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The digital work experience—why it will matter even more in 2021




As we near the finish line of a year filled with unimaginable change, we’ve been knee-deep in trends, research, and lessons learned—compiling and analyzing as we prepare for 2021. Between our Customer Advisory Board’s astute observations and the findings of Workfront’s Generations at Work Study, one prediction in particular stands out. 

Delivering exceptional digital work experiences will be as important for our employees as it is for our customers in 2021—and beyond. Enabling and empowering a modern workforce will become a, if not the, top priority for organizations of all types and sizes. Why? Because, more and more, the global workforce is composed of digital natives who demand the same quality of digital experiences at work as they do in their personal lives. It has to be easy, and it has to be delightful. Staying competitive will require companies to create collaborative, virtual, rich media digital experiences that reflect the way work and the people doing the work are changing. 

Nomadic work has become the norm. But even pre-pandemic, our Generations at Work research revealed that workers of all ages expect something very different from their workplace tech. Here’s a sample of what we found:

  • 34% of managers, directors, and executives have turned down a job because the technology was out of date or hard to use. 
  • 26% of Millennials say they’ve quit a job because workplace tech made their job harder.
  • 84% of all workers say their companies are missing opportunities by not moving to modern technology solutions. 

Reading these findings is both shocking and, somehow, not at all surprising. There is no doubt that the right technology is the engine for the digital work experience, connecting distributed teams and empowering them to do their best work—from anywhere—using their favorite tools. The RIGHT digital work experience boosts employee engagement, productivity, and performance—across all generations, while the WRONG experience is a leading indicator of challenges in attracting and retaining top talent. 

At Workfront we’re putting these insights into practice as we head into the new year. For example, Workfront, like many organizations, has been fully remote across the globe since March. To ensure visibility and transparency, we use our own platform as the backbone of all the work being done at Workfront, from marketing campaigns, to employee onboarding, to new product development. We are also continuously evaluating our technology stack to ensure it reflects and supports the way work—and the employees doing that work—is changing. We know that our success depends on creating great digital experiences—for our employees and our customers.

For more on the importance of understanding and empowering multi-generational teams—and delivering exceptional digital work experiences—read Alex Shootman’s blog, “The future workforce—new research reveals how Millennials and Gen Xers approach work.”