What is the digital workplace?
The idea of the digital workplace has taken on new significance in 2021, especially as remote or hybrid-remote work remains the norm for many organizations. Even companies that were previously reluctant to establish remote teams recognize that to attract and retain talent, they will need to provide remote options to potential employees.
Observers note that effective remote workplaces are hinged on several critical areas, including a strategy that incorporates processes and tools. In their definition, Gartner states that, “The Digital Workplace enables new, more effective ways of working; raises employee engagement and agility; and exploits consumer-oriented styles and technologies.”
Meanwhile, research and technology firm IDC, referring to the “digital workspace,” defined the “future workspace” as a “connected, secure work environment, independent of place or time.”
Finally, Deloitte recently highlighted some key concepts for the successful digital workplace: “By integrating the technologies that employees use (from email, instant messaging and enterprise social media tools to HR applications and virtual meeting tools), the digital workplace breaks down communication barriers, positioning you to transform the employee experience by fostering efficiency, innovation and growth. The key to success, however, lies in the effective implementation of a digital workplace strategy capable of driving true cultural change.”
Organizations need to consider a number of factors when developing a digital workplace solution so that teams can work and collaborate effectively and efficiently whether they’re in the same room or hundreds of miles apart.
How has the digital workplace changed since COVID?
Digital transformation has accelerated since the pandemic, as organizations had to quickly devise solutions that would allow their employees to work from home during the lockdown. While some digital transformation efforts focused on customer experiences, the impact of the pandemic on workplace strategies and solutions can’t be overlooked. Continued plans for remote work are the force behind many digital transformation initiatives as organizations acknowledge that the hybrid model is here to stay, even after the pandemic subsides.
Recent pandemic developments have changed the reopening plans of many companies nationwide. Gartner recently announced that “A new Gartner poll of 238 executive leaders on August 24, 2021 revealed that 66% of organizations are delaying reopening their offices due to new COVID-19 variants.”
With these developments in mind, it’s critical for organizations to implement digital workplace solutions that will encompass tools that will help create successful experiences for all team members, whether they’re in the office or working remotely. Creating a plan and setting goals for a digital workplace and capabilities are good starting points for organizations.
What are some expected capabilities of digital workplace solutions?
Effective digital workplace solutions and strategies need to meet certain criteria to be effective, including the ability to create seamless integrations, processes, and workflows. But along with efficiency, digital tools and solutions must offer inclusion and engagement for employees that are fully remote.
As Deloitte noted in their recent report on the digital workplace, relevant digital technologies range from “HR applications and core business applications to email, instant messaging and enterprise social media tools and virtual meeting tools.”
Other critical features and capabilities of digital workplace solutions include the following:
- Provide ability to work from anywhere
- Advanced collaboration tools
- Hybrid cloud environment
- Seamless integrations
- Secure Platforms and portals
- No code solutions
- Self-service apps
Organizations must also be responsive and supportive of their employees’ needs when it comes to providing the right tools and solutions, including hardware, software, and devices.
Secure collaboration and communication tools are key for digital workplace solutions
Solutions and tools for the digital workplace need to offer positive and engaging employee experiences so that in-person and hybrid teams can collaborate and communicate effectively.
However, organizations are also responsible for making sure digital tools and solutions are secure and compliant with industry standards or regulations.
When choosing collaboration and communication tools, it’s imperative to protect employee and company privacy, data, content, and confidential information. Collaboration solutions such as video conferencing, messaging and other digital tools should have true end-to-end encryption and meet current secure approaches for transporting data.
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