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A survey of enterprise executives reveals new workplace challenges and opportunities

The pandemic has challenged enterprises in more than a few ways. Scaling new security practices and safety protocols across various locations are just a couple of examples. But it’s not all bad, according to employers. Our latest survey of enterprise executives revealed that the pandemic has also brought new opportunities to organizations.

In this post, we’ll show you what executives say has been harder to manage as a result of the pandemic. We’ll also explore the opportunities they see to improve the workplace—and how you can take advantage of them at your own organization. 

1 – 75% of executives said security has become a bigger challenge

And for good reason: as organizations reopen their workplaces, they can no longer rely on patchwork security methods they’ve used while remote. To support hybrid work, they need to put long-term solutions in place—a task that’s especially difficult for enterprises with many locations, devices, and employees to secure.

Besides security, about half of executives said managing work-life balance (50%), productivity (50%), and health (49%) has become more difficult. Other work challenges didn’t trail too far behind. A significant number of respondents said retention and recruiting (43%), compliance regulations (40%), and consistency across global locations (39%) have also grown more difficult.

Tip: Adopting a new working model? You’ll need to revamp your organization’s security infrastructure. To keep your people and company safe, make sure you implement these cyber and physical security best practices.

2 – Large enterprises have struggled more

When we looked at responses by company size, we found some challenges have been harder to manage at enterprises larger than 3,000 employees. This includes:

  • Physical security
  • Retention and recruiting
  • Compliance
  • Employee health
  • Consistency across global locations

Why is that? It’s hard to be sure. It’s possible that organizations with more employees also have more physical locations—making security and consistency across these locations harder to manage.

Tip: Keep your tech stack consistent across the enterprise. This will ensure you don’t have to create custom solutions for individual locations. Check out this ebook for tips: An executive framework for scaling hybrid work security.

3 – 69% of executives plan to increase the size of their office space or keep it the same

Only 31% plan to downsize. This suggests that even with fewer people on-site on any given day, organizations value the workplace enough to continue to invest in it. Take Google, for example, which recently announced a $2.1 billion New York workplace investment. (Yes, billion!

Once enterprises bring people back on-site, they’re more likely to maintain their office space. This is the case for 62% of organizations that already have employees working on-site. The remaining 38% plan to increase or decrease the size of their physical workplace (12% and 26% respectively.)

Tip: Finding out how much office space you need will help your organization make the most of its real estate investments. For tips on how to flex your space, check out this guide.

4 – Nearly all executives surveyed plan to invest in technologies that support hybrid work

When we asked employers which workplace technology solutions they plan to invest in, 49% said health and safety technology is top of mind. That’s followed by conference room booking software (41%) and technology that will enable employees to book a workspace nearby their co-workers (41%). 

In a separate survey, we asked employees which technologies would make their lives easier in the workplace. 44% said health and safety technologies, suggesting alignment between organizations and their people. The other top technologies include a tool to help employees coordinate workplace schedules (32%) and contactless entry to the workplace via their mobile devices (29%).

Tip: Now’s the time to invest in the technologies that support hybrid work. To get started, partner with your IT team to ensure your people have the tools they need to thrive in a flexible work environment.

The pandemic has been tough on enterprise organizations. But it’s also presented an opportunity for executives to rethink the workplace. Headed into the new normal, most executives plan to increase or maintain their office space. 

They also plan to bring on new technologies to help support hybrid work. However, executives and employees don’t completely align on which tools are most important to invest in. Organizations should understand what their employees need to ensure they’re making the best investments.

Want to learn more about how enterprises feel about the future of the workplace? Download our new report, Enterprise executives say hybrid work is here to stay