We’re always connected, but are we connected at work?

5 september 2022
Lisa Vande Velde

Bart Auwers talks about living in an omni-connected world

The pandemic has impacted Accenture, the same way it impacted most organisations: we shifted completely to hybrid ways of working. One can say that working remotely is in the consultant’s DNA. For decades we have been adapting where and when to work. Nevertheless, our employees’ needs for flexibility increased drastically and pushed Accenture to rethink our way of doing things. Today, in addition to giving our people full flexibility, we want them to belong and to feel connected and included.

Working remotely or hybrid and enabling human interactions, formal or informal, at the client's or our offices, is a tricky balance. So we listened to our people. After multiple surveys, interviews, focus group sessions, AI analysis and test cases, there are 5 key elements we consider when reimagining our future of work:

Flexible work: 88% of the Accenture colleagues indicated that increased flexibility and keeping the hybrid way of working is priority n°1 for their well-being and a key driver for their engagement.

No one-size-fits-all: Our focus goes beyond “spaces and places” – where and when people will work. We trust our people to build the working model that works for them and act in respecting the needs of our clients.

Decision framework: Consistent guidelines and expectations support our people to decide where and when to work. That framework tackles questions around regulations – such as working from exotic locations – and addresses client concerns about team collaboration.

In-person connection time: We provide diverse and multiple opportunities to connect in person and collaborate with colleagues, clients and communities. Being at our office means interacting, exchanging, and innovating, rather than just sitting at a desk.

Human-led culture and omni-connected experience: Feeling safe to speak up, and having a clear sense of belonging and connectedness is key to our people strategy. We want them to thrive and build purposeful careers.

The actions Bart Auwers describes are taken locally and were confirmed in global research by Accenture. A lot of insights were gained from no less than 1,100 C-level executives and 5,000 workers in multiple roles and ways –front-line and fully on-site, hybrid and fully remote – across 12 countries.

Online until infinity?

Accenture describes omni-connected as “the complete experience of work: feeling connected, being included, and knowing we belong, regardless of our physical location. When we are omni-connected, we use technology and human ingenuity to make sure we are seen, can fully contribute, and have equal quality of experience.” In short, it’s a new reality we are living in.

Also take in mind that omni-connected experiences do not mean being connected 24/7, but quite the opposite!

Though our devices are always switched on, only one in six people feel highly connected at work. On the other hand, organisations where people feel highly connected to each other, their leaders and their work, stand to gain a 7.4% revenue growth boost per year. Let that sink in.

Accenture believes that people as well as business both thrive from omni-connected experiences in meaningful ways:

  • Financial
    Omni-connected companies experience a 7.4% revenue growth premium per year.
  • Trust
    Where there’s greater trust, people are 35% more likely to deliver high-quality work
  • Retention
    Being omni-connected accounts for 59% of an employee’s intention to stay.
  • Productivity
    Employees who benefit from omni-connected experiences: over 90% say they can be productive anywhere.

If you want to create value through omni-connected experiences, Accenture has got you covered. There are four key actions to apply:

  • Instill human leadership
    It’s all about empathy, compassion, transparency and trustworthiness
  • Grow a thriving culture
    Nurture cultural norms that prioritize purpose, authenticity and psychological safety
  • Enable the agile organisation
    Take flexibility to another level and scale different ways of working
  • Empower people through technology
    a robust foundation and the ability to experiment are key elements

We need to make the connection and it matters now. Because mental health is more important than ever and next to that there are significant economic challenges to tackle. Also, talent pools are shrinking, and people are fundamentally re-thinking their relationship with work.

A strong work environment full of support for its employees is an accelerator for the future. That’s where omni-connection can make you scale your business.

How will you make your organisation a great place to work for the next decades? Take actions today to better access talent, create and unlock your talent potential, and support your talent with technology. Be omni-connected.