Article: Ricoh Asia Pacific’s Head on digitizing workplaces

Technology

Ricoh Asia Pacific’s Head on digitizing workplaces

In this interview, Kazuhisa Goto, Managing Director at Ricoh Asia Pacific Pte Ltd. helps us understand more about digital workplaces and how they can be created. He also talks about the current state of adoption of digital workplaces in Singapore and how this trend is rising further.
Ricoh Asia Pacific’s Head on digitizing workplaces

Recently, Ricoh Singapore Pte Ltd. opened the doors to its new facility, a completely transformed office, which includes digital workplace consultation, planning, and implementation, via a seamless integration of people, space and technology.

The new digital workplace of RICOH is designed to meet the new challenges of today’s digital world. 

It embraces the design and creation of workplaces to help RICOH reap the benefits of work style innovation, leveraging digital technology solution designs along with the comprehensive change management initiatives needed to ensure success.  

To know more about digital workplaces and how it can be created, People Matters interacted with Kazuhisa Goto, Managing Director at Ricoh Asia Pacific Pte Ltd. In this interview, he also talks about the current state of adoption of digital workplaces in Singapore and how this trend is rising further. 

Why do you think there is a need to create digital workplaces?

One of the main reasons to create digital workplaces is simply because the workforce is demanding them.

The workforce constitutes a good percentage of digital natives who expect more from employers from a technological aspect. They want a dynamic environment and more opportunities to collaborate. We, organizations today have the multi-generational workforce, and digital can be the answer for how we cater to the different working styles and how we unlock their potential to ensure collaboration and communication is achieved easily with the different workers. 

Last but not least, is the issue of retaining and attracting talent. We need to innovate the workplace to ensure employees enjoy the flexibility, technology as well as grow within the organization. The presence of technology enables that and helps in enhancing the experience of the employees, as well as their productivity and efficiency. 

How would you describe the current state of adoption of digital workplaces in Singapore? How do you see the trend rising further?

One question that is important to ask all businesses: how connected are you? There are discussions going around the world on automation and there is this fear of job losses among Singaporean workforce, currently. Such discussions fuel the fear and hold back businesses to take steps to digitize their workplaces completely. 

However, businesses need to understand the value that will be added by increased use of technology at work. Adopting collaborative tools and automating processes make work easier. In fact, adoption of newer technologies can create new job opportunities as well. 

With people at the core, empowering digital workplaces is the way to lead in the future of work. By doing so organizations will positively impact the employee experience; company value proposition and external brand; improve attraction and retention of talent; and therefore, overall business results.

What are the challenges involved in creating a digital workplace? What has been your strategy to ensure a smooth implementation of collaboration tools and technology to drive a digital workplace in your organization?

Culture, rather than technology, is often one of the major barriers to digital transformation. 

This is when change management comes to play: the main challenge is getting the buy-in from internal staff on the transformation. How do we do that? It is essential to continuously educate the staff to understand the value proposition. Technology is only as good as how you use it. Hence, for us the regular town halls and initiatives led to educate our employees on the benefits of using technology at the workplace was paramount. 

Now, my staff is taking further initiatives to promote the value they see in using technology. They have become more productive and efficient ever since we have digitized the workplace and they recognize it and value it. 

As the leader of the company, how do you ensure that the human element is kept alive in a digital workplace?

People are our most valuable assets and through workplace transformation we are improving the well-being of employees with simple steps such as optimizing the amount of natural light in the office and providing wellness programs for employees regularly. 

Also, we do emphasize on the quality of life within the workplace, with sensory devices within the workplaces for more enjoyment in a more flexible environment, allowing work and personal lives to coexist in harmony. Digital doesn’t take away the human element, it only empowers it!

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Topics: Technology, #Outlook2020

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