The war for talent heats up

by Alex Bennett

15 May 2020

People collaborating in an office environment

In these challenging times, with the continued war for talent heating up, organizations are prioritizing employee experience and well-being to differentiate themselves. Company culture’s at the forefront of prospective employees’ minds. Organizations must be more inclusive, investing in the right behaviours and practices – such as smart workplaces that promote a positive impact on health, sustainability, productivity and brand.

Two people sitting together in an open plan office

Activity-based-working seeks to make employees’ lives easier, more rewarding, and ultimately more productive

Smart, connected workplaces impact company culture because they influence employee interaction and engagement. Their traditional aim is to create a frictionless connection between the employee, physical space and technology; so individuals or teams will naturally gravitate to a location where the design and associated tools enable them to complete their task (known as activity-based-working) - making their lives easier, more rewarding, and ultimately more productive. In todays world they’ll also enable a data centric approach to where and how you use space due to COVID-19 policies.

This requires three areas built into your planning:

  • Change management and culture

    With change management, higher value should be placed on company culture. The vital promotion of decision making directly from the center through to every employee makes everyone feel they have a stake in the company’s future success.

    At a time when human intellectual property is a massive differentiator, organizations who prioritize the engagement and wellbeing of their staff show the highest impact on profitability.

    With the global shortage of skilled staff, companies will seek to attract new entrants to the market, such as graduates. These digital natives are targeting environmentally conscious organizations that offer the latest technologies and workplace design, have measurable programs that impact sustainability, and also consider their personal health and wellbeing.

  • Facilities and properties

    There are clear opportunities for companies to reduce operating expenditure, while driving positive employee experience. With property accounting for approximately 10% of a company’s costs, enterprises who connect their buildings, remote workers, and make them smart can provide a positive return on investment.

    Modern buildings generate massive amounts of data to improve efficiencies, create healthier spaces, and promote productivity. Companies can expect to reduce energy consumption by at least 20% with the integration of Building Management Systems (BMS) that use sensors and predictive analytics. Organizations have saved 25% in space occupancy with activity-based-working principles, alongside space analytics to determine office design.

    This will be an area of significant interest as employees re-enter the office, while managing social restrictions around COVID-19. Many clients are pushing for higher numbers of employees to continue with distributed working, to further accelerate a reduction in space occupancy and therefore cost. 

  • Technology

    Extensibility is key to ensuring that the right technology is in place. New platforms shouldn’t only deliver or integrate into existing systems and workflows; they should allow data to be ingested to a single location (Digital Twin or Data Lake), for actionable insights to be successful. One of the outcomes of data analysis is to measure and improve employee experience. Information is correlated between modern collaboration platforms and workplace data, to outline how employees use space and what outputs are being produced. From this we can action recommendations to improve adoption, learning, contribution, health and wellbeing.

    Culture, combined with technologies like modern collaboration and smart buildings, enables organizations to achieve their goals - from sustainability, creating a positive brand, to caring for their employees, visitors and society.

    As Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Chairman of Business Roundtable says: ‘Major employers are investing in their workers and communities because they know it is the only way to be successful over the long term.’

Alex Bennett

Alex Bennett

Group SVP Go-to-market: Customer Experience & Digital Workplace, NTT Ltd.