While digitization of the workplace was not an unheard of concept, the importance of a digital workplace was highlighted ever since the COVID19 pandemic hit the world. The pandemic has shown that the need for digital workplaces will continue to evolve as the new normal.
What is a Digital Workplace?
A digital workplace is a cloud based work platform which is a virtual and modernized version of traditional workplaces. The digital workplace quickly and securely provides personalized role based services and all the applications, data and collaboration an employee needs on any device at anytime and anywhere. This is provided through a secure online interface. Businesses are using digital transformation to align technology, employees and business processes to improve operational efficiency and meet organizational goals.
Why Enterprises Need a Digital Workplace
A digital workplace helps to integrate all the different business applications used within an organization to make it easier for employees to access. A digital workplace allows for
- Collaboration with team members
- Management of tasks and issues under full visibility
- Integration third party applications
- Analysis and auto generation of reports
- Resolution of issues and requests more efficiently and quickly.
- Making knowledge accessible, independent of ex-employees.
- Handling ever increasing data and information.
Importance of Digital Workplaces
The impact of COVID19 in driving global transformation has led to an undeniable surge in technological innovation, adoption and digitization in almost every aspect of the workplace. Organizations around the world today have understood the importance of a digital workplace, and have equipped themselves with important tools for connectivity, productivity and employee engagement. Some of the main advantages of digital workplaces are discussed below:
- Increased Flexibility
An effective digital workplace is essentially a place where the employee enjoys flexibility with respect to their work schedule as well as in their work environment. Employee deliverables and data is securely embedded in collaboration tools, corporate drop boxes and cloud storage that enable employees to access data from any device at any location or time. Access to data in such a flexible manner increases productivity and organizational agility.
- Reduced Operational Costs
Digital workplaces are making way for a reduction in operational costs. Overhead expenses such as real estate, furniture, travel and so on can be eliminated.
- Better Hiring, Retention and Engagement
A Deloitte study has shown that 64% of employees would opt for a lower paying job if the job provides workplace flexibility. The study also shows that an engaged and digitally supported workforce that provides social connectedness using social tools also reported a 20% increase in employee engagement and an increase of 87% employee retention.
- Effective Communication
A digital workplace removes the barriers to communication that exist in a traditional workplace due to hierarchy. Modern communication tools such as virtual conferencing platforms, instant messaging apps allow real time, cross functional, cross hierarchical communication that is not dependent on location and/or hierarchy. Information, feedback and ideas can flow seamlessly across digital organizations, increasing scope for innovation.
- Improved Customer Service
When there is an efficient, engaged and productive workforce, customers will also benefit from the talent and technology the company offers. This leads to better customer experience which in turn plays a great role in customer retention and referrals from them. Customers become the brand advocates when they feel they are being heard and their issues resolved. Organizations that are invested in a digital workplace are making it possible for customers to move seamlessly between support channels of engagement such as chatbots, online chat, call center and so on.
- Enhanced Employee Experience
Collaboration tools such as employee directory, social profiles, activity feeds allow employees to communicate with each other, creating a strong professional bond that promotes teamwork. The employees well being, health and professional growth find a renewed focus in digital workplaces. Such digital workplaces promote a healthy work life balance leading to higher employee engagement and productivity all of which are indicative of happy employees.
Employees who work in a digital workplace are more productive and motivated. There are several reasons why businesses should adopt a digital workplace such as increased productivity, increased agility to identify and respond to potential issues. It also helps employees to be better engaged irrespective of where they are working from.
The digital workplace is fast transforming how employees collaborate, how enterprises support their customers and how they do their business. Achieving a workplace transformation is an important move for any organization. Companies that adopt a digital workplace are sure to see valuable business outcomes.