Employee experience (EX) has been changed irrevocably due to the pandemic. Remote working has boosted productivity and allowed employees to avoid long, busy commutes. On the other hand, we also saw employees missing the benefits of in-person meetings and general social interactions in the office.  

To get the best of both working worlds, many employers today are choosing to adopt a hybrid work model. This mix between working remotely and in the office gives employees flexibility as well as a sense of being part of wider company culture.

In this article, we emphasize some key findings from the NTT’s 2021 Global Workplace Report and comment on how employees experience the hybrid working.

Recognizing the gap between expectations and reality of hybrid working

an image showing a person working remotely on his computer.

Our recent findings published through the ‘2021 Global Workplace Report’, identified contrasting views within organizations when it comes to understanding what the future of work should look like.

We found that two-thirds of employees globally say they’re not equipped with all the remote work tools, and yet 44% of UK&I organisations say they are strongly confident and ready for hybrid working.

For instance, 79% of global organisations appear to believe that employees prefer office working – when in fact, approximately 30% of employees would prefer to work remotely, 30% from the office, and 30% want to alternate between the two.

This gap in understanding signifies that top-level believe they’ve made more progress in key areas of workplace strategy than what employees experience. The two groups seem to be travelling in different directions when it comes to the understanding of the future of work.

Recognizing the power of employee experience

It is promising to see that 90.6% of global organisations recognize the value of employee experience as a crucial strategic differentiator when it comes to the future of work. More than 64% of global CEOs are very satisfied with their current EX capability.

an image showing a young female professional working in a co working and hybrid workplace environment.

However, although there is a focus on EX at the top level, we recognize the disconnect between this intent and reality. Only a quarter of the workforce globally fully agree that the value of EX is actually understood and embraced across the enterprise.

Moreover, employees today see EX as more than simply having the right tools to do their job. Championing a healthy work-life balance and employee wellbeing are quickly becoming core differentiators for organisations. The real question is if business leaders will be able to provide their talents with the psychological safety and mental health support they need.

Asking talents to provide feedback never gets old

For organizations looking to address the disconnect between what they believe and what employees think, Voice of the Employee (VoE) feedback is fundamental. Employee feedback can help organizations measure and react timely to changing expectations from their talents.

The hybrid workplace shouldn’t be an end state set in stone and should continue adapting in line with evolving employee expectations. Focusing strategies to reshape the workplace on direct employee feedback will help to eventually achieve an optimized EX.

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