Using frictionless workflows to create hybrid digital workplaces

Bringing employees back to a safe, hybrid work environment after the pandemic requires a management platform that is built on proper policies and workflows.

Johannesburg, 05 Oct 2021
Read time 4min 00sec
Nerys Mutlow, Evangelist: Chief Innovation Office, ServiceNow.
Nerys Mutlow, Evangelist: Chief Innovation Office, ServiceNow.

The start of the COVID-19 pandemic forced many businesses to rapidly shift to a digital work environment. Clearly, with the pandemic still raging, bringing about a successful return to the physical office will not be a simple task.

What is required, explains Nerys Mutlow, Evangelist, Chief Innovation Office at ServiceNow, is the right tools to help bring your employees back to work safely. She says that such tools will help to evolve the return to the workplace with a solution designed to meet the demands of the new normal for hybrid work – by unlocking productivity, reducing employee burnout and scaling innovation across the enterprise.

“A hybrid digital workplace should be the long-term plan, as this can take advantage of technology, maximise worker experience and promote productivity. How do we know this? Because behind every great experience is a great workflow. Whether you are working in the office or from home, little is as empowering as being allowed to do what you were hired to do, without wasting time with slow, manual processes that could be replaced with automation,” she says.

“Remember that a hybrid digital workplace adds a number of additional complications to the traditional role of workplace services. Today, managing company assets, for example, involves looking after both those kept in office, as well as the equipment taken home by employees – such as monitors, keyboards and computers. Furthermore, a hybrid environment will need proper policies and workflows in place to deal with both those employees returning full time, and those continuing to work at least partly remotely.”

The bottom line, continues Mutlow, is that organisations will need to deliver employees the right digital experience from anywhere so that there is no drop off between the home and the office. The goal is to leverage a set of products to deliver frictionless workflows across important business areas, from security to reception, and encompassing everything from employee transportation and food service to IT.

“As the blend of working from home and working from the office takes centre stage, so the need for a dedicated workspace for most employees will drop. Instead of going to a designated area, those working from the office will require access to the most efficient areas. Using a fully integrated workplace service delivery suite, it is easy to deliver the requisite workflows needed to enable them to work together in undefined, flexible neighbourhoods so they can succeed on the best terms.”

In the current environment, there are several key focuses for organisations, most notably the need for operational resilience. After all, she says, the past 18 months have certainly demonstrated the need to be prepared for whatever unexpected events come your way. Other areas of focus include the need to manage efficiencies and reduce costs. In addition, businesses should be looking to invest in initiatives that increase the pace of innovation, and in improving ways to deliver great experiences to customers and employees.

“With the right platform in place to help you orchestrate the flow of work across your enterprise, you will be able to leverage investments in existing best-of-breed tools, essentially creating a platform of platforms for digital workflows,” notes Mutlow.

“We see this as a way to help drive transformation, thanks to purpose-built solutions for the hybrid world we live in. In essence, it is about creating a system of actions that connect disparate parts of the business, increases business agility and boosts customer service and experience.” 

After all, when you have a system that enables employees to easily find required information and where they are guided through tasks, they are naturally more productive because you have created more compelling employee experiences, she adds. It is also about using AI-powered service operations to augment how people do their jobs by providing predictive help.

“Ultimately, it is about bringing together all the workflows, data and processes around an individual so you can ensure that individual has access to all the information they need, when they need it, while also providing unparalleled levels of personalisation. Using the right solution to enable this is key to ensuring that every employee has access to whatever information and support is required, whether they are returning to the office at last, or still working remotely,” concludes Mutlow.

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