The Return to Office Demands a Better Digital Employee Experience


It is 2024. The COVID pandemic is no longer a front-and-center challenge, and companies are bringing their workers back to the office. If nothing else, the return to the office requires the integration of technologies that employees have been relying on for the last several years. It demands a better digital employee experience (DEX) made possible through more collaboration between HR and IT teams.

While the technology aspect will remain the domain of the IT team, any new technologies implemented to improve the employee experience will be implemented through the lens of engagement, collaboration and employee satisfaction. These are all areas that have traditionally been the HR department's domain. But if seamless DEX is to be realized, IT and HR will have to work together to make it happen.

A Deeper Understanding of DEX

In many cases, the starting point for improving DEX will be helping IT and HR personnel gain a deeper understanding of the topic. DEX is still a foreign concept in many industries. But, as teams are educated, the need for collaborative development will become apparent.

For the record, DEX consists of the total sum of an employee's interactions with workplace technology. It is the total experience an employee has with:

  • Hardware
  • Software
  • Network connectivity
  • Security tools and procedures
  • Technology training
  • Technology policies and culture
  • IT support

The importance of improving DEX cannot be understated as companies begin bringing workers back to the office. For starters, improved DEX increases productivity. This is the very reason so many enterprises are insisting on a return to the office.

Better DEX also improves employee satisfaction, helps employees engage more effectively, enhances a company's ability to attract and retain top talent, and potentially reduces costs through more efficient IT support.

Strategies for Improvement

Understanding the need for better DEX is one thing. Implementing the right strategies is an entirely different matter. The following six strategies are likely to yield the best results when implemented thoughtfully and in a collaborative environment between HR and IT:

  1. User-centric technology investments. Any investments in new technology should be made with users in mind. Technology should be user-friendly and offer a limited learning curve.
  2. Useful training opportunities. Technology training should be relevant and useful. It should go beyond reading slide decks to include actual real-world scenarios that encourage employees to learn and experience the technology firsthand.
  3. Streamlined workflows. Optimizing processes and procedures to limit duplicative work, address bottlenecks, and eliminate unnecessary steps will encourage workers to work more intelligently.
  4. Optimized communication. Communication is essential to improving DEX. Every team member should be able to openly communicate thoughts, ideas, and concerns.
  5. User design input. End users should be encouraged to offer their input during both design and implementation stages. How employees feel about the technology they use ultimately impacts how they actually use it.
  6. Proactive troubleshooting. Implementing a plan to proactively identify potential problems allows for addressing said problems before they become serious issues.

Tying everything together is coming up with a plan to measure DEX at various stages throughout implementation. Like any other type of data analytics strategy, tracking DEX implementation demonstrates what works and what does not. Success can be measured in any number of ways, ranging from employee surveys to help desk issues and performance metrics.

The technologies that helped remote workers remain productive during the COVID pandemic are being brought with them as they return to the office. Now it's up to IT and HR teams to work together to seamlessly integrate those technologies into the office environment. The end game is improving DEX so that organizations can continue moving forward.

ISG helps enterprises assess and improve the digital employee experience to maximize engagement and satisfaction. Contact us to find out how to get started. Join ISG experts at the Xperience Summit.