Are UAE-based organisations geared for a change in the future of the workplace?
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Are UAE-based organisations geared for a change in the future of the workplace?

Are UAE-based organisations geared for a change in the future of the workplace?

Companies with successful digital workplace transformations will be at an advantage over those struggling with legacy systems


2020 has seen tremendous shifts and changes in the way we work.

Technology and innovation are creating new opportunities as well as challenges. For more than a decade, we’ve built a culture around the idea that work is outcomes based, not anchored to a specific place or time. While every industry and business is different, a segment of employees have shifted to remote work and businesses have had to rethink their operating models and organisational structures.

Concurrently, organisations have been increasingly recognising that workforce transformation could be key to long-term business success, and many have taken measures to consolidate platforms and processes in the workplace. Others have taken short term measures to accommodate this, while at the core still remaining inflexible, often not delivering the experience or value that a modernised workforce needs. While slowly approaching a return to the workplace, organisations have to be ready to cater to a modern workforce, as the world in which we work in has drastically changed.

The modern workforce demands technologies that enhance productivity anytime, from anywhere
In order to thrive, organisations need to be ready to make long-lasting changes, as the demands of the returning workforce have transformed.

Organisations that return to their old ways of working will suffer as short-term fixes will not be enough, and there needs to be planning on how to incorporate technologies that will work in the long run.

It is in an organisation’s best interest to make the workers’ experience as productive as possible, allowing the returning workforce to get their job done with the least amount of friction. This can mean that remote and flexible working could become the new norm.

Businesses need to be truly ready to shift away from the traditional nine-to-five job requirements and the dependency on the traditional office space. With the advent of mobile technologies and cloud-based solutions, working anytime, and from anywhere is a reality, and real-world solutions that enable modern workforces to communicate effectively, access their data from any device and empower them to be productive are here to stay.

Currently, when it comes to reimagining modern worker experiences, many organisations have some idea of what they want to do, but lack the experience needed to make ground-breaking transformations. Too often, organisations use “quick stitches” or a one-size-fits-all approach which to their detriment will impact worker productivity and innovation.

Moving forward, a focus on personalisation will prove to be beneficial.

But what does delivering a personalised experience really mean?

Given enterprise applications are accessed by a variety of personas, the ideal scenario is to minimise the applications’ complexity with a well thought out experience. Worker research and basic usability testing can help identify expectations, behaviours and specific needs. Most employees using enterprise applications are highly skilled, so it’s important that their experience is intuitive and productive. Simple experience improvements can pay dividends with workforce productivity.

Then come the tools and techniques that can create lasting change. These include dynamic team collaboration tools that allow employees to connect with each other in real-time, a self-service IT experience to efficiently deliver the outcomes workers want, and a productive intranet that empowers workers and promotes connection to the organisation’s culture.

Looking ahead at future workforce trends
Businesses will need to also consider striking a balance between empowering employees to work virtually through advanced technology and retaining a workplace environment that allows their employees to work onsite in the office; maintaining company culture and productivity.

The mix of different generations in the workplace creates a complex dynamic of working styles and productivity drivers that are hard to ignore. In 2019, the first wave of Gen Z employees started infiltrating the workforce, and they’re incredibly different from their predecessors.

Having been born in a world with cutting-edge, hyper-connected technology, they expect a work environment that is collaborative and encourages learning. They want freedom, flexibility, and the ability to showcase their entrepreneurial nature through personalised roles. Organisations in the UAE should take heed and be ready, as over one million residents of the country are classified as Gen Z – and this is only expected to increase over the next five years.

Providing intuitive technology and solutions is just one piece of the puzzle for organisations looking to attract this next wave of talent.

In the next five years, organisations will need to challenge the hierarchical power dynamic between employees and employers and provide Gen Z employees with career paths that develop and bolster their skills in new and exciting ways.

In a nutshell 
Every organisation needs to adapt to the changing expectations of the workforce in order to thrive, and ten years out, businesses that successfully achieve digital workplace transformations will be at an advantage over businesses struggling with legacy systems, massive amounts of data and workforces unprepared for change.

Ultimately, by having a culture shift and empowering a workforce with personalised experiences, or a persona-driven model for organisational change, organisations can unlock creativity, productivity, increase job satisfaction, and most importantly learn to collaborate in new and improved ways – bringing to fruition the next wave of human led, technology-underpinned progress.

Fady Richmany is the senior director and general manager – UAE at Dell Technologies

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