The Future Of Workplace Is Digital – How Digital Tools Reshape Work

As companies consider returning to the office, remote capabilities have already proven that the future of the workplace is digital. Read our latest Trends blog to learn more!

The realities of the pandemic caused many companies to streamline their digital transformation efforts, not only to achieve more agile operations but primarily to navigate 2020’s massive disruptions in demand and customer expectation. In many cases, corporate strategies that were set over 5 years had to navigate digital transformation in just a few weeks.

Now, as a return to the office becomes a viable option, the looming questions of how digital and physical workplaces will integrate have become critical. Will employees return to office or will they opt to continue remote work? Or will we see hybrid models become the dominant mode?

As companies are exploring what communication, collaboration and employee engagement will look like in the future, the core technologies that drive the digital workplace continue to expand. If you want to learn more about the future of the digital workplace, read on!

Future of the Digital Workplace

A digital workplace is designed to serve as an equivalent to the physical office space by offering digital tools that employees need to manage their everyday workload. Core workplace technologies such as intranets, collaboration tools and shared database repositories remain as requirements for remote capabilities that have become the standard seemingly overnight.

The challenge of building a digitizing workplace processes is further compounded by the ever growing amount of applications and technologies that fall under the workplace umbrella. Successful implementation of these tools requires innovation and adaptability at both the individual and organizational levels.  

While the journey toward successful digital transformation is unique for each organization, there are several pain points that define the future of the digital workplace.

Agile sprints

Much of the effort of building a digital workplace is discovering the right tools to successfully integrate disparate business applications and processes. Implementing applications that are difficult to navigate can slow things down and cause more problems than are solved.

Achieving this transformation requires an overarching strategy and consistent review processes to effectively implement and manage these systems, including thorough training programs. The most effective way of doing this is to take on new technologies through phases or agile sprints, where performance is evaluated by key benchmarks in relation to long term goals.

This systematic approach provides a chance to see what is and isn’t working while providing the flexibility to make new changes before taking the next steps. Agile sprints should be a regular feature of an enabled digital workplace.

End-User Focus and Employee Engagement

While the technologies implemented in a workplace solution may vary, the goal is to streamline business processes while improving employee experience. An end-user focus serves as a significant reprioritization in how these solutions are offered and has led to the promotion of end-to-end service models that directly examine how employees work in order to re-design workflows and map out asset management.

It’s no secret that when employees become disengaged it directly correlates to a loss of productivity and revenue. A well designed digital workplace consolidates the variety of tools and applications an employee uses while providing the devices needed access those tools.

In customizing end-user experience, employee engagement is more likely increase given that workers are more likely to recognize the value companies place on them, their greatest assets. Companies must actively measure employee engagement and morale and act on their insights.

Navigating Digital Dexterity Gaps

While at its best, the digital workplace allows employees to do their work wherever they are, it remains vital to take the time to instruct employees on the tools at their disposal. Even if a new technology or application promises to promote productivity, employees can often find new tools stressful which can slow adoption rates.

Gartner research has shown that the rate of new technologies being introduced into the workplace is outpacing the rate at which employees are able to exploit new technology, which leads to an ever growing digital dexterity gap.

The solution is to provide employees with the knowledge they need before new technology is implemented. Notably, in 2015 Hitachi introduced AI in its warehouse operations as an aid for workers to learn new systems. While AI may not always serve as a solution here, it is vital that companies provide their employees with the educational tools needed to create competency and accelerate adoption.

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How Digital Technologies Will Influence the Future of Work

Regardless of whether a company decides that its workers should return to the office, the ability to provide remote access proves to be more valuable than ever. The core digital capabilities that make remote work possible serve as the gateway for other digital tools to influence workflow and promote optimization.

Here are some of the digital technological trends that are transforming the future of work:

  1. Mobility Management – Many companies rely on multiple SaaS applications as part of their everyday operations and will likely take on new applications as they grow. A digital workplace platform enables employees to access the variety of applications in use through a unified interface. This not only fosters better employee experiences but also ensures more reliable data while cutting IT costs when integrating new systems. Further, a central information hub streamlines employees work processes by providing heightened visibility across departments.
  2. Self-Service Portals – Past IT departments were primarily responsibility for managing assets and most software features related to employee experience. More and more, employees are interested in finding their own solutions before asking for help and thus self-service portals are becoming a regular feature of the digital workplace. This leads to improved efficiency as employees are empowered to find solutions and solve problems on their own.
  3. Analytics – Advanced data tracking and analytics serve to generate the metrics and manage in-depth reports that allow stakeholders to make informed and precise decisions. As digital workplace technologies become more advanced and more numerous, organizations will need full suite, extensible, analytics-based quantitative platforms that examine how implemented tools support employee engagement, morale and inclusiveness. 
  4. Hyper-automation – This policy follows the logic that everything that can be automated should be and as artificial intelligence (AI) becomes more readily available, hyper-automation becomes much easier to implement. While the popular concern with this policy is that it threatens to replace human positons, what is more likely is the addition of Virtual Assistants or AI companions who assist human workers by automating repetitive tasks.

As remote capabilities diminish the importance of geographical location when finding talent, it is more important than ever to provide employees with the digital tools they need to succeed. The time to adopt digital workplace strategies is now and new technologies must sustain a distributed workforce. Creating a hiring and employment arrangement strategy and establishing effective people processes that embrace remote and flexible work across your workforce is essential before the benefits of the digital workplace can be seen. 

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Reimagine the Digital Workplace with Stefanini and Prepare for the Future of Work

Implementing digital transformation remains a large scale challenge that requires the careful examination of a company’s existing employee workflows and processes to create a transformation strategy. 

Stefanini is ready to bring the latest and best digital tools needed to boost your digital capabilities. Our team of experts will examine your organization and use their knowledge to find the technology that meets your unique workplace concerns. Ready to get started?

Contact us today to speak with an expert!

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