Creating a Digital Workplace with Entrepreneurial Thinking

March 19, 2020 by Stefanini

The workplace is digitally transforming. In order to make sure your business thrives in the digital environment, you need to think like an entrepreneur.

It’s no secret that the workplace is digitally transforming. In fact, the rise of the worldwide gig economy and cloud-based technology has enacted some near-revolutionary changes in workplace practice. Entrepreneurs in particular have been excited to take on these developments, taking full advantage of the new business models these changes have brought. Unsurprisingly, many traditional, hierarchy-bound workplaces are a thing of the past, having been replaced by technology-driven enterprises.

Things like processes, visions, practices, technology and culture have all transformed. How can your business compete? Well, in order to keep up with these changes, you need to be equipped with an entrepreneurial mindset that will allow you to be agile, flexible, and creative.

A Peek into the Future Workplace

What does a futuristic workplace look like? Odds are, you already work in one. But, what do these types of workplaces hold for management and the workforce? Further, what role does digital play? Expect the following:

1)      Technologically progressive workforce

Virtual, dynamic, agile and lean places, filled with a tech-adept, diverse and digitally native workforce.

2)      Always connected

24/7 connected, decentralized, and location-neutral businesses that remain in motion regardless of the time, geographical location, or physical presence of employees.

3)      Digital disruptions

Innovation is the new normal. This new standard will set forth new ways of doing business and call for a new type of skills and jobs, which will be backed by the latest technology and data analytics.

4)      Changing nature of employment

Traditional, long-term employment is fast being replaced by the gig economy and freelancers. As a result, collaborative, shared workspaces are being adapted for diverse use.

5)      Transformation of jobs and job skills ­

Automated processes will replace work of a repetitive nature. Existing skills will be continuously augmented with newer ones, and workplaces will focus on encouraging learning, training, and development.

6)      Focus on real-time solutions and goals

As information and data becomes increasingly available, enterprises will run on fully integrated, secure digital platforms. Optimized processes will be developed to facilitate decisions on real-time insights and an alignment of goals.

Moving forward, it’s clear that every job is going to have some kind of digital component. From customer experience to business strategy to talent acquisition, digital technology will encompass every aspect of business. As the workplace will be dominated by workers who grew up with technology, management structures, processes, and vision must transform to ensure the continued relevance of business, as well as sustainable, future growth.

Therefore, it’s up to management to change mindsets and behavior as it relates to technology, including creating an environment that encourages trust and ensures learning and empowering employees with the necessary tools and the training needed to use them. Here is where an entrepreneurial mindset comes in handy – management needs to be proactive to create an agile, adaptable workplace that employs cross-functional, collaborative teams for innovation and creativity to be utilized. Entrepreneurship is well-known for attracting leaders who thrive in innovative, creative environments, but also have the flexibility to take on any challenge thrown their way. Therefore, look to entrepreneurial-focused companies to be leading the charge in the digital age.

Digital Workplace Trends

There are plenty of predictions that have been made about where the workforce is headed. Here are five trends based on how digital workplaces will continue to grow in importance and prominence:

1)      Data security

When it comes to digital workplaces, data sensitivity and security are two of business leaders’ biggest concerns. When all of an organization’s operational data is in one place, it should be protected with all vulnerabilities closed off. In today’s modern age, most digital workplaces are cloud-based, which categorizes security concerns differently than in the past. Not only do organizations need to adopt digital workplaces that create transparency and make it easier for employees to perform their everyday activities, but they also need to start using tools and platforms that keep data secure. As of 2019, most tech leaders and CIOs have adopted platforms that utilize customized security models, which allow employees to share data on the cloud securely.

2)      Remote workforce

Even in 2018, more than 80 percent of the global workforce was deskless or remote. Today, 3.4% of the U.S. workforce works remotely. This number is only going to grow as people look for a better work-life balance. Yet, while working remotely is often enjoyed by those who do it, it does come with some challenges; namely, the fact that working remotely can lead to employees feeling disconnected from their work and colleagues. According to a State of Remote Work report completed by Buffer, employees who work remotely say they struggle with unplugging after work, loneliness, communication/collaboration, home distractions, and staying motivated. There are several ways to combat these concerns; for instance, if employees struggle with communication, instill an open door policy in which they can feel free to call you directly for clarifications during working hours. Even though it comes with challenges, expect to see continuous investments by organizations in digital workplace technologies like built-in video conferencing, fully loaded workplace mobile apps, and enterprise social networking.

3)      Taking on low-code and no-code platforms

In order to be successful in establishing an effective digital workplace, organizations need to create a customized platform with workflows that echo the business processes within the company. Low-code and no-code platforms let organizations reduce the burden on their IT departments by including both tech and business teams as part of their development process. No-code platforms utilize a visual interface and drag-and-drop tools to provide a code-free way for people to deploy and develop applications. As a result, business users with no coding experience or knowledge can create applications on their own, letting organizations shorten the gap between IT and business teams. Business teams will be able to show IT departments what needs to be done rather than showing them.

4)      Distributed decision-making and authority 

Digital workplaces are advantageous because they make tools and information available to a wider variety of people. Rather than having to rely on senior management, every team leader is able to create automated processes, dashboards, and collaboration channels to manage the work they do. Consequently, companies are able to scale their work more rapidly with distributed decision making. This means that once people who are closest to the issue have the same information as everyone else involved, they can make a more qualified decision about how to change paths or move forward. Overall, a decentralized system improves employee productivity and engagement as it gives employees a sense of responsibility and ownership. This kind of authority is a direct result of digital workplaces.

5)      Tools to improve employee engagement

Digital workplaces have the added benefit of letting companies better engage their employees. Recently, many organizations have become more collaborative and employee-centric, changing from the traditional corporate channels. This change resulted from the fact that the top-down approach made employees feel disengaged, which can lead to inefficiencies. Now, organizations are integrating features like rewards, gamification, and employee recognition to encourage and engage employees.

It might not seem obvious, but having an entrepreneurial mindset can better equip companies to adapt the above requirements by staying flexible, open-minded, and success-focused.

The Role of Digital

Digital technology offers a multitude of benefits, including speed, accuracy, productivity and efficiency. Agile workplaces today understand the synergy between human efforts with technology, as well as have the flexibility to enact, all aspects of entrepreneurial thinking. Workplaces today need to be ready to integrate AI, advanced cognitive tools, enhanced security measures and more. Further, an investment in people needs to be made. Companies need to adopt entrepreneurial thinking and flexibility in order to thrive in this new digital landscape.

 

At Stefanini, we work with our clients to “co-create” and we have the entrepreneurial mindset needed in order to make our customers’ visions come to life. Interested in learning how this works? Read about the subject here or contact us today.  

Making sure your business thrives in the digital environment. Ask us how.