Employees are the New Customers, a Reversal of the Workforce Equation.

6 min readJul 27, 2022


Crises speed up innovation. How ought the working environment to change?

Workforce architecture is still changing and evolving. It is a given that. We’re a restless and inquisitive bunch since we’re used to working in offices, then moving into cubes, then into open floor plans, and then back into offices. Staid ideas about where and how we should work migrate to us, and we move on from them. We consider the constantly changing nature of technology to be an inescapable factor in defining what we mean by “workforce.” And at a time like today, when COVID-19 is challenging nearly every accepted paradigm and compelling us all to rethink our positions, this couldn’t be more accurate or relevant.

The idea of the workplace is a physicality that shifts and adapts in the retail and service industries, from the shop floor to enormous warehouses, to cars, trucks, and vans, and into our homes. As the workforce crosses over walled boundaries and disperses across locations, it is being recreated in real-time as it uses technologies to provide novel experiences.

Many businesses are being forced to change their tactics by the introduction of same-day and next-day delivery and pickup in internet retail. When it comes to labour and transactions, brick and mortar locations have traditionally served as the container, with the occasional delivery or service call moving an employee outside the building and into the path of a consumer. Technology is now enabling new experiences at a rapid rate, but without fully considering the expanding staff user journeys required to fulfil new customer service areas.

Amazon has contributed to setting the standard by defining what it means to satisfy consumer needs for acquiring their items whenever and wherever they want, and now rivals are moving swiftly to fulfil customer expectations. Using technology, retailers like Walmart and Sam’s Club are investing heavily in pickup and delivery services to meet the demands of the new ecosystem. At the same time, they are changing job descriptions and creating new roles in the workforce.

The best employee experience must be set up at the same time as the best customer experience.

The employee is a new client who should be valued just as highly as those who are making purchases of products and services because they are on their own journey.

The concept of a “client” has changed.

As consumers of goods and services, it’s no longer just you and me. Technology-related touchpoints and the interfaces required to plan the delivery of your products where and when you want them are numerous. A great deal of accuracy is necessary, along with consideration for a workforce that has high demands and expectations from them in terms of serving the consumer.

There are numerous new swim lanes if we pan out and consider the consumer experience.

Workforce that is Dispersed.

We also need to think about the makeup of the workforce when we analyse the workplace. The demands on management, performance, rewards, and engagement are different when there is a scattered workforce. Services like digital check-in and scheduling have been implemented by airlines like Southwest to increase staff efficiency. However, as technology has been added on top of an already-existing customer journey, it also presents gaps around involving a scattered staff and preserving a sense of community, affinity, and camaraderie. In order to precisely orchestrate software and physical space systems to satisfy these changing needs, current patterns must be examined as well as worker needs and aspirations exposed.

On-the-Job Training: Learning Through Experiential.

A intentional workstream and feature set for training as experience should be included in product development and design. It’s not an afterthought and it’s not a one-shot deal. In order to keep your personnel motivated and rewarded, it is crucial to establish and implement a system of training and knowledge maintenance for them. With new and changing responsibilities in a distributed workforce, the need for adoption and training grows more critical than ever to keep workers current.

New responsibilities in a new position call for new habits of thought and conduct. By integrating reinforcement and rewards into the experience, software can influence behaviour by reflecting back appropriate levels of performance and accomplishment without getting in the way of the current activity. When the system is more than just a push mechanism and reflects its community actively, it strikes a delicate balance and benefits everyone.

Greetings, I’m…

New employees, those with initials like AI and ML, have come with new jobs and new roles. By automating the laborious and repetitive chores, artificial intelligence and machine learning enable us to make smarter judgments more quickly. The efficiencies are minor but significant, ranging from finding and purchasing things to scheduling conference rooms to sending straightforward email responses. We can now concentrate on human needs and deeper interactions thanks to AI and automation.

Closing the Customer-Face and Employee-Face Gap.

Tools used by employees and customers share more similarities than ever in terms of appearance, functionality, and use. One comprehensive collection of design patterns and language must be considered as we create. It’s no longer the case that workers are shackled to terminals with drab DOS interfaces, typing away as you wait for them to respond to your questions or provide you with answers. Customers are given the ability to find their own solutions with the help of tools aimed at them, and they frequently share screens with staff members when making requests. The same user interfaces or technologies that were created with both customers and employees in mind are being referred to by employees in a similar manner. We observe an increase in the number of tools that serve a similar purpose and supply data via a unified branding system.

Evaluation of Employee Performance.

Employing tools to monitor performance is crucial for keeping your team informed and engaged because a remote workforce frequently interacts with management digitally. According to design study, a wide range of factors can affect labour effectiveness. Consider how these variables would operate in a distributed workforce. This can be objective, hard data that can be measured, but it can also be more arbitrary. Understanding the available data is essential for defining the subjective, but it’s also important to conduct research in actual workplaces to shed light on the qualitative and difficult-to-measure aspects.

Compassion and empathy are crucial throughout, and as designers and product creators, research enables us to step into the shoes of the workforce, getting a glance into their reality — their struggles, their achievements, and what makes a good day extraordinary. We develop a better understanding of how to tool the unmeasurable by quickly translating that study into designs and going back to those consumers for feedback on ideas.

Based on this human formula — data, context, compassion, and empathy — product and design teams can create products that meet employee requirements and expectations. It’s a formula that needs to be discovered and verified through research and leads to ideas and solutions that increase customer value by empowering a better workforce.

Our firms are still enforcing work-from-home regulations as I write this to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Through Slack, video conferencing, and other technological advancements, we remain connected. We also observe the fast deployment of these labour technologies for civilian usage. My mother’s birthday fell on the first day of the social distance directive, so we quickly changed course and gathered as a family over a group video chat to celebrate. This is a straightforward example that is close to home.

We’re seeing systems stretched, breaking, and then adjusting as a result of experiences like grocery delivery and pick-up that were previously on the periphery of use for the majority of people but have suddenly been catapulted into the limelight of vital use. To meet demand, innovation is sped up.

To overcome difficulties, we innovate.

In the upcoming months, this will become more prevalent as companies quickly use technology, experiment, and attempt new approaches to keep people engaged and working. Our workforce needs to be the primary orchestrator and navigator of the systems created to provide the best possible customer experience. We must continue to build for both of these roles.

Through technology, our workforces and we as people are more connected than ever amid a time of sheltering in place and coerced distance.

A good workforce requires strong ethics. This is how we maintain it:-

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