Times are changing. I mean, gone are the days when people used to meet and hang out just for fun, kids used to play sports outside, families would go shopping to spend time together and friends would go to the movies together. Today, hangouts and meetups happen over video calls, kids prefer their mobile/ video games over real sports, shopping online gives you a much wider range of choices in a single click, and OTT platforms are the preferred medium for entertainment as they provide you access to content from around the world in your house with a single click. In short, everything in the modern world today and, from the looks of it, even in the future, is shifting towards a digitized ecosystem.
But who could’ve imagined that even your office/workplace will become a part of this digitized ecosystem? Well, it’s true. Digital workplaces are a very real thing today. But all modern developments come with their own set of questions and doubts. What exactly is a digital workplace? What does it include? How does it operate? Is it effective? Let’s find out!
A digital workplace is a cloud-based online working platform that lets business organizations transfer their work to a virtual space. It contains all the applications, tools, and features that would be required to work on a secure online interface. Moreover, a digital workplace is an always-connected environment that allows its users to access their work at any time and from anywhere, using any device at all.
The concept of a digital workplace was first introduced in the year 2009 by the founder of the Digital Workplace Group, Paul Miller. He used it to describe the wider ecosystem of technologies. It was, in his vision, a natural evolution of workplaces in general, which included several tools and technologies to achieve organizational goals. Some of those tools include:
Tools and applications for communication
But how do you shift from the traditional work environment to a digital workplace? Well, the components required to create a digital workplace are as follows:
Digital transformation tools- you’ll require digital transformation tools like communication tools, CRM tools, project management tools, accounting tools, etc. that help the employees achieve all their goals effectively and efficiently.
Any organization should have timely and relevant data about three sets of people- employees, clients, and customers. These are what the whole concept of a digital workplace is based on.
The organization also requires the data which the employees will be working on.
The organization should also have insight as to how they will want to utilize the data that they have and if it’s reliable or not.
the data and insights mentioned above should have one main goal: a dedicated action toward the betterment of the organization using the information collected as a whole.
The results might generate further data that needs to be scanned and taken full advantage of.
But is a digital workplace required? I’ll answer that as a definite yes! I’ll even go so far as to say that in today’s day and age, a Digital Workplace is the need of the hour. This is because now more than ever, the saying “Time is Money” stands true. Digital workplaces help employees save a ton of time that otherwise might be wasted in an office setting through no fault of their own. E.g., in a digital workplace, an employee can share a file/folder with his superiors with just a click of the mouse. However, he/she might’ve had to travel three floors to do the same in a regular office workplace, which would’ve cost him/her both precious time and energy.
Let’s take a look at some more benefits that an employee might enjoy with the provisions of a digital workplace:
One of the prime features of management states that it is a dynamic environment. Hence, the employees should be accustomed to an ever-changing environment, and stand prepared for it. A digital workplace enables them to do that as it empowers them to work from anywhere. This helps them strike a work-life balance easily while remaining productive and connected.
Due to the virtual meetings and interactive chat boards, the need for in-person collaboration is reduced significantly, if not eliminated. This helps an organization save on travel costs and overheads like furniture and office space.
A digital workplace helps eliminate unnecessary distractions and streamline workflows. This in turn helps the employees focus on the more important tasks at hand and reduces faffing around needlessly, which makes them happy, and fulfilled while reducing stress as well.
When an organization can reduce unnecessary costs and improve efficiency simultaneously, it will certainly result in an increase in revenue generated. in fact, according to Avanade’s definitive digital workplace research, organizations have witnessed as high as a 43% increase in revenues by switching to a digital workplace.
Tools like employee directories, activity feeds and social profiles promote collaboration as they help employees to connect and communicate. This helps them establish a strong professional bond among the employees, work together as a team, and help them feel like they belong.
So, by analyzing all the facts discussed above, we can conclude that like it or lump it, Digital Workplaces are here to stay. So leading organizations need to make sure that they can fully embrace it, and also work hard consistently to maximize its potential.