You could probably divide any workforce into those who welcome and enjoy new technology, and those who dislike and resist it. Arguably there’s also a sizeable group who sits somewhere in the middle, happy when the technology simply works well and is easy to use.

The rapid growth of consumer electronics, online services and interactive devices has increased the familiarity of most users with technology. As a result many organisations have scaled down their IT training, assuming that existing employees and new starters will be able to work acceptably well with the devices and systems they will need to use.

But is this a valid assumption, or are substantial numbers of users left frustrated and excluded by technology they don’t really understand?

As a simple example take the average online meeting that many of us attend on a regular basis. How many minutes are lost through audio visual issues, late arrivals, disruptive noises or poor communications?

Of course, we’re assuming the organiser has set up the meeting correctly, issued speed dial instructions (perhaps even with the right combination of numbers, commas and hashes for actual speed dialling) and logged on as the meeting manager.

The fact is that users do not have a built in understanding of how technology works. They struggle with the combination of connectivity, communications, security and settings.

Most have also never been taught basic troubleshooting skills and, while the organisation may well have a service or support desk, many users do not feel confident about speaking to an expert who may consider their inability to complete such simple tasks to be foolish or even laughable.

For cost and efficiency reasons, it’s unlikely that we will see a return to classroom sessions from IT trainers, regular floor-walking support staff or one-on-one ‘white glove’ support at the desk.

Simply posting a library of YouTube videos isn’t the answer either, as quite simply no one other than the people that create them (and possibly their friends and families) will ever view them.

To work correctly, enablement needs to be timely, personal and relevant. It also needs to be cost-effective. That means having a way to identify and respond to users requirements simply and in a way that encourages the users to interact.

So, how do we go about solving this particular conundrum and encourage people to embrace the intricate diversity of modern technology and communications?

A multi-channel approach perhaps? How about a ‘shift left’ to enable self-service? Should we consider a library of context-sensitive training along with guidance material, plus a true customer centric approach to support?

What is clear, is these solutions are all features of the modern workspace, and embracing them all will ensure that users will not only get access to the technology they need, but will be encouraged and supported in its use.
 

If you’d like to find out more about developing a smarter workspace, visit the Workspace Agility website, or get in touch!