We’re not in Kansas anymore. Today’s workplace is modern, interconnected, and constantly online. Can your technology and company keep up with that trend?
The modern employee works remotely at least during part of a typical work week. They rely on technology to communicate with their peers and supervisors. And of course, they use digital tools to brainstorm, collaborate, and perform their daily tasks more efficiently than ever.
Those trends occur, whether your company plans for them or not. The question, then, is what you can do to optimize the environment to allow technology to become a business growth driver on an everyday level.
While more than 95% of employers believe a digital workplace is crucial to success, only 38% are actually implementing solutions to help accomplish it in a constructive way. Consider this your guide to today’s digital workplace, providing crucial guidance to leverage it as an opportunity for your organization.
We’ve gone past the age of companies trying to ‘establish a digital workplace’. That environment is here, whether you want it or not. Already, your employees are checking their emails from home, using various software platforms to work their jobs, and probably need a computer to accomplish most of their daily tasks. The average small to medium-size business now pays for 20+ SaaS platforms on average.
That can go wrong quickly. You might run into situations where the various software solutions don’t interact with each other. Worse, employees could get confused and bored, escaping to digital means that have nothing to do with productivity. There’s a reason that more than two-thirds of American workers say they check social media regularly at work.
That’s what makes it so important to build a strategy. If the digital workplace is almost a given in today’s environment, you can choose to ignore it, or you can direct it to improve productivity, employee satisfaction, and flexibility. Each of these factors deserves further consideration in the effort to build a better environment for both your company and its employees.
Technology is, in many ways, isolating. The ability to perform work in front of a screen means less face time. Even video conferencing can be a hindrance when not on the right platform or difficult to access. The problem only gets magnified with the rise of remote work as the new normal.
Almost half the American workforce has worked remotely at least sometime during the past year, and the same trend holds true globally. That’s because it can lower stress levels, increase productivity, and meet the modern needs of, especially younger employees. Of course, all of those positives are not nearly a given.
Imagine working from home without the right tools and technology to actually get your work done. It’s the single biggest impediment remote workers face today. A lack of access to the right technology, or a preponderance of technology that relies on complex installation procedures, will not allow for these benefits to occur.
That’s where the lack of collaboration when working from home and the need for better integration of remote capabilities meet. Embracing the digital workplace means leading the way for your teams to be able to collaborate easily in a digital environment, pulling in various software platforms into one integrated solution. The more intuitive the communication, the better.
Of course, the benefits of digital transformation in a workplace environment go far beyond collaboration. The modern employee expects technology integrations. They want to be able to connect their email to their phone, access their files and projects remotely, and work with their team members without restrictions. Do it right, and meeting or even exceeding this expectation can transform your corporate culture.
We know how important employee happiness and engagement are in today’s business landscape. Happy employees tend to be more productive. Just as importantly, they become an internal brand and business advocates that buy into your strategy and communicate that buy-in freely.
That’s where the concept of employee experience comes in. It ascribes a strategic emphasis on treating your employees the right way, optimizing their daily environment so that they can perform the work they believe in with minimum barriers. Today, it’s almost impossible to talk about employee experience without the integration of the digital workplace.
Happy employees, of course, are only the first step. Ideally, your employee experience, through the digital workplace, becomes transformative. It removes obstacles of technology, satisfying both the geeks looking for better technology operations and the technology-averse who are skeptical of any new platforms.
The modern workplace is just more than just an open room with some desks. It’s a digitally connected environment that, with or without senior leadership, relies as much on technology as it does on in-person interactions. Leading edge companies, realizing its inevitability, are embracing that concept and optimizing it in a way that maximizes business growth and success.
That means treating your employees as a community that, together, and with the right technology, can achieve more than you thought possible. It also means being cautious of implementing technologies that, while designed to help, overcomplicate the issue and actually make work more complex than it needs to be.
To pull all of it together, you need a strategy. Ideally, that strategy lines out exactly what your current business needs are, and how your technology solutions are seeking to solve those needs. The third dimension is your employees, who are using one to accomplish the other on a daily basis. Considering all three enables you to find gaps that prevent your working environment from being as successful as it could otherwise be.
You won’t get there with a single tool. Instead, you need the ability to integrate your various existing tools in a better, more productive way. With a constant focus on collaboration and flexibility, you can leverage the digital workplace to your advantage.