What should be the Approach of CIOs while Workplace Transformation

Vishal Pratap Singh | Monday, 25 October 2021, 04:05 IST

It’s going to be almost one and a half year since this COVID-19 pandemic has entered our life. It has created a wave of uncertainty that wiped out traditional ways of conducting business. This pandemic left no choice for companies but to adapt to the new normal. The entire working operations of the company demanded remote working almost overnight. Work from home is the most tangible effect of the pandemic and it became the need of the hour.  

“CIOs had the responsibility of ensuring that while employees and business partners worked from home, they should be equipped with the right tools and training, so that they can continue their work in an uninterrupted manner”, says Dinesh Malkani, CEO of Smarten Spaces.

Make Employees Digitally Advanced

The pandemic made enterprises realise that they should always be ready for hybrid working. It made the CIOs embrace work from home situations and deliver to their employees, clients and customers during the tough times. Experts believe that it is the right time for CIOs to emerge as leaders towards successful digital transformation where organisations have a suitable business model fuelled by the latest technology. With the right mix of technology, the scalability, innovation should be fuelled while keeping cost and complexity low.

While doing workplace transformation, CIOs should enable employees to work in modern environments, ensure business continuity. Employees should adopt cloud technologies and should deliver an exceptional client experience. According to a recent study, by 2022, 65% of CIOs will digitally empower and enable frontline workers with data, Artificial Intelligence, and security to extend their productivity, adaptability, and decision making in the face of rapid changes.

Prepared for the Hybrid Workforce

Organisations have realized in the last one and a half year that working off-site proved beneficial for the company as employees were more productive during this period. Also, it has some added benefits like cutting costs, tapping into the global workforce, and retaining talent. Therefore, it proved as another challenge where CIOs need to be prepared for a hybrid workforce.

Many big organisations have a future plan where some of their employees will be working from home, some from the office and some from both the places. Therefore, using personal devices and devices of office inside and outside of the company could create threats for the company. Also, this scenario will be a treat for hackers in real life as working from various locations can raise data and security concerns for confidential data.

Provide Latest Technical Devices to Employees

It should not be forgotten that employees who are working from home do not have the same resources as those working in offices. So, to avoid these situations it’s important to keep the technology up to date as it will help to handle threats like phishing and other malicious activities. In addition to that, CIOs should ensure that employees have the right set of tools, technology, and training needed to continue their work and set some policies in place to ensure data confidentiality.

Make Appropriate Strategies

CIOs should create such a digital workplace which enables employees to have a greater voice in technology decision making. They must establish a roadmap and blueprint for coordinating digital workplace initiatives across research and development, sales, marketing, customer support, manufacturing, HR and IT. The digital workplace plan of CIOs should align with business and digital transformation goals which is to increase employee engagement and productivity. For that to happen they should work closely with stakeholders including business, HR and facilities manager. It will ultimately shape them in planning and executing changes, bearing in mind the workplace demographics and potential impact of those changes.

Address Psychological Needs of Employees

After all employees are also human beings who need to stay connected to others, both professionally and socially. In the virtual workplace, getting this balance right is not easy for employees as there are chances that they feel disengaged. Here comes the role of CIOs who can address the psychological challenges of a hybrid workplace by identifying how each individual employee typically stay connected and then develop a connection strategy with their teams.

CIOs should be prepared to experiment and offer variety by trying different approaches. For example, this could be different types of meeting agendas, group activities, buddy systems and open video sessions in small groups while working. CIOs need to review, adapt and change approaches and interventions on a regular basis, so that employees don’t become stable.


The Way Forward

CIOs have always played a significant role in enabling the future of work, creating business models based on latest technology and maintaining business resilience. CIOs should not presume that every employee has the same resources. They should identify each individual workspace characteristics, requirements and needs which is important in the long run. There is no doubt that CIOs have really worked hard to help their company adopt an entirely new working life style but now they should learn from the pandemic and brace their companies for the challenges of future.



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