Digital workplaces are becoming increasingly common, especially after the past half a year. As 2020 matures, digital workplaces are becoming serious contenders for workplace revolutions, but what exactly are they? Do they bring benefits? And are those benefits worth the cost of implementing them? Read on to find out!
What is a Digital Workplace
There is no definition of a digital workplace. Still, a good working definition set by Simpplr.com is that they are “a supplement to a physical office location”, one that “houses the organization’s important technologies that improve collaboration, employee engagement, content management, and business processes.”
The term was first coined by the author Paul Miller in 2009, whose book The Digital Workplace: How technology is liberating work looked at the evolution of work. He found that by digitizing key elements of the workplace, speed and efficiency can be increased. This was supported by Deloitte in 2012, who’s research found resounding support for integration of digital tech in the workplace.
A digital workplace can be an intranet solution or just an infrastructure that supports certain collaborations between employees. More often than not, when people discuss digital workplaces in business, they refer to custom-built digital workplaces that boast certain benefits. As a result, the exact definition of a digital workplace varies, as different features are applicable to different companies. What is common, though, is the understanding that work isn’t just an office location; it’s about the connectivity between employees.
Benefits of a Digital Workplace
A digital workplace yields several benefits for a company:
- It increases interactions between employees, leading to greater cohesion, which can improve productivity and efficiency, resulting in higher profits in the long-term.
- It can support a company culture; custom platforms allow you to reinforce whatever messages you want to strengthen, and can also allow you to direct attention to certain areas or restrict certain activities (e.g. social media usage).
- It can collect data, enabling you to generate insights that allow you to act on that data and further increase productivity and efficiency
- It can improve efficiency by delivering all the tools your employees need to finish their tasks on time and never miss meetings again by synchronizing various calendars, sending out reports and memos and so much more.
- It can lead to higher employee engagement, especially when you gamify aspects of work – you can incentivize employees by giving them badges, levels and more.
These benefits mean adopting a digital workplace is an easy way to improve revenues and increase employee productivity and even happiness. They also allow you to allow for remote work while keeping employees connected, engaged and useful. The financial benefits you will receive will almost certainly give digital workplace integrations a good return. Still, as every company has different needs, you should get clarification on the expected return for your company.
All in all, digital workplaces are a great way to increase efficiency without being a major change that requires a lot of change management to integrate. It can even be introduced slowly as an ongoing project.