A tech transition: how company culture and employee learning can thrive in a hybrid work environment
Article by Infosys regional HR business leader for Australia, New Zealand, South East Asia, and Japan, Jacinta Moses.
After more than 18 months of workplace uncertainty, one thing has become abundantly clear – flexible work is here to stay.
Hybrid work models could be a silver lining to the pandemic for many workers, but a sweeping decline in wellbeing has occurred as we’ve made the transition.
A global Harvard Business Review Survey shows more than 85% of employees have felt their overall wellbeing deteriorate since the start of the pandemic, mostly caused by an increase in work demands, mental health challenges and a loss of social connection.
So far, businesses have used technology to keep people operating remotely during the pandemic. While IT can support productivity, it can also help enable employee care and engagement in a hybrid world of work. Technology can guide a company’s cultural transformation and enhance an employee’s work experience when they’re working from home.
An Infosys study on workplace transformation shows employee health, wellbeing, company culture and education should be top priorities for companies reimagining the post-pandemic workforce.
As we reach target vaccination rates and move towards living and working with COVID, business leaders must increasingly find ways for company culture and employee experience to thrive beyond the walls of the workplace. To adapt seamlessly, it’s important to consider how technology can support the transition, employee learning opportunities and overall wellbeing.
Adapting for a hybrid workplace
The health crisis has become the accelerator for one of the greatest workplace transformations in our lifetime. Human resource managers are quickly adapting to demands for more flexible workplaces, which allows knowledge employees to work from anywhere they want.
The Infosys Workplace Transformation study indicates that 53% of companies believe some jobs will permanently shift to remote working, while 46% plan to implement a flexible, hybrid workforce.
Educating employees and providing tools to optimise their work experience is an important aspect of remote working. Building a digital-savvy workforce that benefits from on-demand learning, virtual coaching and new talent will be crucial to coping with a cultural shift, 83% of organisations suggest.
Organisations can double down and support remote employees on their career journey by:
- Solidifying a work-from-home policy
- Investing in virtual team building
- Reviewing internal communication strategies
- Empowering teams to make their own decisions
- Encouraging knowledge sharing
- Investing in digital collaboration and digital learning tools
Despite tremendous innovation in digital tools, social connection is still the secret sauce that makes human interactions tick. Infosys has experimented with different blends of high touch / high tech to deliver meaningful people initiatives during remote working. As an example, Infosys employee induction and onboarding is fully enabled for remote enablement via a purpose-built onboarding app, to give new starters a seamless digital joining experience that is scalable and sustainable. This is augmented with in-person engagements so social connections can be built with new teammates and managers.
Wellbeing beyond the walls of work
Beyond work policy and processes, many organisations are focused on supporting the overall wellbeing of workers. This can include investing in free online counselling sessions, leadership training on empathy and wellness programs such as yoga and meditation.
At Infosys, we curated an ongoing holistic program of virtual wellbeing initiatives that spans physical, social, emotional and psychological health, while also training an internal cohort of employees and managers as accredited Mental Health First Aiders. With a focus on mental health, we’ve partnered with external providers of Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) to deliver Resilience, Digital Detox and Work-Life Balance sessions to build awareness and arm employees with practical strategies they can implement while working from home.
Building a culture that’s focused on wellbeing requires investment in programs and initiatives. At Infosys for instance, we organise regular yoga and meditation sessions for employees, along with physical and online challenges. For our employees who are homeschooling children, we delivered a series of virtual kid-friendly activities that have become hugely popular.
Empowering employees to advance their skills
The acceleration in digital programs among organisations in the last 18 months has highlighted the need to reskill, upskill and refactor the workforce. With hybrid work a permanent part of the future, it’s essential that organisations enable a learning ecosystem that helps employees digitally upskill.
Strong remote learning programs should be developed to anticipate future skill requirements, to build on cultural foundations and to nurture development through a great learning experience.
At Infosys, learning is a foundation of our company culture. Being home to the world’s largest corporate university, the Infosys Global Education Centre, the organisation has always been focused on building training and learning programs from physical and virtual classrooms. In the past 18 months, extending this culture of learning to the homes and lives of our employees has been crucial. Infosys used its next-gen digital learning platform LeX to support more than 5,500 of its employees in Australia and New Zealand on their digital learning journeys.
In the region, we found learners were looking to reskill their knowledge on Cloud, Cloud Platforms, Agile Devops, AWS Environment Provisioning, Human Resource Management among others.
As we forge a future beyond the pandemic, we encourage companies to consider how they can support their own knowledge workers in the new hybrid work environment. By getting ahead in their digital journey, organisations are also driving workforce productivity, innovation and growth.