The way we work is changing. In recent years, technology has given us more freedom over where, how and when we can work. Perhaps more importantly, our collective work mindset has shifted, forced in no small part by the unprecedented events of 2020. Now, more than ever, many employees and organisations are embracing the notion that work isn’t necessarily defined by a physical location. Instead, work can happen anywhere with the right tools, culture, leadership and technology frameworks to support it.
The digital workplace is part of this framework. It encompasses all the things’ employees use to get work done, ranging from internal communications, HR systems, and collaboration tools to document management, instant messaging apps and social networks.
While digitisation in the workplace was happening long before 2020, there is no doubt that COVID-19 accelerated the process. Recent data shows that business digital adoption leaped forward by five years in a matter of eight weeks back in May 2020 and shows no signs of slowing down. The challenge now comes for businesses to implement an integrated technology framework, or digital workplace platform, to realise the true potential of that rapid unprecedented uptake.
What Is A Digital Workplace?
A digital workplace is a cloud-based platform that acts as a virtual office or deskspace. It contains everything employees need to do their jobs such as applications, data, content, files, tools, documents in a single user-friendly and secure interface that’s accessible from anywhere, at any time, on any device.
Of course, the things employees need to get work done vary widely between job roles, departments, organisations and sectors. So, crucially a digital workplace offers a personalised way of bringing the disparate applications and tools together in a single virtual platform.
A digital workplace is:
- Unified – it brings together everything in one place
- Logical – it makes finding what you need easy through a highly intuitive user interface and powerful search
- Secure – it protects sensitive data and information to the highest industry standards
It empowers employees (whether they are based on-site or remotely) to work more productively, better collaborate with colleagues across a number of different teams, and access they information they need in a matter of seconds rather than minutes.
Digital Workplace Features
Companies are rapidly shifting from hardware-based infrastructure to cloud-based applications. A digital workplace can help these businesses gain a competitive advantage through collaboration on a global scale, flexibility in accessing information from any location and the ability to use the right tools when they need them.
Single Sign On (SSO)
Single Sign On (SSO) rids users the headache of having to remember multiple passwords by letting them just use one set of login credentials to access multiple applications.
In a digital workplace platform, users simply only have to log in once to the platform in order to access everything within it.
Secure Access To Everything
Digital workplaces give employees full visibility of their projects, tasks, tools, third-party applications, reports and more, regardless of where or when they work. While the prospect of this is exciting, security is a top priority for any business as they look to protect both their own data and that of customers in an ever-widening workplace. Cutting edge digital workplaces enable work from anywhere while making sure that information is stored securely and only accessed by those who have need it and are authorised to use it.
Digital tools used by individuals vary widely from department to department. While some teams use Slack, others use Teams. For project management, developers might use Asana, while content teams may use Monday. With so many disparate systems in play, finding what you need among the noise can be time-consuming and frustrating. As well as this, not all internal communications and company news is relevant to everyone which can lead to employees neglecting to keep up to date with new information.
Digital workplace platforms offer personalisation that lets employees create their own unique workplaces and populate them with the tools they use everyday and need quick access to. It also makes visible the tools other teams are using to make knowledge sharing and document management easier while breaking down workplace silos. What’s more, new apps, content, information, news, tools and software can also be rolled out quickly and monitored within the platforms to encourage engagement and adoption.
When teams work remotely or asynchronously, finding information and files can be time consuming, frustrating, and sometimes pretty much impossible. While an employee intranet gives you a repository to house all of that information, a digital workplace platform puts it all in one place and makes it easily searchable and shareable.
If information is housed online in a single unified space, there is no need for employees to make several phone calls or send countless emails and messages to try and find what they need.
Workplace silos result in repeated work, misaligned priorities and missed opportunities for collaboration. This kind of mentality comes about when teams and departments aren’t given the opportunity to work flexibly with each other.
Lack of transparency and restricted access to information can intensify silo mentality. Digital workplace platforms help to eliminate that by making information more readily available, allowing employees to work fluidly together in a frictionless way.
Measuring employee engagement and experience has always been tricky. After all, how do you measure a feeling or analyse sentiment when you don’t really know what employees are thinking or doing? This becomes even more difficult in remote and hybrid work models, when employees aren’t physically visible day in, day out.
A digital workplace provides this visibility, giving managers and HR teams actionable insights into work patterns, employee sentiment, digital adoption and employee engagement. This data allows organisations to harness the power of their workforce, providing them with the tools they need to work smarter, collaborate more effectively, conduct focused work and achieve better work-life balance.
Why Choose A Digital Workplace?
The benefits of adopting a digital workplace make these platforms the next logical step in any organisation’s digital transformation strategy. This is particularly true right now, when our ways of working are changing and employee demand is the driving force behind change.
According to Buffer’s 2021 State of Remote Work, 97.6% of employees would like to work remotely, at least some of the time, for the rest of their career. What’s more, in a report by disability insurance company Breeze, 65% of workers said they’d take a 5% pay cut to work from home.
In short, a huge majority of employees want more flexibility over where and how they work. With this in mind, there’s no doubt that organisations will use the siren song of remote, flexible and hybrid work to entice and retain talent. A digital workplace enables that while upholding and improving the employee experience and reaffirming a great company culture at vital touchpoints of the employee journey.
A report by Gartner in 2019 predicted that companies can move two times faster with digital transformation. What’s more, engaged employees are more productive, resulting in a 21% increase in profits.
Not only does a digital workplace enable working from anywhere, it also increases engagement and helps employees spend less time looking for the things they need.
Better Employee Satisfaction
Lots of different factors contribute to employee satisfaction including good relationships with colleagues, a healthy work-life balance, learning and career development opportunities, job security, meaningful work and company culture.
A digital workplace can increase employee job satisfaction by giving teams frictionless access to information, tools, and applications that feed the factors listed above. For example, a digital workplace can be home to eLearning content and courses, putting them within easy reach and encouraging uptake. It can also be used to measure employee engagement and better understand how teams work best together to reshape your future engagement strategy.
Increased Employee Retention
There are a lot of reasons why an employee might choose to leave an organisation. While some are unavoidable, like retirement, relocation or a career change, some most certainly can and should be avoided.
A digital workplace platform can help businesses reshape the employee journey and experience, making the user experience easier and reaffirming company culture whether employees work on-site, remotely, or a mixture between the two.
Driving Digital Workplace Adoption
Digital workplaces already exist across every organisation and industry. Whether formally or informally, employees use different technologies to better communicate, collaborate, streamline their workflows and personalise their work day.
Digital workplaces help organisations take control of rapid digital adoption and transformation and use it to their advantage. Within a digital workplace platform, employees still have the flexibility to create their own workspaces filled with all of the tools, content, information and systems they need, but businesses too can harness its power to ensure the highest security, better communicate with their workforce through timely, relevant internal communications and transform the employee experience with the help of actionable insights and data.
HulerHub is a digital workplace platform that puts everything your employees need in one place. Whether they work remotely, on-site, in office or a combination, HulerHub gives your workforce the power to get things done through a single, secure-based platform and find everything they need within just 2 clicks. To find out more, try HulerHub for free today for up to 10 users or contact us for more information.