** Read : 3 mins
The time has come for digital workplaces to shine. They are being used to their full potential in light of the ongoing pandemic of Covid-19. With employees being confined to their homes, and workforces being allowed to return to offices, only partly, organizations have to leverage the capabilities of a digital workplace for the smooth running of operations.
For a sustainable and relevant business, companies have to be on the lookout for the latest and most useful trends in any technology. Analysing them and incorporating them into your day-to-day operations is a must to create a consistent and personalized experience for both your employees and customers alike.
First things first. What do you mean by a digital workplace?
Understanding the notion of a digital workplace
As the name suggests, a digital workplace is a virtual and more efficient substitute for any sort of physical workplace. If created, planned and managed in a coherent manner, a digital workplace can do wonders for the productivity, engagement and health of the employees of any organization.
The digital workplace encompasses capabilities across five main dimensions in an organization:
- Enhanced employee engagement
- Seamless collaboration and communication
- Easy accessibility of information and knowledge at a central location
- Business applications (process-specific tools such as CRM, ERP and CAD tools, plus employee self-service)
- Agile working — the ability to be productive any time and place
Why is a digital workplace essential for an organization?
For businesses with large, and widely distributed workforces, rapid innovation necessitates the implementation of modern tools that can effectively keep all employees fully informed. This consideration coupled with the ability to provide a work/life balance, remote working options and flexible working hours for all kinds of employees including offshore, onsite and frontline workers, is a wake-up call for organizations to take employee engagement seriously.
An effective digital workplace can enable all this and more.
It facilitates a collaborative, responsive and enthusiastic workplace culture where employees can share their experiences, ideas and challenges and be heard.
A digital workplace platform provides a more transparent work environment and employees are more in control of their responsibilities. More work gets done due to lesser delays in searching for mails and documents.
A major advantage of a virtual workspace is that it allows employees to work from remote locations.
The digital workplace trends that are making the rounds this year
- Artificial Intelligence
It is no secret that organisations are increasingly leveraging artificial intelligence to streamline their business processes, improve user experience as well as enhance employee engagement.
AI is touted to be the key enabler of a digital workplace in 2020, is capable of providing chatbots to answer simple questions, facilitating remote working through virtual workspaces and automating jobs that require lesser employees to be physically present in the office. This helps boost productivity by a large percentage.
According to Gartner , by 2021, more than 50% of enterprises will spend more per annum on bots and chatbot creation than traditional mobile app development.
AI-powered security is another major benefit that can be leveraged by an organization to mitigate risks, understand patterns, and automate cybersecurity processes.
- Decentralization at the workplace
Employee engagement has become imperative for an organisation’s success. A centralized structure does not necessarily facilitate a flexible and open work culture, where each employee’s voice is heard.
To capitalise on enhanced productivity, lesser churn rate, and high employee engagement, a decentralized workforce is a path forward. It allows employees to take ownership of their tasks, be more innovative and produce better results at the end of the day.
A digital workplace enables a decentralized structure in their internal decision-making processes, where each employee has a more powerful role to play. They foster digital advancement and rapid scalability of businesses.
- Cloud-based collaborative workspace
This year has seen an explosion of collaborative and project management tools and for good reason. The cornerstone of any top-notch digital workplace has to be a combination of low-code/no-code collaboration and communication tools. Saas-based technologies have made it very easy to stay on top of things at all times.
Any efficient collaborative tool comes equipped with instant messaging, email functionality, file sharing, video conferencing, and search. This saves a huge amount of time that is normally spent on searching for important emails or documents.
Saying no to language barriers, digital workplaces facilitate seamless communication and collaboration in different languages, with the help of these zero-code tools.
As the size of companies keeps increasing, it is easy for things to get lost in translation. This leads to miscommunication, delays and misunderstandings at the workplace, which in turn hampers productivity.
Digital workplaces provide an atmosphere of trust among employees due to clearcut and transparent workflows. All the team members are kept in the loop of things and know what their roles and responsibilities are.
Modern digital workplaces will become better at enabling employees to share trusted information internally and externally at the touch of a button. This goes a long way in unifying your workforce and also, enables employees to be accountable for their actions.
- Remote work fueled by smart workplaces
Such unprecedented circumstances as a global pandemic have essentially forced companies to shut shop and work from a remote location. Even under normal circumstances, no company is either fully remote or fully present in the same office space.
With remote working only gaining more popularity every day, the onus falls on the digital workplace to accommodate all the needs of the employees intelligently. A seamless low-code platform to work, communicate and collaborate without employees facing any disruptions in their work, and from any location is the need of the hour.
Smart workplaces help cut down infrastructure costs and are well-armed with the latest technologies of IoT, AI and ML. They can bridge the gap between distributed workforces by being accessible from any location.
A digital workplace provides a platform to enable a more connected future. The requirements of your organisation will decide the priorities of your digital workplace. Moving away from traditional office spaces and enabling employees to be digitally proficient is the key to a successful end-to-end digital transformation of your organisation.