That the ‘digital workplace’ is somewhat elusive is not surprising. The words are broad and, when put together, generates different understandings. Do digital devices not influence every aspect of contemporary work in some way? The answer to that question is a yes. But the digital workplace and what it does for the organization transcends material structures
The digital workplace as concept relates to a behavioral nature rather than the presence of certain “things”. It is all about establishing a communication infrastructure that allows employees to manage their daily tasks more effectively.
The well-functioning digital workplace comes with numerous benefits. It can drive organizational efficiency, improve employee experience and cut down on operational costs. We believe it is a good idea to break down and define what a digital workplace implies. Increased awareness of the nature and potential of digital workplaces can hopefully drive digital investments, leading to a more dynamic, healthy and productive business climate.
The following areas and their potential in terms of organizational benefits are core pieces to the digital workplace.
Integration of tools
Systems, applications and hardware are at the heart of the digital workplace. However, the tools in place must be related to their intended purpose. Well-intended but hastened digital investments runs the risk of adding administration or creating redundant internal communication channels. That would be the opposite of what digital workplaces can and should achieve. The mere presence of digital tools does not create a digital workplace – it comes to life when incorporated in sync with a broader organizational context.
Place and Cloud
The context of the digital workplace is spatial and virtual. It is therefore not to be confused with exclusive remote work. Instead, the digital workplace indicates a multi-optional work situation where employees can choose the most appropriate work context for the task at hand.
There can be many reasons why learning within organizations is needed. Whether a learning initiative aims to make employees aware of changes or developing their competences, the digital workplace revolutionizes organizational learning. With e-learning, employees can acquire new knowledge on their own terms. When learning becomes independent from locations and schedules, it also frees up time and resources to be used elsewhere.
The multifaceted digital workplace also means increased possibilities for collaboration. The digital workplace in general removes obstacles and creates more dynamic collaboration. Departments and employees can more easily interact and generate creative solutions to problems.
An organization is the result of individuals coming together and working towards common objectives. The effectiveness of knowledge sharing between units and employees are therefore crucial to overall organizational performance. A hallmark of the digital workplace is to facilitate this process by gathering relevant information and making it accessible to employees in their daily work.
Since the digital workplace is all about the employees, their needs and challenges guide the digital workplace. It is essential to find out what kind of digital solutions can support them in their work and any discouraging attitudes to change.
In this article, we present our method to help organizations get on their way with digital initiatives. We consider integrating all the areas discussed in this article to improve the digital organizational environment by thoroughly analyzing organizational objectives and employee needs.
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