As much of the workforce has gone to remote work, devising solutions for fluid communication, collaboration and data security are now a top priority for many companies.
For most companies, that means building or expanding their digital workplace.
So, what does your digital workplace look like?
The question may sound counterintuitive. After all, we experience our “digital world” through the screens of our PCs, laptops, and mobile devices. The reality is, the design of your digital workplace plays a big role in customer response and employee engagement. And it’s essential to business success today.
Yet, for as much interest as there now is in implementing a digital workplace, the idea isn’t new.
In this article, we will answer some of the most common and pressing questions surrounding the digital workplace, specifically:
The answer to this question depends on who you ask.
And previously noted, you may find companies that talk about digital workplace in terms of a platform.
In our experience, the digital workplace includes all of these elements. In our own offerings, we have been evolving digital workplace solutions for more than a decade.
From supporting thousands of organizations like yours, we define the digital workplace as follows:
The digital workplace brings people together by leveraging technology to empower integrated, secured communications, employee productivity, and competitive advantage to create seamless employee and customer experiences, enhance business agility, and drive business forward.
The pandemic had a huge impact on how we all do business. In many ways, every organization must embrace digital workplace practices now.
Hybrid offices – those that blend digital and traditional workspaces – offer immense benefits for those businesses that need employees physically present. A hybrid office:
Your technology infrastructure connects your people to each other and to the information they need to do their work. And as many quickly discovered with 2020’s rise in ransomware attacks, it must also protect employee and customer information outside of traditional network environments.
Purely on-premises applications can put a strain on IT resources, especially with distributed workforces. Manpower may be limited in hybrid settings. Hardware and software require maintenance, updates, and backup and disaster recovery solutions.
Plus, with employees working almost anywhere, supporting connectivity can prove a challenge.
Opportunities where companies are finding Cloud and IT solutions include:
Remote workforce solutions involve much more than enabling work from anywhere. It’s true, a remote workforce needs the right tools, information, and systems – but that isn’t all.
Just as important, an organization needs to keep employees engaged and foster those organic “water cooler” interactions, even if people are sitting in home offices miles apart. Getting work done should also be a seamless, rather than a frustrating, effort.
And we can’t forget about the top priority – maintaining a positive customer experience.
Cloud and IT infrastructure plays a role here with secured access to applications, device support, and communication and collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams™.
The next pillar, process automation, also plays a key role in improving the movement of information, documents, and data through digital workflows.
Paper workflows may work in traditional office environments; they don’t work in the digital workplace.
Scanning and creating digital versions of paper can solve the issue of sharing but leaves manual tasks in place that can impact customer service response and employee efficiency. Automating workflows through integrated tools and applications can eliminate bottlenecks, ensure secured access to information anywhere, and supply valuable data to inform decision-making.
Benefits our customers experience after implementing process automation solutions include:
For some organizations, remote work may be possible for a large percentage of staff – but not for everyone. Here, the physical and digital workplaces overlap, where digital technologies help to provide a safe and adaptive workspace that enables a hybrid workforce.
Digital technologies provide solutions for a smart and safe workplace through:
You can find a host of platforms and tools to build a digital workplace.
Adding them ad hoc, however, runs the risk of creating inefficiencies due to incompatibilities.
Ideally, you want to take a strategic approach to building your digital workplace.
Taking the time to create a digital workplace strategy helps to ensure your efforts will lead to:
In our work with businesses implementing digital workplace strategies, we have identified 10 common barriers.
Any one of these 10 can have a negative impact on the efficiency, communication, and overall success of your digital workplace.
You want to start by defining what your digital workplace looks like. At a minimum, it should:
By clearly defining your vision for how your employees will work together to deliver an exceptional customer experience, you’ll make the following steps simpler to do.
Once you know where you want to go, it’s time to set the goals for the planning and implementation phase, as well as what outcomes you expect your digital workplace to deliver.
We recommend setting S.M.A.R.T. goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.
This approach helps keep your stakeholders engaged, gives focus, and makes every task a contributor to goal completion.