THE VALUE OF THE DIGITAL WORK
Work is not a place where we go, it is what we do. However, when we think about the workplace many people and employers still visualize this as a physical space, when the truth is it’s rarely the only place where we actually do our jobs.
We used to work 9 to 5, we now work anytime. We used to work in a corporate office, now we work anywhere. We used to use company-provided equipment, now we use any device including our own, and we used to hoard information, now we share.
The list goes on, but the fact is that employees are digital and the reality for employers is that they need to accommodate this with a digital workplace.
THE CHALLENGE FOR EMPLOYERS
Working styles are changing so employers should embrace this and provide an environment that does not restrict this but encourages it. Employers need to support virtual work environments that enable people to be productive wherever they are. Mobility is key, but it needs to be seamless, secure and compliant. Get this right and you will be much better placed to win the war on talent.
THE DIGITAL WORKPLACE
In terms of a simple definition, the digital workplace is the collection of all the digital tools that allow your employees to do their job effectively. There has been much talk about the fact that the technologies used in the workplace are far less sophisticated than those used by employees outside of work. So, it is not surprising that there is a deliberate move by software vendors and IT teams to deliver a more consumer-like computing environment, one that supports innovative and flexible working.
These environments can deliver significant value to businesses. They foster greater collaboration between employees, drive productivity, support a better customer experience and have a positive impact on employee engagement.
FORCUSING ON WORKPLACE TRANSFORMATION
According to the latest research, only 40% of organizations have implemented components of a digital workplace. However, a further 39% of organizations have a defined digital workplace strategy, and another 17% are looking to put one in place within the next two years.
As always, there are many barriers to positive transformation. Current IT systems and infrastructure restrictions, organizational structure and work practices, compliance, staff resistance to change – the list can be endless. However, the value of getting the digital workplace right far outweighs the effort required to overcome these obstacles.
The main goal of creating a digital workplace is to increase employee engagement and productivity but achieving this requires far more than simply deploying technology. It is about having a digital workplace strategy that is capable of driving true cultural change, from strategy through to employee experience and engagement.
Winning organizations should be looking to have a defined value proposition for the digital workplace, have a strategy for effective execution of this vision, and metrics to measure success and return on investment.
Another important factor is your IT partner, and how they align to the above. It’s simply no longer good enough that they provide the technology, it’s is how the data and information is delivered in context. It’s how technology is deployed to create a more collaborative, mobile and agile digital workplace.
We should no longer select technology solely for the task or function we want to be delivered. We should be thinking about how it contributes and adds value to the work environment. Will it bring positive change to how people work, will it increase employee engagement, will it drive productivity, and will it create the digital workplace of the future?
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