Thanks to the internet of things and the consumerisation of IT, the workplace has changed dramatically, even over the last few years.
Working online is becoming more common, but often we stay in our own lanes. We lacked the confidence to fully explore what the digital workplace has to offer in terms of collaboration and engagement.
The digital workplace has a lot to offer employees in a move away from repetitive tasks to more dynamic ways of working and interacting. But does your office have a robust digital policy in place to move beyond the intranet to a fully digital workplace where applications, information, and collaboration combine to the benefit of all employees?
How coherent is your digital workplace?
In any organisation, there may be any number of projects underway at any given time and there is inevitable overlap between some of them that can cause confusion. The digital workplace can help teams collaborate across projects, delivering cohesive, meaningful and productive results across the board.
Be prepared to build a collaborative workspace that challenges these long-established business practices and processes that disrupt the core business of meeting business challenges effectively. Research what collaborative software will be most effective in creating a digital workplace where the employee experience is of meaningfully interaction and communication.
Ease of use
As consumers, we’re increasingly used to a seamless user experience when we go online. By ‘consumerising’ the digital workplace experience, you’ll engage employees and empower them, giving a greater sense of ownership of, and degree of excellence in, navigating their new workspace. And as the work-life balance becomes redefined by our always-on culture, new ways of working offer the flexibility to navigate the bleed-through between home and work life.
Digital workplace tools need to mimic the applications we use daily for access to useful data that syncs effortlessly to our devices. The development of personal metrics can encourage employees to assess and track progress in ways that are both relevant and familiar. If your employees prefer to communicate by instant messaging, rather than email, equip them with the collaborative software tools to encourage effective communication.
Create a compelling vision
What is the value proposition of your company as you transform into a digital business and how will adoption of the digital workplace help you achieve those goals? HR teams have a valuable role to play in leading employee engagement with that vision, through a focus on relationships, workplace culture and personal development. As employees re-design the workplace, HR can lead on the autonomous decision making and local leadership skills essential to a truly collaborative digital workplace.
Your effective, long-term strategy should aim to attract talent that has the right skills and competencies for the digital workplace, and to engage and retain employees who are engaged and motivated.
Companies that implement social networking tools are 7% more productive and employees’ satisfaction is 20% higher than in companies who are slow to effective move to digital.
But the strategy must be implemented and then behaviours for success modelled at every level of your company.
This will result in work will needing to be done on setting new standards and best practices as you collectively move towards the new workplace.
Get smart, get mobile
Mobile, social, cloud and information are the four cornerstones of any successful digital workplace platform. The rise of collaborative software that is the base for an enterprise social network has become essential for the connected business. They are called this because of their microblogging features that mimic those of familiar social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, and there are expected to be 639 million users of enterprise social networks by the end of 2021.
Encouraging employees to use their own smartphones for business purposes – bring your own data/apps/technology – under certain regulations has an important role to play in breaking down employee communication boundaries and encouraging productivity.
Once collaboration and accessibility have been established, your decisions can be informed and supported by access to timely, relevant and contextual data. IT leaders will have the rewarding task of assessing the role of new technologies and how they can support more effective ways of working.
Change and evaluate
Does your company or business have a pre-existing culture of benchmarking against metrics to measure the impact of change? In moving to a digital workplace, reporting and analysing the impact of new initiatives on a business value metric will effectively manage change.
Design your digital workspace to have a positive impact and demonstrate the value of building communities of interest. And to encourage a collaborative ways of working in ways that make sense to your employees and deliver demonstrable and measurable value to your business.
Going digital involves both challenges and opportunities for any business looking to exploit the digital marketplace. The businesses that will most successfully move beyond the intranet to a fully digital workplace will be those that remove the barriers between employees, and are bold enough to encourage creativity and productivity anywhere.