After more than a year of remote working, managers are welcoming staff to the office with significantly changed expectations. Research by Drewberry revealed that although half of employees are keen to return to the office, just 13.5% want to be there daily.

This isn’t necessarily bad news for employers, with studies from Prodoscore ResearchStanford University and Harvard Business Review revealing significant productivity increases during the work at home period. Facilitating a hybrid working environment by breaking down silos so that data and tools are available anywhere, any time, on any device, could help bank those gains, while satisfying staff demands for a healthier work-life balance.

Doing so will require a focus on what tech analyst Maribel Lopez calls ‘Right Time Experiences’ (RTE): “enhanced business processes or services that deliver an employee or customer the right information at the moment of need. Right time experiences are built by combining application or process data with contextual data that resides in other internal corporate apps, data in the cloud and accessible device data”.

The right tools for the job

RTE is only possible using tools like Microsoft 365 (formerly Office365), Teams and Microsoft Mesh to relocate the workspace to the cloud; Adobe Sign to facilitate secure e-signatures; and Adobe Experience Cloud to organize and surface the data and assets on which staff rely.

Such tools have proven their worth across all sectors – but nowhere more than in pharma where the effort to develop a vaccine had to be achieved in precisely the kind of hybrid workspace that managers are looking to extend. Without RTE, vaccines would have been slower to appear and lockdowns would have been extended.

Speaking at Adobe Summit 2021, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla described how his company digitized its discovery and development process for medicines and, by using advanced analytics and supercomputing, reduced the process of formulating the vaccine from four weeks to just 18 hours. Within two days, Pfizer’s data was ready to submit to the FDA for approval. Pfizer used Adobe Experience Cloud to engage with physicians and Adobe Analytics to gain insight across its digital interactions.

But developing an effective vaccine is only half the story. Providing global support, including localized instructions and regulatory data for each territory was a significant challenge that couldn’t be allowed to slow the vaccine’s roll-out. AstraZeneca used Adobe Experience Manager to develop a global portal for its vaccine, which used a master template to accelerate deployment that was populated with territory-specific content for the 50+ countries where its vaccine had been approved. Healthcare professionals could access the specific data they needed using details included with each batch of the vaccine.

The benefit of right time experiences

Each of these examples embody RTE – tools and information professionals require where and when needed. They also demonstrate that providing staff with the best tools for the job isn’t about helping them be more productive – as motivated staff are already productive whether working in the office, off-site, or in a hybrid environment – but rather, RTEs minimize the number of obstacles staff encounter in their daily work. They reduce the number of steps a job entails, save staff from having to download tools while they wait for answers, and facilitate collaboration. The result is more fulfilling experiences for staff, and greater efficiencies across the organization.

If RTEs help staff do their jobs more efficiently, they could also help them discover a more equitable work-life balance than many have experienced during 15 months of working from home. This could be all the incentive they need for workforce efficiency and productivity.

To find out more about optimizing the employee experience, click here to read the article on how to overhaul your employee experience for the future of work.