Abhijit BhaduriGuest Author

The Workplace in 2021

By | Abhijit Bhaduri |Keynote speaker, Author and Columnist

How do you believe the pandemic-induced disruptions have impacted employee expectations of HR technology?

 I believe employees have gotten used to so much great technology, such as e-commerce, where they can order seamlessly and have stuff delivered within a couple of days or hours to their doorstep. Everything that they consume is now accessible, so ease of consumption is primary

 Secondly, employees are also beginning to get used to working fairly unsupervised. So the notion of what technology can do and what the manager can do in terms of supervision will change. 

 The third change I expect to see is on the whole issue of going back to the office. Some people want to return, and some don’t. This is an opportunity to revisit the design of what a workplace is meant to do and, therefore, decide spaces based on the nature of work. In some cases, employees may need to be in an electronically-enabled zone of collaboration or a physical sort of collaboration, depending on the nature of work. There’s also a lot of stuff that employees can do by themselves. Work will get done at their own workplace for individual contributors who don’t need to really engage and interact with anyone. 

While most HR and business leaders recognise the importance of HR technology, few pay attention to user experience (UX). How important is it for organisations to bring consumer-grade UX to their employees?

 In their lives as consumers, most employees today are getting used to making choices based on apps that are convenient to use, simplify things and speed them up. So this is an experience that they expect to get when they use apps, websites, or collaboration tools in whichever way they work. 

 Being able to provide them with the same user experience, whether by the learning management system or the learning experience system, or their experience as a candidate, at every step, matters a lot. 

Given that the HR tech market is fast-paced and flooded with products and vendors, what are some important considerations to keep in mind when evaluating options to select the right tech tools?

 First, you need to look at a design that is low friction and makes it easy to get work done. Second is the ease of adoption – you should be able to start using it seamlessly and instinctively, without any training. Third, technology must be viewed as a means to simplify work rather than the employee looking at it as yet another piece of work that gets added. 

Which HR technologies do you think will see massive adoption in the post-pandemic era, and which do you think will prove duds?

 Technology that simplifies our lives and gives us better opportunities to connect, collaborate, and do things more creatively will catch people’s imagination. It could be data that gives people insight into their career or technology that gives them a certain degree of freedom of choice. Any of these would be powerful technologies to look out for in the HR tech space.

The massive shift to a dispersed, distributed workforce has compounded the security challenges for organisations. What major concerns must HR and business leaders recognise and address to function securely in a hybrid work environment?

 One of the new–age competencies for HR people is to learn about cybersecurity and data security. Imagine if one day you open your computer and discover that there is ransomware, and people are asking for a certain amount to be paid in cryptocurrency in exchange for not releasing all the sensitive information about your workforce.

 For a large organisation, that could spell disaster because you have thousands of employees, and sometimes, sensitive information can be held at ransom.

 Cybersecurity is something that people have to learn, discover, and understand on a continuous basis because it’s not a body of knowledge like, let’s say, a law, which once you’ve understood the intent, helps you along for a couple of years.

Republished with permission and originally published at www.abhijitbhaduri.com

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