Balancing Generational Needs
Employees’ relationship with hybrid work may be nuanced, but there are some clear trends. For one, they have already embraced this approach—PwC found that over half of employees polled prefer a hybrid work week of three days remote, two days in the office. Preferences vary among age groups though. While many organizational veterans value the in-person experience, our research has found that among millennials and Gen Z—the Born Digital generations—90% do not want to return to the office full-time.
Caught in the middle are channel partners, who are charged with supporting an IT strategy that caters to both audiences. To do so, they must embrace the value of workplace flexibility and experience ownership. In deploying new solutions, channel partners are most effective when they hand the power to employees themselves to choose how they work best. Consider, for example, digital collaboration. Only 21% of business leaders use instant messaging apps like Slack or WhatsApp for work purposes, compared to 81% of Born Digital employees. Certainly, any deployment shouldn’t favor one over the other. Rather, partners need to take a holistic approach and communicate to business decision makers the differing preferences of their employees.
A New Path Forward
With every decision, organizations embracing hybrid work are breaking new ground. Never before has there been a widespread redistribution of how and where humans around the globe work. Channel partners, as the connective tissue between unique organizational needs and the innovative solutions of IT vendors, can provide critical insight as the future of work develops around us. It hinges, however, on the mindset of flexibility and mobility that has enabled organizations to not only survive but thrive.
MIKE FOUTS is vice president, Americas, for partner sales at Citrix.