How to introduce a digital workplace project in your company?
The term of Digital Workplace is not a new expression but still many people use it differently. I like the definition of Gartner the most: “The Digital Workplace enables new, more effective ways of working; raises employee engagement and agility; and exploits consumer-oriented styles and technologies.” Anyway if a company starts to support their employees with more and more connected productivity tools that leads to a Digital Workplace project. However, employees may find the process a bit embarrassing, and they might feel frustrated by the need to change their work environment. This is why project leaders (together with supportive vendors) have to introduce the digital workplace concept in such a way that helps them understand how beneficial this transition could be to them. That is why employees shall understand the many benefits they will gain by embracing the changes.
Thus, there are definite reasons why digital workplace is useful for employees. We should also understand them, even if we do not yet see clearly all the advantages of this initiative, otherwise we, as deployment leaders, would not be able to convince our people of the necessity of this change. The benefits include, but are not limited to:
The focus is on the employee, not on the device. Employees today are frequently on the go, so they themselves and their work must not be restricted by the device. They move from meeting to meeting, travel inland or abroad, work from home offices or from any other remote workplaces, or simply go home after business hours, and might need to continue working at home. Their work, however, must be seamless everywhere, and time shall not be wasted when changing devices. With the digital workplace the work will be employee-centered, not device-centered.
It is usable right-away. No long trainings or courses needed to be able to use the digital workplace environment. When the employees look at the environment, they can use them intuitively right-away. Even a basic document management system has to be intuitive and easy to use.
It supports interruptions. Employees often have to switch tasks. They are often notified during work that another task is more urgent to be finished than the ones they have been working on. In such cases employees need to respond immediately to these changes, and the digital workplace tolerates such interrupt-driven workstyle as well. It enables quick responses, without having to change location or application.
It supports progressive cooperation. Knowledge workers often have to work in teams, cooperating with other teams and team-members. This collaboration can be difficult, because employees are often not at the same place at the same time, or sometimes they are just not using the same types of devices or programs. Yet, they have to work together continuously, without interruptions, and they must have a good user experience from this type of cooperation to encourage them to do it bravely and frequently enough. Digital workplace also helps in collaborating with an expert or a supervisor more seamlessly.
- It helps to access up-to-date information more easily. Using up-to-date information is essential in the competitive era. If employees neglect updating and work with outdated information, it means a loss of profit not only for the company, but for the employees themselves. They might end up doing extra work by correcting the mistakes, if they fail to address the changes at the right time. Information is vital: not only to get access to, but also to be used proactively for the tasks, even in cooperation. Digital workplace enables using up-to-date data and information.
- It may also be helpful to understand that digital workplace is not only a new working environment, but it also requires a new way of thinking and problem solving. The so-called design-thinking can be considered as an innovation by itself. It involves employees in the problem-solving process, that is how it makes the work process itself more coherent. By doing it right it can take us from “Have we solved the problem?” to “Are we solving the right problem?”
We can see that there are infinite advantages of the digital workplace that can be profitable not only for the enterprise, but also – directly or indirectly – for the stakeholders as well. By highlighting these advantages to the employees we can help them adapt to the changes more willingly, and hopefully more easily as well.
Implementing a digital workplace is a long journey and technology is only the minor part of it. Choose your technology partner wisely to support your journey.
Good luck and happy users :)