The pandemic accelerated the adoption of remote and hybrid work models, but organizations still find themselves unprepared when it comes to combating digital friction (i.e., problems running required applications when needed, PCs crashing or running slowly, disruptive software updates, and time and productivity lost to IT remote accessing/controlling devices to resolve issues) in these distributed settings.

In fact, a majority of IT decision-makers and knowledge workers are experiencing digital friction. This impacts the entire employee experience and can cause ripple effects across an organization. Traditionally, IT remediation, security and compliance have been distinct problems from an employee experience standpoint. That said, without addressing these issues collectively, employees will find ways around IT friction that disrupts their productivity. Organizations must have a digital employee experience (DEX) strategy in place to help overcome these challenges and improve operational efficiency in the digital workplace.   

Understanding how DEX Affects the Business Bottom Line  

In order to successfully improve the digital employee experience, leaders must take a step back and first understand its direct impact on their business’ bottom line. Digital employee experience influences many aspects of a business, from employee retention to organizational revenue.   

Honing in on DEX has multiple benefits for an organization, including:  

  • Decreased employee turnover. Lack of cohesion due to a poor digital experience causes frustration for employees who are prevented from completing everyday tasks, which can lead to increased turnover. Focusing on a more positive digital experience reduces this risk.  
  • Better engagement and productivity across the globe. Embracing DEX tools and solutions keeps employees productive and engaged from anywhere in the world, opening up organizations to the global talent pool and offering a competitive advantage when recruiting skilled workers, which can significantly impact organizational growth. 
  • Reduced IT costs and burnout. Investing in DEX reduces overall IT and help desk costs for organizations while also combating stress and burnout among IT teams as they can better allocate their time and resources. 

When employees are set up with the right tools and tech support to succeed in their roles, organizations can pave the path for better productivity and, ultimately, more innovation. A 1E study found that eighty-one percent of IT decision makers and knowledge workers agree that enterprises that don’t make DEX a board-level priority will soon fall behind their competitors.   

Implementing a DEX Strategy 

Developing an effective DEX strategy should be a combined effort among HR, IT and corporate leadership. Throughout the pandemic, many organizations took strides to introduce new technologies, undertook DEX maturity assessments and created digital experience centers of excellence (CoE). But this is only the first step. To achieve true success, organizations must incorporate more digital empathy, which includes selecting the right tools to support your organization’s DEX strategy and directly address the individual challenges an employee may face with workplace technology.   

Replacing Digital Friction With Digital Empathy 

Remote work during the pandemic changed digital employee experience expectations, and organizations must continuously keep up as a result. Organizations that rely on legacy technology to drive the digital employee experience set themselves up for increased digital friction. This causes increased frustration among employees who expect the same speed and efficiency from technology in the workplace provided to them in their personal lives. The key solution to removing digital friction is replacing it with digital empathy, meaning a greater focus on employee-centric IT. Organizations can no longer approach IT with a technical mindset – they must incorporate solutions that take into consideration the sentiment and different experiences of their employees when using IT.  

As remote and hybrid work become the new normal, digital friction will become a major roadblock to the overall employee experience. Having a DEX strategy in place that specifically addresses the pitfalls of IT and incorporates digital empathy will help improve an organization’s operational efficiency, giving them a competitive advantage.