2016 was an important year for the digital workplace. Having a robust digital strategy was at the forefront of every CEO’s mind, with Gartner declaring that every organisation needs one. The reasons for a digital strategy vary from company to company, but there’s no denying that employers need to recognise the value in integrating digital services into their business.
Much more than simply providing new software to your staff, a true digital transformation means adopting a culture that facilitates the benefits of business technology. Rather than focussing on an end product and forcing it to fit your business, leaders need to manage effective change across the entire organisation. This may seem daunting, especially for companies who have yet to make use of the digital workplace, but its adoption is crucial for business growth, industry relevance, and staff retention.
Digital workplace trends in 2016 focussed mainly on a customised user experience and employee engagement, the latter being a key metric for measuring the success of digital implementation. Workplace culture, enterprise searching, and the effect on recruitment and retention were also top of the list.
But what will this year bring? Let’s take a look at some of the likely digital workplace trends of 2017.
The intranet evolution is getting stronger
Cast your mind back to summer 2015, when our very own CEO, Nigel Davies, reported that the intranet is not dead. He was right, and the intranet evolution is only getting stronger.
Intranet technology is smart, because it has adapted and evolved in line with the business landscape. Rather than remaining static and living in the 90s, intranet software moved with the times and grew up with the businesses they support. This evolution looks set to continue, with the intranet feeling very comfortable within the broader digital workplace.
Employee engagement is still big news
The relevance of employee engagement is not waning, and will only continue to grow as the Millennial workforce increases. Forward-thinking organisations will already have employee engagement initiatives in place, reaping the productivity gains and wellbeing benefits an effective strategy brings. If your company hasn’t yet realised the importance of an engaged workforce, 2017 is the time to make it happen. Prioritising employee engagement is key to ensuring your company remains a competitive place to work.
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An integrated digital workplace is key
The demand is growing for online tools that increase productivity and efficient working. This means a move away from fragmented software that doesn’t communicate with each other, and a move towards an integrated digital workplace that works out of the box.
Gone are the days when you would purchase and install different pieces of software for each business need. Businesses and users alike are demanding an integrated experience, where document storage, e-learning, and project management tools are all in the same space. Even better if it can all be accessed in the cloud.
Remote working will continue to grow
Remote working is no new thing, but in recent years it has become the cornerstone of improved staff wellbeing and a supportive office culture. Surveys are consistently showing that the Millennial workforce in particular value remote working more than a large salary, and are more likely to stay at their company if flexibility is in place.
As the digital workplace expands, the ability for staff to work from home is easier now more than ever. Key business and communication tools are just a few clicks away, so the need to be in the office every single day is becoming ever more irrelevant.
Customer and employee experience are the same thing
Businesses have long had meticulous strategies drawn out for the perfect customer experience. But why not do the same thing for employees? They too are customers of the company in their own right, and a tailored working experience will be needed if businesses want to retain top recruits.
The user experience is becoming increasingly consumerised, with employees expecting the digital workplace to mirror the technology they use at home. That means deploying business tech that’s intuitive, interactive, and social.
If your employee experience is top notch, then it will follow that customers will receive an outstanding experience too. The more informed, knowledgeable, and engaged your staff are about the business and its brand, the more they can offer to consumers.