PEOPLE BUY EXPERIENCES

NOT PRODUCTS
BY KLAER BROOKER

“The line between work and home is blurred. Gone are the days of nine to five. Today work is as much an emotional contract as it is a professional one. For most of us, these are very positive developments,” says Klaer, reflecting on the radical changes sweeping the workplace.

“It’s a popular idea that work has become something we do, rather than a place we go. And for information workers this is undoubtedly true. Today’s digital technologies are certainly powerful enablers of more flexible workstyles. Our connected devices allow us to be as productive working from home or the local coffee shop, as we are at work. Perhaps even more so. However, the true evolution in working practices is rather more subtle than simply empowering a mobile workforce.”

For Klaer, the fundamental issue is one of experience. “Just as today’s consumers increasingly value experience over product, so today’s employees do the same. They are more considered in their searches and more discerning in their choices,” she argues.

What is it really like to work for a particular organisation? What will I learn by working here? How does the role suit my desired lifestyle? What choices will I be able to make? Can I be ‘me’ at work?

These are all important questions. Increasingly though, it’s that final consideration that’s becoming the most significant.

“In the past it has been possible, even preferable, to show one side of our personalities at work, and another at home. Younger generations entering the workforce see little reason to be anyone else but themselves all of the time. This is partly an attitude, and partly a very practical reflection of the fact many of us move seamlessly between ‘work’ and ‘home’ many times during the day.”

Ultimately, according to Klaer, it’s all part of a new deal. The employee gives of their time and expertise. The employer responds by providing the tools and the environment to empower individuals to succeed.

“Employers and employees are on a journey together – with much of it taking place in unchartered territory. Digital tools and processes make that journey easier. But we should never forget we are dealing with people.

“Technology can support and enable. It can make complex lives more simple, and be the catalyst for transforming the way we work. But if it isn’t built for the way people want to work, and it doesn’t provide individuals with the choices they want, organisations will struggle to offer the experiences we know employees and candidates crave. And this is exactly why ‘Digital Me’ - building IT for people - is such a strong proposition.”