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Humanising the future of work: Organisations must do more to offer a human-centric experience to their staff

Nicky Hoyland, CEO, Huler
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#FutureofWork – Providing a human experience to boost productivity 

The COVID-19 pandemic has completely transformed our relationship with work, highlighting that human wellness and our happiness at work are intrinsically linked.

Gone are the days where we could shut our laptop down and leave work at the office, ready to make a return in the morning.

For many employees working in the digital economy, work pervades home life and has become impossible to escape.

People have had to feel their way through establishing work-life balance, with wildly varying degrees of effectiveness.

This changing dynamic means that organisations need to rethink the experience they are offering employees and ensure that they provide a human deal.

Recent Gartner research finds that 82% of employees say it’s important for their organization to see them as a person, not just an employee, yet only 45% of employees believe their organization actually sees them this way.

It is clear that organisations must do more to offer a human-centric experience to their staff – but how can this be achieved?

Putting employee well-being first

The recent annual Human Capital Trends survey from Deloitte found that 96% of respondents believe their organisations is responsible for the well-being of employees, but only 79% said well-being isn’t currently designed or integrated into the workplace.

With employee isolation, anxiety and burn out taking centre stage as we move into a new hybrid working model, the onus is on businesses to balance the new flexibility afforded by remote and virtual workplaces with the need to put positive human experiences at the top of the agenda.

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In this new world of hybrid working, companies must put the human experience first to unleash the full potential of their staff, save time, make working efficiently easier, and take a people-first approach to this new normal.

A crucial element of managing employee wellbeing is fully understanding how people are using their time to ascertain when and how they can switch off in a meaningful way, but still remain productive. Allowing people to incorporate their everyday lives into their working day – and moving away from a traditional model of separating work and home life, in a healthy way for all – will be key to making this work moving forward.

Technology is a great way for organisations to make well-being a priority in the workplace. It can be used to ensure that employees have access to all the resources and services they need in one place, enabling them to reduce overwhelm and save time.

Enabling employees through personalisation

No one employee is the same, each with different needs and different motivations. The pandemic has compounded this even further, with employees needing different tools to enable them to get their job done. Most organisations now offer flexibility in when and where work gets done, but leading organisations need to go further and also offer flexibility in who employees work with, what they work on, and how much work they do.

Organisations must go beyond this to provide choice and personalisation that enables employees to bring their full selves to work every day. HR leaders should integrate inclusion goals into day-to-day work and talent processes to drive accountability and ensure employees feel comfortable bringing their full selves to work.

Once again, technology should be used to create these personalised experiences. People aren’t like algorithms or pixels, they’re complex, unique and effected by the world around them. Workplace technology needs to feel like something you’d use on a personal device that offers familiarity and ease of use like never before.

Changing the world of work starts with empowering and unleashing one employee at a time. Using a human-first approach to technology, organisations are able to give power back to employees to manage their days, optimise their workflows and save time – all while bringing their full selves to work each day.

Nicky Hoyland, CEO, Huler

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