Business enablement series: The danger of the disconnected workforce

As we enter the beginning of the end of the pandemic (or is it the end of the beginning?), 80% of CEOs are worried about skill shortages and recruitment.

While it may be tempting to think that the increased rates of unemployment over the past year would favor employers looking to hire, it’s clear that the job market is in fact more competitive than ever. Many of the companies that began 2020 by downsizing their workforce are now looking to regrow, and recent shifts in remote working have expanded their recruitment pool. 

But companies are not only competing with each other. Younger workers — Millennials and Gen Zers — are increasingly likely to choose freelance or gig work over traditional employment

To attract and retain workers, employers need to cultivate an attractive working environment, starting with a tech stack that enables flexibility and promotes collaboration

Breaking free of office norms

In 2020, Millennials represented 35% of the global workforce with Gen Zers accounting for another 24%

These younger generations of workers, in addition to their technological proficiency, are increasingly focused on workplace flexibility. In fact, 62% of Millennials who are considering switching jobs are looking to freelancing as an alternative. 

This past year has accelerated that trend, with just 4% of employees reporting that they want to return to full-time, in-person work

The driving force behind all this is the tech stack that has enabled remote work to become so productive and efficient. However, a company’s tech stack needs to do more than just make it possible for people to work from home.  

An overabundance of technology

The difference between personal and professional tools is shrinking. Apps for messaging, video conferencing, and sharing media are ubiquitous in private life — often with a superior user experience. Business tech that serves a similar function needs to perform at least as well to avoid user frustration

Part of the problem is the overwhelming number of technologies workers are given. When asked about the number of tech tools they use each day, 19% of employees in the US reported that they felt overwhelmed, while 26% reported that the overabundance of technology was actually the reason they were unable to get their job done completely. 

This is a common frustration when business apps are purchased or deployed independently, without the framework of a comprehensive business enablement tech stack, leading to a disjointed, disconnected user experience.

Get the 2021 Business Enablement Report  Explore how the business enablement stack can power business performance.   Download guide

Introducing the business enablement tech stack

In the US, when asked how technology could help them work more efficiently and effectively, 75% of workers answered that technology should be more integrated into their daily workflows. 73% wanted their tech to be more user-friendly and intuitive, 63% wanted tech to be distributed across the entire company, and 55% agreed that tech should help streamline the working day so they have more time to focus on their high-value work. 

The keywords here are integrated, intuitive, and company-wide. Technology that truly enables business results needs to be easy to use and connected throughout the entire workforce.  

Focusing on business enablement – as opposed to singular work functions – means that the technology that companies provide to their workforce is more likely to enjoy high adoption rates, promote high-value work output, and drive value for the whole company. 

 

Preparing for the unexpected

Looking back over the last 12 months, it’s clear that companies who were more advanced in their digital transformation were better able to meet the challenges posed by the pandemic, while companies who had delayed or resisted embracing a cloud-first tech stack rushed to catch up

Having a smart tech strategy is emerging as a competitive advantage, with 77% of executives stating that technology architecture is becoming a critical feature of their organization’s overall success.

But the value in a connected tech stack goes beyond weathering the storm during a global crisis. Employees expect a hybrid work environment, and they expect their employers to support them with the technology they need not just to get the job done, but to seamlessly connect them with the tools, content, and processes they need to excel in their roles. 

At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that the goal of business enablement is to empower people to spend less time creating something better

 

Download the business enablement report to learn more about the issues caused by a disconnected workforce. Or check out our other articles on business enablement here

 

Data source: Templafy research

An online survey of adult full-time employees who work in companies of 100 employees or more, was conducted by Propeller Insights between March 26th and March 27th, 2021. Respondents opted into an online database, from there, they were targeted based on demographics. To further confirm qualifications, respondents were asked to verify their information in the survey itself, self-identifying qualifications, with the maximum margin of sampling error was +/- 3 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence.

 

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This article is part of our series exploring the topic of business enablement. Follow our series right here as we focus on all aspects of the tech that’s set to define the future of work.

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