We are well past the stage when the workplace meant a cramped desk on the floor of a corporate business park. Now, digital workplaces have blurred the lines between a physical office and the place where work actually happens. Owing to the pandemic and the resultant lockdowns, workplaces are going truly digital where employees can communicate and collaborate in real time .
The unprecedented changes in the personal and professional lives of employees have also reshaped their expectations from the workplace. To effectively meet the requirements of their staff’s changing work habits, leading organizations have begun to implement an entirely new working environment – The Digital Workplace.
What is a digital workplace?
A digital workplace is an extension of a physical workplace, wherein the office is not confined to any one physical space. It is spread over geographies through a network of several workplaces technologically connected.
Why do we need a digital workplace?
Apart from being the need of the hour to run operations seamlessly, there are other compelling reasons for companies to build digital workplaces:
As per a recent survey, 64% of employees would opt for a lower-paying job if they could work away from the office
In digital workplaces, employees’ content and data are securely embedded in collaboration tools, corporate dropboxes, and cloud storage so that they can be easily accessed anytime, anywhere. A hassle-free access to this information increases efficiency and drives productivity as well as organizational agility.
Digital workplaces allow employees to work from any location. This gives employees a chance to manage their personal and professional lives better, which in turn leads to enhanced employee satisfaction.
An increase in employee productivity and satisfaction leads to an increase in talent retention.
Modern workforce prefer cloud-based collaboration and communication tools for their ease of access and speed over traditional methods such as email or team workspaces.
Given the advantages, businesses are increasingly dedicating a major part of their IT budgets to building digital infrastructure to support digital workplaces. However, while building such workplaces, organisations need to carefully lay down a strategy so that the initiative doesn’t evolve into siloed implementation. Hence, an effective implementation and management of digital workplaces becomes critical as it needs to foster a culture of transparency and cohesiveness.
The following five pillars play a significant role in the management of digital workplaces:
A digital workplace is all about the employees’ ability to do their job by collaborating, communicating and connecting with others.
A functional digital workplace cannot be imagined without the integration of digital technologies such as cloud, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data analytics into a company’s IT infrastructure.
Security and Control
While managing digital workplaces, enterprises need to ensure that they give their employees a safe platform for interaction and knowledge-sharing. This can be done by giving employees secure corporate log-in credentials for remote access. Further, they must establish stringent cybersecurity policies across the organisation and educate employees about ways they can safeguard their personal and corporate networks and devices.
Align with business objectives
A digital workplace, like any other workplace, is expected to deliver business value. Hence, it is essential to align such workplaces with business objectives.
Skilling of talent
Investing time and resources in creating and managing digital workplaces will prove to be futile, if the talent is not trained to use digital technologies. Hence, successful digital workplaces cannot be built or sustained without upskilling and reskilling of the talent.
In conclusion, a digital workplace must meet the evolving needs of the digital workforce. This can be achieved by aligning strategies with business goals and taking a human-centric approach.