Digital curation: does your digital workplace support your mobile workforce?

author Brett Dixon, February 22, 2017

With the disruption of traditional work hierarchies, the rise of the inter-generational workforce and an ‘always on’ business culture, the 9-5 is being supplanted by a flexible working model. In the UK, 12 million workers currently enjoy flexible work patterns, with another 8 million indicating that they’d prefer to work from anywhere, anytime.

Flexibility is becoming a critical factor in a business’s ability to attract and retain talent, with mobile working the number one priority on the Millennial’s list of must haves – 75% of them want the ability to work flexibly yet still retain pathways to promotion.

Curating the digital workplace

Creating a flexible digital workplace doesn’t happen overnight. It takes careful planning, consultation and savvy curation to ensure that your workforce have the right tools for their jobs. HR processes will need to be available anytime, anywhere through automation and a self-service approach.

Organisations will need to leverage social capital and connections to better organise work flows and workloads. They will need to create a social intranet that can seamlessly match talent and skills to a particular task or project, then underpin the process with robust and sophisticated measurement tools and reporting processes to monitor productivity and performance.

Unlock flexibility through technology

Creating the right IT structure to support flexibility in the digital workplace is essential, and yet is often one of the areas where businesses continue to fail to get it right, with 39% of employees reporting that they don’t have the technology to collaborate when outside the office. Three key technologies need to be in place to unlock workforce flexibility in the digital workplace:

  • Formless requests will bring a consumer-style experience to interactions between employees and IT
  • Context-aware services allow employees to add assets to smart maps that are location aware in just a few simple clicks
  • Crowd sourced knowledge solutions will allow IT to become a data powerhouse where employees can find information and answers without effort

By curating technologies that improve data, services and applications for strategic and operational processes, IT can better engage and empower the flexible workforce in the digital workplace. IT will need to look to consumer-based solutions like Amazon and Google that provide recommendations and predictive searches in order to streamline work processes.

Profiling the digital workforce

In order to curate the right suite of intranet software for your flexible digital workforce, you need to be aware of worker behaviours. These fall into three broad categories from on-site employees to mobile warriors.

Your on-site employees may prefer or need a traditional desk-based work experience with access to meeting rooms and break out spaces. Although these workers may not need the breadth of applications that a mobile warrior or home office employee requires, they are equally responsive to consumerised IT to engage and collaborate with the digital workplace. Social media intranet software can increase the satisfaction of these workers by around 20%.

Home office employees may work between home and the office, requiring off-site access to documents, communication platforms and collaborative workspaces. These employees blur the work/life balance and require 24/7 access.

Mobile warriors prefer tablets, laptops and smartphones and are comfortable with the concept of working anytime, anywhere. They require robust and secure access to meaningful mobile apps 24/7 and because they’re always on, they expect the same from their digital workplace access.

Digital curation needs to be agile and responsive to the different needs of the flexible workforce, deploying the same kinds of algorithms Amazon and Google do for their consumers but at the enterprise level.

Using mobile intranet software to drive the curated digital workplace

The mobile social intranet has 5 key functions common across the workforce:

  • Information repositories at corporate and business unit levels
  • Internal communication channels that reach across the organisation
  • A shared organisational culture with common goals that supports organisational change
  • Social collaboration across the workforce
  • A place to do not just to be

By placing responsive mobile intranet software at the heart of your organisation, you’ll deliver support, empowerment and engagement to your workforce from any device, anytime, anywhere. In the changing world of work, where personal satisfaction and employee experience is paramount, fostering collaboration and innovation through flexibility in the digital workplace can support an 87% staff retention rate.

Exactly as in a museum or gallery, where the curator wisely selects a series of exhibits that create a cohesive and enjoyable whole, so savvy IT departments are choosing the software and hardware that enables your digital workplace personas to create their own enterprise solutions. And just as Facebook takes note of your likes and tags, IT is using peer suggestions that will evolve over time into robust resources and software solutions.

By recognising and being responsive to worker personas and behaviours and using approaches from consumer software to create an agile and adaptable social technology for the workforce, IT can curate a responsive digital workplace fit for the challenges of flexible working.