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The Digital Workplace explained: What Is It?

The digital workplace explained: what is it?

In this blog we explain what digital workplace and how it can help your organization.

The term digital workplace has been a buzzword an sich for a few years now, but with many working from home, the term and concept has only become more popular. But contrary to popular belief, the fact that most employees work from home and access files online is not the same thing as a digital workplace. And switching to Microsoft 365 doesn't automatically create a digital workplace either. But then, what is it?

The definition of a digital workplace

Digital workplace has different definitions and that is exactly what causes confusion. Where one states that it stands for just having the right tools to work remotely, the other thinks it's about transforming business processes and activities to be able to go along with the technology.

Let's be clear.

The digital workplace is the digital workplace in which employees find all the information and processes they need to do their job well and in which they can quickly and easily share their knowledge and consult colleagues. The focus is on bringing together all the things employees need to perform at their best. From tools and processes to locations and skills.

Why is the digital workplace important?

For the organisation
Research shows that employees with a digital workplace are more productive than employees with a traditional workplace. This is because the digital workplace enables people to work together better; knowledge is easily shared and colleagues can easily consult each other for help or consultation. In addition, the right information can be found quickly and easily, which saves a lot of time (and annoyance). Finally, processes are streamlined, making work more efficient.

For the employees
With a digital workplace, employees experience much more flexibility: they can work where and when they want. At a time when the work-life balance is becoming increasingly important, sufficient flexibility is a must for today's professionals. Because the focus of the company shifts from presence to actual performance, employees can work the way and the moment they are most productive.

What are the benefits?

  • Flexibility: work regardless of your location or time of day
  • Better collaboration: easy knowledge sharing and consultation with colleagues
  • Processes are streamlined, resulting in more uniform working practices
  • More insight: by recording tasks, progress and communication
  • Work more efficiently because information is easy to find
  • Security because hosting parties handle your data with care

What do you have to look out for when you set it up?

Your digital workplace is the digital version of your office.

Just as you think carefully about the design of your office, you do the same when setting up a digital workplace. It is important that it fits the company exactly. Therefore, take a critical look at the following things:

Creating the goal in an ideal digital workplace. Investigate what your employees need and what they run into. It's a waste of time and money to invest in tooling and planning if it's not exactly in line with what your employees need.

Business objectives and associated tools
Start with your business goal(s). What are these and what technology will help you use them? There is a lot of tooling on the market, research which tooling and technology contributes to achieving the goals.

Does it match the current workflows?
Or do workflows and processes need to be adapted? If so, make sure that this is communicated clearly and on time to all employees involved.

Change is not always desired
In general, employees are not so much waiting for change. It is seen as difficult, time-consuming and it is not always clear in advance what all this effort will bring. Again: communication! Communicate clearly what is going to happen, what is expected of the employees and - above all - what the effect will be. In addition, good information and guidance is crucial to ensure a smooth rollout.

Ownership and responsibility
Just as employees in the office know who they need to be with when the printer fails or the laptop refuses service, so employees also need to know exactly who they need to be with when something in the digital workplace does not work. Make sure this is in order. Appoint people who are responsible for certain components and communicate this within the organization. In this way everyone knows where they need to be.

A digital workplace is an ongoing process

Technology never stands still, nor does the digital workplace. That's why we continuously evaluate the digital workplace to make sure it still offers what the organisation and employees need.

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