The Power of Choice in the Workplace

“Our lives are fashioned by our choices. First we make our choices. Then our choices make us.”

Anne Frank

In the human mind, choice equals control. On the flip side, loss of choice equals loss of control. When the ability to make a choice is taken away, human nature is to balk.

The power of choice has never been more relevant than it is today as we navigate the ins and outs of living and working during a pandemic.

When COVID-19 began its course through the world and stay-at-home orders were given, businesses had no choice but to close their doors. Employees had no choice but to work remotely or not at all. The power of choice had been stripped from all of us.

But one day, the pandemic will release its grip on all of us, and we’ll be again faced with choices. One that I think we’ll be hearing about quite a bit is the choice between onsite and remote work. (Not a new issue overall, but one with a twist only 2020 could provide.)

The fact is that flexibility will be critical moving forward, and businesses that are prepared to support both models are the ones who will see success. Those that return to the rigidity of pre-COVID days will flounder.

To future-proof your business, an investment in a digital workplace is key. Here are some ideas to help you prepare for a future that empowers your employees with the technology to support their choice.

Build a long term strategy

According to Steve Bynghall, a thought leader in the digital workplace space, creating a digital workplace strategy gives your project “direction, longevity, and credibility.” In his series of whitepapers, he lists several steps you can and should take when drawing up a strategy, including persona development, gathering stakeholder input, and working in iterations. When you have your strategy in place and ready to go, you can start to think about the technology that will support it.

Invest in the right technology

At the heart of your digital workplace is a set of core technology. This technology, at a minimum, includes your productivity suite (like M365), a modern intranet (like Akumina’s), and a variety of integrated applications that your employees use daily (ServiceNow, Workday, Concur, etc.). Whether you choose out-of-the-box implementations or fully customized solutions, the digital experience your employees have is crucial to their success. By delivering a system that works with any and all applications and devices that your employees prefer, you’re giving them the gift of choice. When employees can choose where and how they work best, they’ll deliver their best work.

Ask your employees what they want

Last but definitely not least, the best way to find out what employees want is to ask. Use your employee experience platform to deliver surveys, ask for feedback, or simply start conversations. Gather that data, and you’re off to the races.

So I think the moral of the story is that providing a choice is the least you can do to help your employees maintain some semblance of control. That’s incredibly powerful and important, now more so than ever.

We’d love to hear what your business is doing to ensure their success moving forward. Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, and share your ideas. We’re also offering free personalized demos of our employee experience platform to those interested. Schedule yours today.

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