Digital workplaces are looking to become a much more prominent part of society, with many people being forced to remain indoors and digital technology allowing people to work remotely in the first place. These shifts mean that businesses can become significantly more agile, and employees can contribute to the business in many more varied ways.
However, there is a big gap between an effective and ineffective workplace, which only broadens when the distance between employee and workplace grows. Here are just a few ways you can develop your digital workplace to be as efficient as possible:
Ensure your workers can access the right hardware
One significant issue that faces employers looking to switch to a digital workplace is the level of technology available to staff. You could be using the best project management software there is, but if it has difficult system requirements or isn’t accessible to everyone, then any staff that are locked out of the system won’t be able to be as productive as possible.
To get around this, your employees will need to have access to all of the right devices before you make the transition to a digital workplace – so make sure they have the hardware they need.
Encourage a productive home working environment
Although people are predominantly more productive working in their own home, there are still distractions to contend with, as well as unergonomic work stations that can lead to posture problems.
A simple solution to this is to try and ensure that your employees have a private space that they can consider to be an “office”, allowing them to focus as much as possible with no distractions. One of the best ways to educate staff members on this could be to prepare a “working at home” package or how-to guide which outlines some tips on how to optimise their remote working environment.
You could also set up a collaboration area on your company intranet, where staff can share their home working experiences and managers can check in on how effectively everyone’s been working.
Think agile and be flexible
One of the major advantages a company can glean from using a digital workplace is the ability to be a much more flexible enterprise. Since you don’t have to use a physical office, you won’t need to open up and close down at the same time every day. Instead, your company can adapt, which could even mean your employees are able to work at much better times for them.
For example, people who struggle with an early start could simply have a ‘night owl’ body clock, and so work more effectively at night. Having a digital workplace will allow them to complete their tasks in their optimal hours, benefitting your organisation and employees alike.
Ultimately, the pandemic should be a period of humanity – if you notice an employee struggling with their workload or you notice a decrease in quality, don’t jump down their throats about it. Instead, approach them with empathy and ask how you can help.
It can be all too easy to feel isolated in times such as a pandemic, especially when you’re confined to the same walls of your home for weeks, if not months, at a time. Thanks to this, it’s critical that you encourage collaboration and working together. For one, employees will be happier if they get the opportunity to work together, whether it be over voice or video call or through a collaborative document where they can see changes in real-time.
Collaboration could also be an effective way of powering through the most urgent tasks at that time, as it allows staff to communicate and resolve any issues over a job quickly and efficiently. If they were to be working alone, problem resolution could be slower.
Never underestimate the power of video conferencing, either – workmates are often more than just workmates, so championing collaboration between colleagues will boost happiness and, by extension, productivity.
Keep staff connected with an intranet
The digital workplace started life as an intranet, and it remains a key player in connecting your remote staff. An intranet enables your employees to stay in touch, collaborate on projects, and access the resources they need throughout the workday. This will increase efficiency and effectiveness, as well as helping your staff feel part of a team even when working apart.