State of the Workplace Today

In early January 2022, our partner Akumina published the 2022 State of the Digital Workplace and Modern Intranet report. This report, sent to 200,000 professionals across the world in all types of industries, quantifies the type and magnitude of change in today’s workplace.

Unsurprisingly, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to significantly impact business across the globe. As one may suspect, the report reflects a push in the workplace towards increased levels of remote and hybrid work. In fact, prior to the pandemic, 51% of survey respondents reported that everyone worked in the office, but now only 9% of respondents are in the office full-time, and 54% of these respondents today work hybrid – remotely at least three times per week.

Our New Workplace Reality

If you are like me, you’ve been wondering when and if the workplace will return to what it was prior to the pandemic. Akumina’s report touches on that question and here is what I find most fascinating: when respondents were asked how long this remote/hybrid workplace would remain in place, 53.49% of survey participants replied that the change would last indefinitely.

Think about that for one moment. Over half of those surveyed across the world, in companies that range in size from 1 to over 50,000 employees, tell us there has been a fundamental change in the workplace and that this new remote/hybrid workplace paradigm is here to stay.

What Now, People?

For organizations that have their employees’ well-being in mind, this substantial shift to a more permanent remote/hybrid workplace should logically lead to some introspection.

  • How will this level of increased remote/hybrid workplace impact our organization over the next year, 3 years, and decade?
  • Are our employees being served well by the measures/solutions put in place when the pandemic started? Where are they lacking? Will they stand the test of time?
  • Do employees have what they need and want to get their jobs done effectively and with minimal friction in this new remote/hybrid reality?

If your business is not thinking about these things, it should because, unless you’ve been in one too many Teams or Zoom meetings, you’ve also heard about the great shift in the global workforce – The Great Resignation or Great Reshuffle.

Hey, Where’s Everybody Going?

Not only has how we work changed, but today, employees are leaving their jobs in record numbers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported in August of 2021 that 4.3 million U.S. workers or 3% of the entire U.S. workforce voluntarily left their jobs. And it is not over yet, last month the Labor Department reported 4.4 million left their jobs.

Another study recently published by Microsoft also examines current work trends – 2022 Work Trend Index: Annual Report. This report’s number one finding is that employees now have a new “worth it” equation. People’s lives have been reshaped by the pandemic and consequently, they are reevaluating their priorities.

Employees are reconsidering what they “want from work and what they are willing to give in return.” And not just reconsidering, in fact, 47% of respondents in Microsoft’s report are now more likely to prioritize their family and personal life before work.

And, in their best interest, over half of the report respondents are considering either switching to full-time remote or hybrid work. Of course, the type of workplace available to employees depends on what individual employers are willing to accommodate, but employers should take note that “43% of employees are somewhat or extremely likely to consider changing jobs in the coming year.” That number is up by 2% from the previous year. And the younger workers you employ, Gen Z and Millennials combined are 52% more likely to consider changing employers this year.

What does this have to do with Modern Intranets?

The shift to more permanent remote/hybrid workplaces and the exodus of employees as they act on their new priorities is not disconnected from your company’s digital workplace tools and strategy.

While it may not be the reason an employee chooses to leave an organization, an ineffective intranet can contribute to an employee’s daily frustration and lack of connection to the organization – the exact opposite of what your business needs today to retain employees.

To balance and counteract the shifts in today’s workplace and workforce, your modern intranet must be effective as a remote tool, as a mobile tool, and go beyond a stale set of published documents. The modern intranet needs to be dynamic and personalized to help employees find what they need quickly, and connect employees to the trends, up-to-date communications from leaders, and what is happening within the organization.

Returning to Akumina’s report, the top 4 missing features reported by respondents on their current intranets in order of most responses are:

  • Social groups
  • Alerts (office closing, reminders, etc.)
  • Chatbots
  • Updates from company leadership

This emphasizes that today’s employees expect the modern intranet to provide connections to other employees and their leaders, and to deliver dynamic real-time notifications as well as modern mechanisms to find what they need.

How is your Modern Intranet doing today?

Let the experts at Compass365 help you define and create a modern and dynamic intranet that meets your employees’ expectations and needs as they navigate the changes in today’s modern workplace.

Help is just an email away – please reach out to us at any time for a free, no-commitment consultation.

Compass365, a Microsoft Gold Partner, delivers SharePoint, Microsoft Teams, and Power Platform solutions that help IT, and Business leaders improve the way their organizations operate and how their employees work.