The integration, connectivity, and collaboration that comes from advanced digital workplace software can undoubtedly lead to improved productivity and profitability.
However, like everything, there are some pitfalls that you must guard against to make sure you’re getting the most out of the tech at hand. And given that many of us are working from the digital workplace right now to avoid the office and keep everyone safe, it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re working as effectively as possible.
Here’s how you can avoid the pitfalls and make the most out of digital working:
Over-reliance on data
The latest digital workplace systems have solved many traditional and perennial problems. This is being fully tested due to the massive business challenges created by COVID-19.
No matter how disparate your workforce, you can collate, share, and analyse in-depth data instantly in real-time, making for far more accountable and confident decisions.
However, it’s not a quick fix solution for all eventualities, and you shouldn’t lose business balance by imagining that data holds the answers to everything. Businesses thrive when they have the best teams who embody the skills to maximise on the potential of your system and the data it holds.
Unpredictability and overreaching
Big Data and the Internet of Things (and Industrial Internet of Things) enable predictive analysis on a previously undreamt-of scale. So, future business development and growth becomes more assured.
That said, these new tech revolutions can create some degree of unpredictability, especially when businesses first adopt them. Project teams can easily become overwhelmed by the potential for transparency and change you have created. The new speed with which data can be drawn down and used to support forward movement can lead to overconfidence and poor decision making.
The solution is to bed down and revisit agile business systems properly. You must also cascade the methodology throughout project teams, constantly reinforcing best practice, orchestrating roles and responsibilities succinctly.
Abandoning human interaction
Whilst it’s key that you have a team who fully grasp the capabilities of your systems, the success of this still centres around having face-to-face (virtual) meetings with project teams.
Just because you have a highly agile organisation does not mean that taking time out for physical meetings becomes redundant.
There is no substitute for thrashing issues and opportunities out. It can prove to be the bedrock of team cohesion and a shared vision.
Lack of guidance from the top
Many of the pitfalls to new ways of working can be offset by decisive and clear leadership from line managers.
This needs to include focusing on the way teams complete both processes and practices in an agile organisation. Have your subordinates been equipped to understand and respond to their decisions and have they been given the right tools and roles to act on those decisions?
Have you set clear timescales for tasks, that included sufficient leeway for proper evaluation and assured progression?
Leaders setting too high expectations for teams are as big a risk as those who fail to communicate with emotional intelligence and clarity.