Accenture Elastic Digital Workplace roadmap outlines six dimensions

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Aanchal Ghatak
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Accenture in India has been realizing tangible outcomes for clients through provocative thinking and transformative insights, Accenture in India offers a wide range of services spanning strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations.


Here, Sunit Sinha, MD, Strategy & Consulting, Talent & Organization, Accenture in India, talks about Covid-19 and the future of work. Excerpts from an interview:

COVID-19 has changed the way we live and work. While every organization’s circumstances and culture are different, people universally look to their leaders for empathy, care, flexibility and confidence while navigating difficult times. While it isn’t always possible to anticipate and prepare for every contingency, organisations need to be agile, demonstrate they have a plan and inspire trust in their people about their capabilities to navigate the future. They need to empower their people through digital collaboration tools and new ways of working, resources for upskilling or reskilling, engender a culture of fast learning and fast failing, and communicate in a consistent and transparent manner about what is driving decisions that affect the workforce.”

DQ: This is a challenging time for managers. What advice would you give them? How can work/life balance work be achieved in a crisis like this?


Sunit Sinha: The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted businesses and markets at an unprecedented scale and transformed the way we live and work. Most companies are still coming to terms with the new ways of working and as our workforces adjust to this situation. Leading with compassion and caring for our workforce and communities is the need of the hour.

Leaders must take into account in three areas: the physical, mental, and relational needs of employees. These needs apply at all times, but they are especially important in a crisis. In meeting the physical needs of employees, leaders empower the workforce to take responsibility for their health and well-being and work in a safe and secure environment.  In terms of the mental needs, the organisations need to build and bolster psychological resilience amongst their employees. Finally, relational needs enable employees identify with the larger mission and purpose of their organisation, which gives them a sense of shared values and belonging.

In times like this, teams will need the flexibility and permission to work differently. The consecutive hours of uninterrupted work may not be feasible, as many people deal with disrupted eldercare and childcare, difficulties in securing essential supplies at home, and potential healthcare issues. Managers have to evolve work rules for more flexibility, based on emotional intelligence and people’s individual needs. They also need to encourage the adoption of digital workplace tools and practices and enable employees to migrate to new ways of working in a remote environment. This will result in employees having more control over their schedules and thereby, enhanced work-life balance.


Beyond caring, leaders must also demonstrate that they have a plan to tide over these volatile terms and be transparent about what is driving decisions. Companies need to be agile and look ahead proactively and respond, rather than react to unforeseen situations.

Consistent, timely and clear communication is also imperative. In a communication vacuum, employees may create their own versions of the story, which can cause fear and a sense of ambiguity.  

DQ: How are the latest technologies going to redefine the workplace? How can we plan for a future of ‘decent digiwork’? How can organizations now facilitate digital work?


Sunit Sinha: Technology is playing the most significant role in this crisis. Accenture’s Elastic Digital Workplace roadmap outlines six dimensions, which have proven effective in quickly transitioning to a remote workplace environment.

Culture and adoption: The first step is to provide tools and coaching to test and learn, which will help people rapidly adopt new ways of working.  Provide technology and environment optimizations for effective remote working and activate a communications plan to provide policy guidance.
Elastic collaboration: Rapidly deploy or scale up collaboration tools across the organization and build bridges with the organisation’s customers, partners and suppliers. With more employees working remotely, collaboration tools should be able to handle an increase in volume and load while also improving usability and productivity.
Virtual work environment: It provides the employees with key resources that they need to be productive, such as a secure laptop, and seamless access to corporate applications and data. It also helps implement virtual desktop solutions, which offer virtualized workspaces and allow secure access to remote applications and data for employees who do not have access to secure mobile devices. Interactive broadcast and web conference platforms can support the shift from physical to virtual workshops and conferences.
Seamless networking: Working productively from home or other remote locations requires seamless, secure, and reliable network connectivity to corporate networks, cloud assets, and to strategic partners.
Distributed continuity: Organisations need to monitor and assess a quickly evolving environment, make rapid business decisions, communicate clearly to one’s workforce on how to navigate the situation and activate crisis protocol. Enhanced business continuity plans should factor in travel restrictions and large scale remote working environments.

DFDF A E CDA A A C A Sunit Sinha, MD, Strategy & Consulting, Talent & Organization, Accenture India

Adaptive security: It means rapidly addressing security protocols and solutions to allow the expansion of remote connectivity. This includes Zero Trust network access and Endpoint Managed Protection, Detection and Response.
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