prepare, join me at this year’s WFA Enterprise conference on 29 and 30 July. To see the full agenda and sign up, visit wfaconf.com

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