A new technology survey has found Australian businesses are prioritising digital readiness as part of their plans to remain competitive, as more offices around the country begin to reopen.

And in order to compete in the current climate, organisations’ digital plans must consider and invest in strategies for transitioning to a return to office and enabling true agile working amongst staff.

The Michael Page Australia Technology Sentiment Survey 2020 revealed 77.3% of participants agreed or strongly agreed that digital readiness ranked as a top priority for their business going forward.

George Kauye, Director, Technology at Michael Page, said as organisations review their transition to working remotely and developing strategies across mobility, cloud and security, service delivery and agility will become paramount to ensure areas of improvement can be identified.

Staff will expect continued investment in a digital workplace by their employer, alongside developing strategies and a proactive approach to ensure that their organisation is up-to-date

“This will see organisations prioritise digital readiness as a key project and transformation piece post-COVID, to help ensure they have learned from their experiences in March and have the capabilities to digitally enable their workforce, should a similar circumstance were to happen again,” Kauye explained.

He said a key factor that businesses have been considering for a return to office strategy was that employees will expect to continue work from home days as part of their normal weekly routine.

“Therefore, organisations need to look at the last six months not as a ‘one off’ but as a taste of what the future workplace looks like,” Kauye noted.

“And importantly, the result of this is that staff will expect continued investment in a digital workplace by their employer, alongside developing strategies and a proactive approach to ensure that their organisation is up-to-date and a modern workplace.”

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Enabling an agile workforce

According to Kauye, organisations that were early adopters and invested in an agile workforce before COVID-19 have a significant advantage from their competitors over those that are only starting their journey now.

“It will be easier for those organisations that have already invested as they will just need to maintain that through wireless and contactless technology,” he said.

“Digital-ready business will allow staff to feel comfortable and work efficiently as possible – and if you want it to be taken up, it needs to be as easy and seamless as possible. 

“This point is key to driving an agile workforce.”

Businesses are getting there, but post-COVID-19 will have to rethink about how their contactless tech capabilities can go further

While hotdesking has been taken up by businesses in recent years, COVID-19 has meant that organisations will need to consider how to avoid setups that require staff to use the same desktop computers and equipment.

“It will mean giving staff their own personal devices. From there, everything from logging into that desk, with wireless charging rather than manually plugging in, and having a strong wireless network, will be essential for your agile teams,” Kauye said.

Contactless technology opportunities in the workplace

Employees returning to physical offices and sites want to feel confident about their safety so they can come back to work with more peace of mind – and with that comes the culture and collaboration factors.

“Businesses are getting there, but post-COVID-19 will have to think about how their contactless tech capabilities can go further,” Kauye noted.

“In order to mitigate risks of the spread of COVID, contactless technology such as swipe cards for offices and automatic doors mean less surface contact, as well as less human-to-human contact.”

He added that this development of contactless tech also extended to the core areas of public transport, health and banking, as they become "less humanised" to allow for continued services in a physical distancing environment.

The Michael Page Australia Technology Sentiment Survey 2020 was based on an analysis of 236 participants, conducted in July/August.

The full report will be available in October.

George Kauye is Director, Technology at Michael Page. He can be contacted on 0415 435 650 or at [email protected]

You can also visit Our Recruitment Expertise to read more about how we can help you with your technology hiring needs and some of the key positions we have filled.

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