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The Digital Transformation: 3 Things to Keep in Mind for 2021

With Q1 of 2021 behind us, we find ourselves well into the year. But where do we stand in terms of the work world, technology and the always-relevant intersection between the two?

Touching base with HR Bartender founder Sharlyn Lauby is an exceptionally good way to put things in perspective, so we did just that in a new episode of our HR Break Room® podcast. Here are a few areas we covered.

Different work styles will continue

While many companies have sent workers back to the office — or made plans to do so in the foreseeable future — we should not assume this will be true across the board. But that doesn’t necessarily mean a company’s workforce will remain entirely remote, either. Lauby notes an increasing interest in “hybrid” arrangements, which can often mean employees and managers agreeing to come into the office on specific days but work from home on others, as dictated by the demands of their projects.

In any case, the right tech will remain crucial.

Employee learning can take many forms

The growing role of workplace tech comes with positive implications for learning and development. From massive open online courses (MOOCs) to social media to the whole concept of “microlearnings,” the range of possibilities enabled by technology becomes excitingly endless for organizations with the right HR tech in place.

Lauby clearly shares this sense of excitement.

“Now, companies can create ways for employees to learn on their own as well as learning in an organized formal format,” she said in the podcast. “And to me, that creates that level of engagement and performance that the business wants and the employee wants.”

Employee autonomy is more important than ever

As organizations across the country establish their new ways of working, efficient and effective operation will be vital to organizations’ survival.

“I think that one of the things that we’re going to see in the immediate future is this real focus on being lean [and] doing more with less,” Lauby said.

This brings us back to the importance of technology — specifically efficient, single-software HR tech that increases employees’ ability to self-manage and take ownership of their own data. When workers enjoy increased autonomy, productivity increases, frustration decreases and everyone is happier. That includes leadership, whose bottom-line outlook is very much part of the holistic equation.

For more from Lauby, be sure to catch episode 94 of HR Break Room®, “A Time of Opportunity: The Current State of the Digital Transformation.”