What is a workplace today? Probably, a table, a chair, a computer and office supplies. And what if there is another kind of workplace, always in your pocket, ready to work from anywhere in the world, whether it is a bus, an apartment, a café or even a beach?
The Digital Workplace concept is focused not on company’s customers but on their own employees. Creating a Digital Workplace leads to positive economic consequences: employees spend 17% less time on manual work, while performance efficiency of the company is projected to increase by 34%. Moreover, a digital workspace creates a better working climate as it improves internal marketing and contributes to employee retention.
What is more, a new generation of digital natives is beginning to enter the labour force. Instead of working eight hours a day in the office, they would prefer working remotely with flexible hours. Implementing Digital Workplace seems to be the most effective way to attract these people who will soon become the main workforce.
What is Digital Workplace?
The main function of a digital workplace is to provide employees with access to services used for work-related purposes in any place, any time and from any device. These tools and services needed for work may vary depending on job responsibilities and company needs. For example, a director’s mobile workplace may include a mobile BPM solution, a news feed, a task manager, a calendar, a secure email client. A board member’s workplace has tools to study a board meeting agenda, to vote on agenda items, etc. Employees working in the office would have a digital workplace including office apps, CRM, email, and other tools they frequently use.
The term “Digital Workplace” may seem quite obvious but its definition may differ depending on a company’s requirements. Still, we may highlight its main advantages for a company and for an employee.
- A company will be able to attract new employees willing to work remotely or living in other cities. It will be easier to attract more employees thanks to reducing the costs of providing conditions for a digital workplace instead of an office workplace.
- Employees who might have been tired of daily office routine will not feel like ‘a cog in the machine’ anymore. Working from home might help them reset their work-life balance and improve their working process.
- An employee will have permanent access to his workplace as it can be found in his personal phone.
How Not to Implement Digital Workplace
Company employees can differ in their perceptions of business processes and the role of particular services in the overall working process. It may lead to certain difficulties in introducing Digital Workplace. Here we collected 6 mistakes most frequently made by companies:
1. Aiming to build a perfect Digital Workplace on the first try.
There is no need in writing a long list of technical requirements: though preparing a plan is useful, it can take years to finish it. It is better to develop a digital workplace iteratively. For example, try using more flexible designing methodologies such as creating personas or customer development.
2. Paying not enough attention to the employees’ opinions.
People working in a company are agents promoting its values. In the process of digital workplace implementation, they play a role of clients. Currently, employers are looking for new approaches to increase their loyalty, and building an employee-friendly digital workplace can be one. Provide your employees with comfort and they will reciprocate.
3. Starting from searching for the best information system.
Firstly, fully understand your needs: classify business processes, identify your interests and set tasks for the information system. Once your demand is determined, you can start studying the supply market.
4. Measuring benefits of Digital Transformation in economic terms only.
You will undoubtedly need to measure your ROI but please do not forget about the psychological component of a digital workplace transformation. The convenience of a workspace cannot be fully calculated, but it can be felt. After all, you manage people, not robots.
5. Implementing digital workplace because it’s trendy.
When the implementation is motivated by a desire of management to keep up with trends, it will lead to a disaster. Employees won’t get used to new tools and directors will be upset of the reality not matching their expectations. Start implementing digital workplace if your staff feels the need in optimizing working processes and don’t try to impose it top-down.
6. Perceiving the workplace digitalization as a control tool.
Communication systems do allow you to track how many hours per day an employee spends in corporate applications. However, you should not put such formal measures at the forefront. A digital workplace creates a comfortable environment for employees to work in and encourages their efficiency. Any excessive control will clearly affect it in a bad way.
The success of workplace digitalization projects highly depends on the needs and vision of a customer. We have seen this from our own experience, having created digital workplaces for different users in dozens of completely different companies, from corporate portals for all staff members to solutions for board members or senior managers. More information about what we can offer regarding the digital workplace implementation can be found here.