The digitized workplace is changing the way businesses operate, from employee recruitment to performance management to engagement.
In this post, we learn how these trends are shaping the future of the modern office, why you should care, and how you can begin to digitize your office.
What Is the Digital Workplace?
What is digitization and what is the digital workplace?
Technically speaking, digitization refers to the transition from analog business processes to digital ones – such as the change from fax to email.
However, when discussing the workplace in everyday conversations, “digitization” is often used interchangeably with “digital transformation,” which refers to the adoption of digital-first strategies and processes.
The digital workplace, for instance, refers to a work environment that leverages technology at every level, from processes to the corporate culture.
- Emphasize the importance of digital adoption, product adoption, and software adoption
- Have positive attitudes towards technology and learning
- Are agile, flexible, and forward-thinking
- Understand that technology drives innovation and growth
In short, technology is the central pillar upon which digital workplaces operate. Not only does this mean implementing new software, it also means rethinking the very employees work and add value to the organization.
This perspective is essential to understand and it is markedly different from common misconceptions about the digital workplace, such as the idea that digitization simply involves adopting new software.
Instead, digital workplaces are built around new principles and, as we’ll see below, they enable and fuel entirely new business models, which is one of the chief reasons to consider digitizing your own workplace.
Why Should You Care About the Digitized Workplace?
Digital workplaces support digital-first business models, or business models that use technology to gain a competitive advantage. These types of organizations can often outmaneuver and outperform others in their space, and they can only do so if their workplaces are modern and digitized.
There are several other, more concrete benefits to workplace digitization, however.
A few of those include:
- Greater employee productivity
- A more innovative and agile workforce
- Increased resilience in the face of disruptive change
- A better ability to accommodate and drive organizational changes
Perhaps most importantly, workplace digitization is a prerequisite for staying competitive and successful in today’s economy.
While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to digitizing the workplace, there are a few common tactics and strategies that can help your business keep up in the modern era, which we’ll look at next.
4 Ways To Digitize Your Workplace
Here are a few practical steps to take when digitizing your work environment:
1. Migrate to the cloud
Cloud computing offers major advantages to both organizations and their employees.
By migrating to the cloud, a company can:
- Decrease the costs of IT maintenance
- Improve organizational efficiency and resilience
- Enable remote working, as we discuss in the next section
During 2020, many companies were forced to transition to the cloud, in order to stay operational during the COVID-19 pandemic. While those circumstances were obviously disconcerting and challenging, they also demonstrate why cloud computing is so important in the modern world.
2. Adopt a hybrid office model
Remote working became commonplace in 2020, as mentioned. And while many are used to the remote office, some expect the workplace to return to normal after the pandemic ends.
Though many offices will restore normal operations, many more can expect to see an increased level of telecommuting.
This change will drive many companies to adopt hybrid office models that are more flexible and resilient.
Rather than focusing fully on either onsite or remote work, hybrid office models use several approaches at once, such as
- A mixture of onsite and offsite work policies
- The alternative workforce
A nimble approach such as this offers several advantages. Not only do hybrid office models offer more flexibility, they can also cut costs and improve employee engagement.
3. Implement a digital adoption plan
Digital adoption means using technology for its intended purpose and to its fullest extent, which is a prerequisite for any digital business.
A digital adoption program focuses on areas such as:
- Software onboarding
- Employee training
- Technical support
This type of strategy can significantly improve the workforce’s overall digital skill set and their ability to use new digital tools.
4. Implement a digital-first company culture
As most of us know, an organization’s culture plays a major role in the workplace.
Culture can, for instance, affect:
- Employee performance
- The climate of the work environment
- Recruitment and talent management
- Employees’ behaviors and attitudes
When it comes to the digital workplace, culture can also affect how successfully employees adopt and use new tools.
By cultivating a culture that is open to learning, change, and digital technology, it will be far easier to create a workplace that leverages technology to its fullest extent.
Chris is the Lead Author & Editor of Change Blog. Chris established the Change blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Change Management.