What the Return to Work Looks Like - Industry Experts Weigh-In

July 22, 2021 by Inpixon
Read in 7 Minutes

Inpixon's Nadir Ali and Leon Papkoff both joined news journalist, Brent Cannon, at One Workplace for a fireside chat to discuss trends and techniques for returning to the office. As leaders in the indoor intelligence and smart office app industries, both Nadir and Leon had valuable insights to contribute when it came to the employee experience. Watch the 15 minute video for the full experience or keep reading for the highlights!


What does the post-pandemic workplace look like?  

Post-pandemic, we are seeing an increased focus on hybrid workplace models and reliance on technology and real-time collaboration tools, with extra attention on employee comfort levels.  

Most people are excited to go back into the office, but at the same time can be hesitant to do so. Many employees have adjusted to working remotely without sacrificing productivity. Pre-pandemic, the norm was for employees to physically be in the office. This was a cultural expectation, and we are now seeing a cultural shift take place.  

Another aspect of the post-pandemic workplace that came up highlighted some factors employers will have to keep in mind when planning the post-pandemic workplace. These include the how, when, and most importantly, the message they send when communicating with employees. Regardless of the details, this is an initiative that needs be led from the top down.  

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Trends in the workplace that emerged due to COVID 

Nadir notes that one of the biggest challenges for large organizations is to address the current landscape. With workers and teams being spread out, communication systems can feel disconnected, and experiences can feel fractured. We’re seeing a consolidation in the market where multiple systems and tools are coming together. Essentially, if you make that experience challenging and difficult, you won’t be successful. 

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Re-evaluating the employee value proposition 

Employee experience refers to all the ways an employee engages with their employer and the resulting perception that the employee has about their employer. Their experience can be influenced by a variety of factors, which include: 

  • The environment where the employee works 
  • The tools and technologies provided to the employee 
  • The employers’ commitment to the health, safety and success of the employee 

Employers should be looking at employees as a ‘new customer.’ Companies that value the employee experience just as much as they value the customer experience, are more successful and sustainable in the long term. When employees feel that their employer is invested in them and their happiness, they are more productive and more invested in the success of the company. This can also lead to higher employee retention rates.  

Leon notes that companies need to be focused on shaping and offering connected employee experiences across a distributed workforce, whether employees are on-site, in transit or working from the edge.  

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Key takeaways for returning to the office 

The biggest takeaway from this sit-down - there needs to be a focus on flexibility. Many Fortune 500 companies are committed to supporting hybrid workforces. They have plans to roll out phased re-entry scheduled by location, building, floors, and event at the team/department level. Additionally, many organizations are even considering operating at reduced capacities for on-site workers. This leaves open spaces for more activity-driven work projects, team pods, and configurable spaces. In-person experiences will become the priority in the workplace again, but in a different way.  

Many employers are also putting safety first, which can come in different forms. Physical safety includes increased spaces between people, hand sanitization, and increased cleanings around the office. Safety can also include the fact that workers can make informed decisions when it comes to how, when, and where they choose to work.  

But most importantly, it’s all about laying the groundwork for a more connected workplace that is elastic and dynamic and can handle bumps and bruises along the way like we’ve seen in the past year. 

Want to learn about Inpixon's workplace experience solutions? Book a 20-minute discovery call with our experts and see how our Smart Campus app can help deliver on your return-to-work strategy.