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Enterprise hits and misses - return-to-office faces the Great Resignation, Adobe Summit gets personal, and Accenture (really) pitches the metaverse

Jon Reed Profile picture for user jreed March 21, 2022
Summary:
This week - return-to-office is heating up, but how does that square with the Great Resignation? Adobe Summit pushed for personalization, with a dash of metaverse. Accenture opted for a heaping helping of metaverse instead - and got pushback. As always, your weekly whiffs.

King Checkmate

Lead story - The future of work amidst the Great Resignation - home, office, or both?

MyPOV: As the waves of Omicron slow (in many places), the future of work - and office - heats up. Stuart nailed it down in The Future of Work - remote or in the office? It's complicated as COVID consensus cracks in the Vaccine Economy:

A ping pong table and free snacks are not enough to lure people to join or stay with their employers; flexibility of work mode is key, according to Topia's latest study.

I dunno - ping pong is pretty good for social distancing... But anyhow, Stuart continues:

Last year Topia’s Adapt study found that employees wanted to be able to work from anywhere in the ‘New Normal’ and that a growing number of employers could see the benefits of this. Fast forward to 2022 and there’s more of a feeling, on both sides, that remote working isn’t actually working out for a variety of reasons.

I won't detail all the reasons and stats here, but the gist is that "all remote, all the time" isn't getting it done for many workers, and even more employers. But where we part ways is: what to do about it. Employers want to re-ignite cubicle love; employees want to keep things flexible:

On the other side of the coin, employees are more cynical about the motivations of their employers, with 39% claiming their firm makes it too difficult to work remotely, while nearly half (48%) believes that remote work policies are effectively gesture politics and are really put in place to make it easier to reject requests to work remotely.

Employers best watch their step. The Great Resignation maybe overhyped, but it's still a thing. As Stuart notes, "Some 29% of employees changed employers in 2021 and that number is set to rise by a further 34% this year." Pick that theme up in Cath's The Great Resignation and how to avoid it - two tech firms offer up their tips on staff retention. As Cath points out, throwing money at this problem in the form of higher salaries might work for recruitment, but it doesn't work nearly as well for retention as other factors, including work culture, purpose/values, and "employee empowerment." Ergo:

One of the results in the tech sector specifically has been increasing calls for more flexible ways of working.

Yes, and in my view, companies haven't gone nearly as far down the 're-imagining work" rabbit hole as they claim. Still, truly flexible policies are not easy to pull off either. Nor is remote work the panacea for all roles and situations - with some employees unhappy with all-remote as well. Leading Stuart to conclude:

What does emerge from the study is a need for compromise on both sides.

Indeed. But let's not compromise on the creative approaches we might take to bring this together. It's not like we're going to be working less anytime soon.

Diginomica picks - my top stories on diginomica this week

Vendor analysis, diginomica style. Here's my three top choices from our vendor coverage:

Adobe Summit - keynotes, analysis and use cases - The diginomica team was on-hand to break down a virtual Adobe Summit, where personalization-at-scale was the theme du jour, with a dash of metaverse:

Jon's grab bag - I think of brand evangelists as problematic and forward-thinking, in equal measure. Barb digs in: Preach it! The role of the Chief Evangelist in marketing. Everyone has an opinion on track and trace, but we're (often) lacking the data. As Derek notes, UK’s COVID-19 Inquiry will examine data use and effectiveness of test and trace.

Neil examined AI's flawed regulatory structure in Here's looking at you, kid - the problematic adoption of facial recognition systems. Stuart slathered the appropriate amount of arm's length skepticism satirical wit to Welcome to the metaverse - Accenture brings 'synthetic realness' to the 'no rules or expectations' world -  "Trying to plan the next tech revolution is a worthwhile notion, although it will almost inevitably end up with rival visionaries fighting like a bag of cats over their worldviews." I unfurled a strenuous reader comment of my own, based on two live hours with Accenture this week:

The reason the Internet is a "disparate collection" of sites and apps is because the Internet is a largely commercial platform, and Netflix and Disney and HBO are separate companies in the real world. So will they be online. I see no evidence putting on 3D goggles would change that.

Maybe I'm just jealous about my substandard headgear...

Best of the enterprise web

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer

My top seven

Overworked businessman

Whiffs

So 13% of People Think Elon Musk’s Singularity Brain Chip Will Be Good for Society. I'm not sure how that number overlaps with those who want to accompany Musk to Mars...

Meanwhile, Cafe Press won my coveted "stay classy" award:

I couldn't resist another shot at Microsoft Teams, after its wonderful update crashed itself (and my meeting):

I also gave ADP's chatbot a rough time, though to be fair, this type of "choose from three choices" lead gen bot is common on many software vendor sites:

ADP's social media account gamely stepped into the fray, but backed off when I started to throw "lead gen bots" under the bus. Look, bots aren't smart, but do they have to be this (intentionally) dumb? I say no... See you next time.

If you find an #ensw piece that qualifies for hits and misses - in a good or bad way - let me know in the comments as Clive (almost) always does. Most Enterprise hits and misses articles are selected from my curated @jonerpnewsfeed.

 

Image credit - Waiter Suggesting Bottle © Minerva Studiom, Overworked Businessman © Bloomua, King Checkmate © mystock88photo - all from Adobe Stock.

Disclosure - Workday, Acumatica, Coupa and Salesforce are diginomica premier partners as of this writing.

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