3 Workplace Trends That Will Improve Your Employees' Efficiency It's time to try your hands on employee first, customer second model

By Vanita D'souza

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Customers do not run your business, employees do and hence, a lot of us have noticed a shift in focus to improving the office environment along with customer experiences.

However, for this to work out, your employees are not just going to be happy with a fancy office, comfortable chairs or a super cool pantry. What employees strive for is a uber working experience.

As companies try to automate work and are trying focus on the frontline employees, Entrepreneur India in conversation with experts from Gartner to discuss what key workplace trends that will improve employee efficiency rate:

Analytics Driven Workspace

In order to understand how your workspace is being used, companies need to deploy analytics.

For this, companies have client management tools, network management system, identity access management systems, etc creating databases of relevant information to understand if assets are underused or whether you need to upgrade the skills of your employees or if the company needs to change an application or process to make it employee friendly.

"Companies rarely gain value from this data since they do not know how to aggregate it. However there are several sophisticated companies in India using data to improve workplace efficiency," shared Leif-Olof Wallin, Research- Vice President in Gartner.

Giving advice on how companies can leverage on this, he says it's cheap because they already have the data and probably the tools.

"It's all about setting up a cross-functional team sitting together and analyzing how can we use this data for the greater good of the company. The key is to get people from different teams including HR and legal to make sure that you are not violating any privacy rules," he suggested.

Digital Workplace

This is more of a business strategy to boost the workforce's digital dexterity to a more emerging and intuitive work environment.

Gavin Tay, Research Director in Gartner says here it is not about just technology, but more about workplace, employee engagement, and the ability to help employees with their routine work. Hence, the technology here is the only enabler on the entire equation.

"If the company doesn't have any instrument of measurement for employee experience i.e, to evaluate the latter's engagement and to understand whether they are more purpose-driven rather than by the paycheck, then there is no digital workplace," he adds.

Giving an example of HCL Technologies, he says about four years ago, the company had a CEO called Vinit Nair and he ran a mantra called "Employee First, Customer Second', which helped them to differentiate among other competitors and serve the customer better.

One of the key reasons why the digital workplace trend hasn't picked much in India is because domestic companies are more focused on their IT projects – like upgrading servers or to a new version of windows.

However, slowly the Indian companies will pick the pace, the expert added.

Wearables and Voice-based User Interface

With the advent of smartwatches and smart glasses, Wallin also sees more and more wearables coming to the organization, predominately from the businesses perspective.

"Another reasonable trend is using handsfree operations in the hospital environment or logistics arena as well as the voice-based interface. The classic examples of voice-based models are virtual customer assistance or virtual personal assistance," he shared.

Vanita D'souza

Former Senior Correspondent, Entrepreneur India

I am a Mumbai-based journalist and have worked with media companies like The Dollar Business Magazine, Business Standard, etc.While on the other side, I am an avid reader who is a travel freak and has accepted foodism as my religion.

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