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Workplace Research: Forrester and Poly Share Latest on Hybrid Work

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Image: Westend61 GmbH - Alamy Stock Photo
Welcome to the Workspace Connect Wrap, your regular roundup of news and analysis examining the modern workplace. In today's edition: We look at survey results from VMWare and Forrester on the importance of the digital employee experience, then separately, research from device maker Poly on the need for tech consistency in the hybrid workplace. Lastly, we look at the digital divide and how the Alaskan government is looking to address it in its state.
New Report: Digital Employee Experience Is a Critical Component of Hybrid Work
A report from cloud services provider VMware and Forrester has found that 75% of companies surveyed have made digital employee experience (DEX) a critical component of their hybrid work strategy. 80% of the 537 global director level or higher decision-makers surveyed reported that productivity and retention were top priorities for DEX Improvement. The following features were the most in-demand for an optimal DEX:
  • Self-service employee access to work apps/resources (80%)
  • Ability to manage and secure remote PCs/mobile devices (72%)
  • Measurement of digital workspace telemetry (72%)
  • Self-service features to help employees solve their own issues (71%)
  • Collecting employee feedback/ sentiment of their digital experience (71%)
“In the hybrid workplace, organizations are prioritizing digital employee experience as an essential investment. Digital employee experience empowers employees and IT teams to make a positive impact and do their best work,” Shankar Iyer, senior vice president, general manager, VMware, said. “A seamless digital experience is a competitive differentiator to companies focused on hiring and retaining top talent.”
A majority (nearly 60%) of survey respondents expect to implement a DEX solution within 24 months, and 84% of respondents expect to allocate 10-25% of their IT budget to DEX solutions over the next 36 months.
Poly Finds Workers' Desire for Tech Consistency Driving Demand for Flexible Work
The hardware company's 2022 Hybrid Performance Review found that 72% of the 5,000 employees surveyed said a driving factor in preferring remote or hybrid work was greater consistency in their tech environments.
"Our research indicates that hybrid work is here to stay," Dave Shull, president, and CEO of Poly said. "Organizations will need to adapt and upgrade their office gear to include video-enabled meeting rooms with technology that's as easy to use as the devices we have all come to know and love while working from home. Once we deliver the tools, technologies, and benefits that employees crave today, we will be equipped to take on the future of work."
The survey also found that 71% surveyed said working from home suits their personality type better, and the same percentage said that working from home has positively impacted their performance. Among the reasons for the boosted performance—workers say their work equipment is better at home than in the office; they're more confident presenting on video versus in-person presentations; the work-life balance has positively impacted their productivity.
Also: The digital divide between well-wired urban areas and remote rural areas was thrown into stark relief during the pandemic lockdown of 2020. However, the state of Alaska has reported a success story. Alaska CIO Bill Smith recently talked about how remote work has advanced digital equity goals for the state workforce because people who live in far-away areas of the U.S.'s biggest state can now take state jobs without having to relocate, as Government Tech reported. Smith said of the new workforce additions, "They're taking key roles, so it's not only allowing economic drivers in those remote areas that are not connected by roads to other parts of the state, it's [also] allowed the state to bring in voices that have not historically … been able to be there unless they left their rural communities."