Creating Value By Recognising The Importance Of User Experience In The Workplace
A cautionary tale for the visionary
The executive team has seen the latest and shiniest gadgets on the news, or heard about the fancy technology set up a competitor has just installed. They want it too, and they want it now. They’ve weighed up the costs and benefits, and in pursuit of that elusive ROI they’ve decided to allocate the budget to have it implemented.
But what is often forgotten is that the true value proposition of technology lies not in what it can theoretically do for a business, but rather in how it is actually used by the business and its employees: the end users. It doesn’t matter if you have the most intelligent piece of technology that can potentially help employees work more efficiently or create more effective communication channels. If no one wants to use it or simply don’t know how to use it, your new gear turns into extremely expensive furnishings.
Avoid costly office ornaments
From the first foray into redesigning your office fit out or integrating new technology, make sure your end users are seen as absolutely essential to the process – from initial consultation and ideation, to design and all the way through to final implementation. Don’t relegate end users to the periphery as a secondary factor to the project.
Our recent work with Investa for their new Sydney premises revealed that users themselves are essential as active participants in creating and maintaining a positive work culture, and are often the catalysts for change.
The key is simplicity
In balancing the objectives of the business with end user needs, what emerges is the challenge of promoting workplace efficiency while maintaining the integrity of the existing work culture. Other work limitations also arise, and can be overwhelming in their number when considering the physical space, the budget and, above all, the time that is available for making the most improvements to the workplace.
Yet in the end, we believe that businesses must learn to prioritise the myriad of objectives and needs when approaching a redevelopment or major change to the work environment. Simplicity is essential to creating not only a good technology set up, but an effective that shows team members that you understand and empathise with their existing challenges at work. Start the journey by surveying and targeting the employee experience to reinforce a culture of openness and trust between the business and the team. If it’s the team members who are going to use the technology in which you’ve invested much time, effort, and money, it should be technology that clearly resolves major concerns and responds to their needs.
After all, an employee who feels that they can be open and honest with leadership and is given a workplace environment that understands and caters for their needs, is an employee who will dedicate themselves to your business.
And who doesn’t want that?