Why Leaders Must Harness IT’s Power in Hybrid Work Environments


As the hybrid workplace continues to play a major role in today’s reality, employers must continuously shift their mindset around the employee experience (EX) and how it translates to a digital work environment. Implementing the right tools and technologies is essential to creating that frictionless IT experience. Unfortunately, according to a study by QualtricsOpens a new window , only 30% of employees say their experience with their company’s technology exceeds their expectations.

Employee experience must come first in today’s hybrid work environment. For millions of workers, devices and apps mediate every working moment. Technology problems quickly pile up, and bad tech days have become bad workdays. This hurts digital employee experience and company productivity. IT, then, is now more than a business function — it’s an operational foundation. It can bridge the expectations gap between employer and employee and turn bad workdays into good workdays. To accomplish strong EX, leadership must specifically recognize the enormous role IT plays in the larger EX ecosystem.

Challenges in the Hybrid Work Environment 

With many big tech and finance companies attempting to return to the office, as most recently seen with Elon Musk’s new in-person mandate for Tesla, it may seem like hybrid work will gradually become a thing of the past. However, many of today’s workers would say otherwise. According to a study conducted by the ADP Research Institute, 64% of the global workforceOpens a new window have already or would consider looking for another job if their employer insisted that they return to the workplace full-time. 

Knowing that talent is at risk, companies must replace the now antiquated belief that productivity can only be accomplished in person with a proactive, long-term strategy that addresses hybrid work challenges head-on. 

A major challenge for hybrid work is network connectivity. It specifically serves as a significant roadblock for larger organizations that want to embrace hybrid work. With the wide variety of connection zones spanning from in-office and home networks to coffee shops, etc., there must be a more strategic focus on identifying issues in network connectivity for hybrid work to be a reality in the long term. Digital experience (DEX) platforms are a key starting point to solving the issue of digital friction. They also have the potential to recreate the way that organizations work remotely completely.

Challenges like network connectivity, security, and remote access to digital assets cause “digital friction,” which is a determining factor in employee satisfaction. As such, HR and IT teams must work together with corporate leadership to develop a DEX strategy that benefits all employees within the company, helping the company maintain staff and scale. 

Upleveling IT: Why It Is an Important Function of DEX

IT is the driving source behind the digital employee experience. As such, it must be seen as a strategic foundation for better, faster, more efficient work and happier employees. For all teams to function properly, IT solutions must be integrated and prioritized by an organization.

The traditional IT ticket system is outdated and frustrates employees and IT teams alike. According to the State of Burnout in TechOpens a new window report by Yerbo, 62% of IT professionals report being “physically and emotionally drained.” By harnessing IT solutions such as automation and pattern analysis, employers not only save their employees time and energy but also avoid the growing issue of IT team burnout, as they can allocate time and resources toward more strategic projects.

These DEX tools monitor, analyze, and optimize IT environments behind the scenes to ensure all employees have a seamless experience, regardless of work environment or location.

A key component to closing this gap is to recognize IT as a partner of HR to help fulfill employee needs and create an optimized environment. For example, employee “sentiment analysis” (one aspect of DEX) allows stakeholders to audit employees’ opinions of IT systems once they are in place to ensure they are not hindering flow or general happiness. This analysis influences the tooling decisions and rebalances the business when tooling or equipment issues cause digital friction.

Organizations that continue to rely on legacy IT tools see more issues with hybrid employee happiness as they struggle with network issues remotely, as well as an increase in IT costs. This results in a decline in workforce productivity and ultimately negatively affects an organization’s bottom line.

See More: 5 Skills Every Team Needs To Support the Hybrid WorkplaceOpens a new window

What Is Next for the Digital Employee Experience

Integrating DEX into an organization’s broader IT, HR, and business strategies has multiple benefits, including employee retention and recruitment, operational efficiency, and increased innovation. 

Employees who suffer from a lack of cohesion due to a poor digital experience will become increasingly frustrated by their inability to complete everyday tasks, leading to increased turnover. Embracing technologies and tools that support hybrid work keeps employees productive and engaged from anywhere in the world. 

A greater emphasis on DEX also promotes the concept of hybrid equity, which ensures all employees feel empowered through a seamless IT experience, no matter where they log on from. Introducing this concept into the continuously evolving work model brings a more human element to the digital workplace, as employees feel more fulfilled and have the bandwidth to better support their customer base. This also opens up the global talent pool, which is likely to provide a significant competitive advantage as hiring skilled people is a blocker to business growth in most modern economies.  

As the concept of the modern workplace continues to evolve and companies look to attract and retain talent, the digital employee experience will remain relevant. Forward-thinking companies will reconsider the role IT can play in their overall growth and success as the concept of the workplace continues to evolve. Leaders who do not harness digital employee experience as part of their overall business strategy will face increased costs, reduced security, and organizational friction that will inevitably lead to inefficiency and turnover. 

What steps have you taken to uplevel your IT team to adapt to the hybrid work environment? Let us know on FacebookOpens a new window , TwitterOpens a new window , and LinkedInOpens a new window .