The coronavirus pandemic has put employee well-being at the forefront of the business agenda as nine out of 10 organisations believe that work-from-home has been challenging for employees, a survey said on Thursday.
According to global technology services company NTT's Intelligent Workplace Report, which surveyed 1,350 participants across 19 markets, 90 per cent of organisations agree that home-working during the pandemic has been challenging for employees.
Further, as many as 96 per cent of the respondents believe that the employee needs will be at the heart of the future workplace design.
As per the survey, connectivity and workspace issues such as bandwidth, a feeling of isolation and a lack of dedicated workspace have all contributed to employee concerns.
Organisations have to look at every aspect of workplace strategy to optimise employee experience, these include; culture, technology and location, the survey said.
Around 64 per cent of respondents said they will install video-conferencing/video collaboration spaces to bring remote and office employees together, while 50 per cent said they will implement "creative/thinking spaces".
NTT Chief Executive Officer (Asia Pacific) John Lombard said, "The connected employee their wellness and employee experience must be at the heart of the future workplace strategy."
He added that helping people stay connected and keeping their data secure is key to looking after the workforce and maintaining productivity and effectiveness.
Lombard further said this must be underpinned by a long-term strategy for digital transformation, with the roll-out of new technologies, policies and of course training, so employees feel comfortable with new platforms.
The survey findings showed that 89 per cent of organisations agree employees would prefer to have the choice and flexibility to work in an office when it is safe to do so, and 92 per cent agreed that face-to-face meeting time is essential to build a sense of teamwork and/or when meeting clients.
While 92 per cent of organisations recognise the value of employee experience as a crucial strategic differentiator, just 49 per cent are satisfied with their current capability, the survey noted.
A third of all businesses (39 per cent) have changed their information technology policy to help employees work within a new operating model and half (59 per cent) have deployed new communication and productivity tools.
"How businesses combat the challenges posed by COVID-19 and re-shape their workplace strategy will lay the foundation for an entire generation's future of working. Businesses must react with agility and purpose," said Pranay Anand, senior director of intelligent workplace (Asia Pacific) at NTT Ltd.
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