Most businesses understand the importance of having a digital workplace in today’s world. Technology, business apps, and communication tools are now a part of our working lives, helping us to work more effectively from any location.
The Covid-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on how businesses operate their digital workplaces. Businesses that already had digital tools in place have been able to carry on relatively normally, with minimal disruption. For other businesses, however, the pandemic has been a wake-up call, emphasising the need to go digital.
With many companies now working with a remote and distributed workforce, a digital workplace is essential to keep teams connected – but it must be resilient and able to withstand uncertainty. Here’s why resilience is key to an effective digital workplace:
Putting employees first
Resilience is about not only surviving but also thriving during any form of disruption. For this to happen, a digital workplace needs to revolve around people.
If you’re looking for a digital workplace, you should avoid focussing too much on the number of apps available, and instead put your employees’ needs first. If business leaders understand what staff want from the digital workplace, then they can be confident that the system will be a success, no matter where staff are working.
Creating a resilience plan
All businesses need a plan which can be implemented in times of crisis. Many already have a recovery plan for steps to be taken if critical infrastructure is damaged. But a resilience plan should also take into account how your business can remain profitable during these times. This plan should be proactive, avoiding disaster rather than just planning how to recover from one.
To create this, business leaders needs to identify and organise risks, and form a plan based around eliminating the negative impact. Every business is different, so a resilience plan needs to be tailored for your specific digital workplace. But the fundamental aspects are the same: ensuring that employees can communicate easily.
The importance of work from home policies
Many digital workplace strategies included a work from home policy – even before the pandemic. For businesses that didn’t have a remote working policy, the Covid-19 virus meant they had to rush through a plan to enable staff to work from home effectively.
Having a clear work from home policy allows businesses to implement the infrastructure needed to support employees. If employees are aware of what is expected of them when working from home, then they will be more productive and the digital workplace will operate more efficiently.
To work from home effectively, staff need communication and collaboration tools that are up to the job. Having a resilience plan means that businesses can ensure these tools are in place before disaster strikes.
Learning new skills
A resilient workforce needs to be constantly learning new skills so that they can easily adapt to any challenges, and businesses that invest in reskilling and upskilling are generally more prepared to deal with disruption. Reskilling means teaching employees new skills that will prepare them for different roles, which can help them transition to a new position. Upskilling refers to improving an employee’s existing skillset. By upskilling employees, businesses can give staff higher levels of responsibilities so that they’re prepared to act in a crisis.
A resilient digital workplace should constantly monitor and evaluate the skill set of its employees. This is essential for a business to future proof themselves, and thrive when changes come. By supporting employees to create excitement about learning new skills, staff will be more readily adjusted to the digital workplace. A culture of skill development and learning will mean that there are fewer gaps in digital skills.