An engaged, trusting workforce that is offered enhanced employee experience programs is the core to successful business outcomes, a new IDC whitepaper, sponsored by Unisys, has revealed.

The report, Digital Workplace Insights: Seeking Digital and Experience Parity to Support the Hybrid Workforce, found that business leaders estimate 24% of their workforce will continue to work remotely – more than seven times higher than before the pandemic.  

Business leaders can no longer afford to think about their workforce as being either remote or in the office. Instead, they need to focus on providing a great employee experience for all workers, regardless of their location. 

Prior to the pandemic, work from home within the retail industry effectively stood at zero. By November 2020, this grew to 23% of the retail workforce.

Unisys Asia Pacific advisory director, Leon Sayers said for corporate staff working in head office, employers had to reassess how their business operated, while some organisations scaled down floor space to reduce overheads, creating a massive shift in the corporate space.

“Almost one-fifth (18%) of the retail industry is predicted to continue to work from home and supporting a hybrid workforce now looks very different from the pre-pandemic era,” he told Retailbiz.

“At the height of the pandemic, organisations and corporate offices made rushed decisions to get their employees to work from home for their own health and safety. It was an entirely new territory for some retailers who were used to having a physical presence near warehouses or headquarters. However, just because a workforce made it through the pandemic following these decisions doesn’t make them perfect and a full review is necessary if the model is to thrive in the future.

“For example, efficient training on new technology, practices and processes occurred last year due to the rush into remote working. Upon reflection, there are some huge flaws in some of those decisions which are now being laid bare. If organisations aren’t willing to review their processes, they will not be able to adapt to post-pandemic life.”