By Michael Cupps, Senior VP, Marketing at Activeops
The term "net-zero" has been on the lips of climate experts, politicians, and sustainability advocates for a while now. As a result, the need to achieve this goal inevitably occupied most of the agenda at COP26. The issues discussed during the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference had far-reaching implications, all of which have been carried into 2022. Now, as the topic continues to garner attention within the public domain, the actions needed to mitigate climate change are the utmost priority for world leaders.
The scrutiny they are under has inevitably trickled down onto organizations. Now business leaders are in the spotlight and are being forced to act on it if they are to survive.
Pressures to mitigate climate change intensify
Social media has made it easier for people to direct their worries. This has intensified the need for companies to focus on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Therefore, organizations that aren’t are environmentally responsible, are often criticized for it.
In addition, this pressure towards responsible and sustainable operations will only grow. Thereby it's imperative that all organizations, from start-ups to global brand icons, recognize that running sustainable operations is the key to unlocking a positive brand reputation in the future.
Data can be the light at the end of a dark tunnel
The pandemic led to a sudden change of working culture worldwide, forcing businesses to rethink how their people, procedures, and technology interfaced. An industry-wide fear of how this change might affect productivity continues to loom over us.
With the Omicron variant spreading rapidly, the effects were felt globally. Organizations will need to adjust their plans to keep employees safe and comply with the law. The need for people to work from home makes hybrid working more prevalent and complicated as it demands better orchestration.
While data requirements might seem burdensome at first, they can be a source of optimization. Workforce data could become the key to successfully navigate through these challenging times.
Organizations today need to record real insights and implement operational changes that will promote cultural and performance consistency in this hybrid world. Many leaders will also recognize that capturing real-time data at aggregate and individual levels can allow organizations to uncover prominent trends that can drive overall business efficiency. In a global business environment that is both highly competitive and relentlessly volatile, access to real-time performance data – or a lack of access to that essential data – will make or break businesses.
It is also crucial for organizations to measure the consequences when they can’t gather data that is required to schedule workforce levels across departments. Shortage of resources, limited capacity, and backlogs affect the customer experience on the outside and decrease employee morale on the inside.
Similarly, compromised coordination with employees can affect their work efficiency and subsequent engagement, leading to lower productivity even when organizations have a higher staff turnover rate.
Businesses appreciate the value of having a data-backed structured approach to managing operations.
The application of this hybrid work data is essential for three reasons:
Technology's role in driving sustainable operations
With the knowledge that a focus on sustainability can improve an organization's relationship with the public, companies need to be prepared to consider ways to use this as an advantage against their competitors. One way of doing so is by using technology in the right way.
It is now possible to have a Workforce Optimization Solution (WFO) to provide sustainability managers with real-time data with respect to the location of where their employees are working and how they’re performing. This will allow businesses to gather data efficiently and affordably without an extensive implementation of the whole process and help them meet their sustainability goals.
Many balances need to be struck and trade-offs need to be made in the quest to minimize carbon emissions, but the goal can be fulfilled if businesses recognize what is required and act upon it promptly.
A 'new era' of sustainable working
Most firms are working on reducing their carbon footprint to become more sustainable. If your business is using data to support a hybrid workforce, then you should notice a reduction in these emissions on multiple fronts. You may notice reduced emissions as fewer employees commute and those who commute less. You may see a reduced need for office lighting and heating – not to mention a reduction in office waste – as footfall in the office decreases.
The workforce data you gather to enable all this will help demonstrate a contribution to your businesses' emission reduction program – or could even form the basis of starting one if you have not already.
Invest in productive sustainability now, reap the rewards in the future
Due to the ongoing effects of the pandemic, many sectors of the world's economy have accelerated their digital transformation attempts. If business leaders play their cards right, they will be able to maintain satisfactory productivity levels through uncertainty. The drive to optimize organizational efficiency and productivity should no longer center solely around performance and profit but equally, revolve around sustainability.