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    Business advice
    17 September 2021

    Vodacom

    Preparing for the future of work: Navigating the changes

    As businesses seek to seize the opportunities afforded by the future of work, they also need to ensure that they’re able to circumvent the challenges of uncertainty, and make sure no one gets left behind.

    Businesses face a number of challenges in the near term – such as supporting widespread remote work, meeting health, safety and wellness regulations etc. How can they manage these challenges while preparing for long-term changes to the way they work?

    The most effective transformation initiatives lead with business culture transformation. In addition to encouraging more experimentation to drive innovation, a new understanding of leadership is emerging. The job of future leaders at work is to put things in context, be good strategists, enjoy coaching and communicating, and know how to use their specific expertise to help their teams fulfil tasks.

    Secondly, redesign operational processes to support greater flexibility and strategic objectives. To help drive the adoption of digital workplaces, businesses will need to foster organisational and process change as part of their change management activity.

    Before CIO and CTO teams evaluate process improvements, they need to know what their organisation’s primary business objectives are. These objectives guide decisions such as what technology to provide. In turn, this analysis provides the framework for the transformation of business processes.

    Last but not least, invest in technology that supports anywhere work. There are four main technology areas for enabling anywhere work: productivity tools, secure access, network connectivity, and analytics.

    The key to supporting anywhere work is implementing a mobility strategy – which is different from a ‘cellular’ strategy. A mobility strategy enables employees to seamlessly connect to systems of engagement and record wherever they are. Firms are spending more on mobility technologies because of the pandemic, including portable devices, better connectivity, and cloud-enabled apps.

    Offer customers more self-service options

    Businesses should put some tools in place to facilitate and lower the costs of subscriber acquisition and support. This includes self-service portals and robotic process automation. For customers, self-help is often faster and easier than contacting the service desk. Onboarding experiences, including activation, customer education, feature discovery, and in-product guidance, are critical. Algorithms that predict when, how, and what to communicate to customers boost the customer experience.

    Embrace ongoing training

    Businesses will need to place greater emphasis on learning and education as part of job development initiatives. Drive higher adoption of digital workplace solutions through frequent communications, sharing technology showcases, and showing videos to demonstrate the value for key roles.

    Moreover, deliver targeted notifications on devices to workforce personas, alert them about newly available apps and services relevant to them. Also identify line-of-business evangelists to help spread the word on the usefulness of the application.

    A poor technology infrastructure can damage your customer experiences

    Especially for customer-facing roles, shoddy Wi-Fi or cellular connectivity makes anywhere work miserable, especially for employees who work in rural areas. An unreliable internet connection manifests itself in low-quality video and audio calls that ultimately breed employee anxiety and frustration.

    Support employees who struggle with the downsides of the new work arrangements

    While mobility will enable people to work from anywhere, it also will make it harder for employees to disconnect from work. About one in three employees report experiencing mental health issues related to isolation, stress, anxiety, and depression. Organisations will have to offer additional programs to help remote employees manage their mental health.

    Choosing the right strategic partner

    Now more than ever, businesses need the right expertise to help them manage new ways of working and build an effective and future-ready work plan. The Vodacom Business range of SMART solutions helps you focus on your small business and taking care of employees, while we focus on the technology to help you grow.

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     - Header image by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

    Vodacom