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On-site Workers Feel Less Connected than Their Remote Colleagues

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The COVID-19 pandemic impacted how businesses operate today, shifting them to a hybrid or remote workplace. This shift also affected the employees’ connection to the work environment where one could presume those working remote would likely feel the least connected.

Accenture’s “Organizational Culture: From Always Connected to Omni-connected” report revealed just one in six people overall feel highly connected, in a human sense. Perhaps surprisingly, those who work on-site feel least connected, despite the challgenges many business had shifting to remote environments: 42% of on-site workers say they feel “not connected,” versus 36% of hybrid and 22% of fully remote workers. 

Companies can start to address this issue by strengthening culture and connection through “omni-connected experiences.” Omni-connected experiences level the playing field and enable people to participate fully and have an equitable experience, such as growing their careers, building relationships, and creating personal and business value and impact, regardless of where they physically work. Of the people surveyed, 17% felt they were benefiting from an omni-connected experience at work.

Companies whose people benefited from omni-connected experiences can realize a 7.4% annual revenue growth premium. Omni-connection can also build trust. Twenty-nine percent of omni-connected workers say they feel more likely to experience a deeper level of trust in their organizations. Additionally, being omni-connected accounts for 59% of an employee’s intention to stay in their jobs, and more than 90% of omni-connected people say they can be productive anywhere.

“By creating omni-connected experiences, leaders put relationships first and level the playing field so every person can work to their full potential in ways that work for them — which deepens trust and drives business results,” said Ellyn Shook, chief leadership and human resources officer, Accenture.

A pathway for the C-suite to create omni-connected experiences that boost productivity, foster higher retention and drive revenue growth rest in the idea that people’s fundamental human needs must be met by leadership.

The report identified four key actions that unlock the value for their people and business through omni-connected experiences:

  • Instill modern leadership: Lead by listening first and following commitment with action. Trust can be deepened between leaders and their people when they communicate regularly and transparently.
  • Grow a thriving culture: People who see a clear line from their work to company purpose are more connected and fulfilled. Leaders are encouraged to champion how different ideas and experiences matter to the long-term success of the organization and create an environment where people’s heath is cared for.
  • Enable the agile organization: Omni-connected experiences help people be productive wherever they are. Leaders need to expand the notion of flexibility to also consider when and how individuals work best. From there, they can build flexibility frameworks that are agile enough to be adapted to meet changing needs in a fluid environment.
  • Empower people through technology: Building a robust technology foundation in the cloud is the first step. The next are empowering people to experiment and explore emerging technologies like the metaverse and giving people the autonomy to improve their processes using tech and data.

“Leaders are focused on accessing, creating and unlocking their people’s full potential and are realizing that this is an opportunity to reassess their cultures and ways of working,” said Christie Smith, global lead for talent and organization, Accenture. “By creating an environment where the focus is on connection, communication and fostering trust, leaders are signaling that their people’s time and talent are respected and valued, which our research shows pays dividends in terms of revenue and productivity.”

The report, conducted by Accenture Research, surveyed 1,100 C-level executives and 5,000 workers across skill levels in 10 industries and 12 countries, including the U.S., between July and August 2021.

Be part of the conversation about how the workforce and workplace have evolved and how businesses are supporting a new era of customer and employee experience at Future of Work Expo 2022. The conference focuses on key elements of today's re-imagined workplace, not just for improving productivity, but also providing a better customer experience, through the intersection of technology and the human element. Future of Work Expo is part of the #TECHSUPERSHOW experience, taking place June 21-24, 2022 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.




Edited by Erik Linask

Future of Work Contributor

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