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The Big Renovation: The Benefits of the Digital Workplace

by Siv Rauv

25 Oct 2016

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Across almost each and every sector, the traditional workplace is undergoing rather significant renovations. From pots of paint, to digital software – no matter what industry you’re in, be it financial, educational, not-for-profit or entertainment based, it is more important than ever before to transform your organisation and experience the benefits of the digital workplace.

Many businesses are familiar with the term, but fewer understand the digital workplace and what it really is. Defined as a “collection of all the digital tools provided by an organisation to enable its workforce to do their jobs” a digital workplace is regarded as an invaluable benefit of technology afforded by the 21st century.

In recent years, the popularity of digital workplaces has soared. And thanks to the many tested benefits of the digital workplace for employees and managers alike, is showing no signs of slowing down.

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 This accelerated change within the last 10 years can be attributed to the following three phenomenon:

  1. Information overload: e-Learning Industry explains that "within one hour, people will forget 50% of the new information that you give them. Within 24 hours, 70% of new information will be forgotten, and within a week, you can expect 90% of it to have disappeared." Increasing the challenge for people and businesses to find, filter and forward information when and where they need it.
  2. Need for speed: With increased connectivity, the work environment is far quicker than it used to be. Today’s employees are required to collaborate more and work more efficiently and effectively to meet deadlines to successfully do their jobs. Intranets have played an important role here and continue to hold fast at the centre of the digital workplace.
  3. An ageing workforce: Baby boomers are beginning to put their feet up and enter retirement, taking a significant amount of knowledge and experience with them. Preserving this wealth of knowledge and expertise is fundamental to the productivity of current and future employees.

A key element of the digital workplace is collaboration via mobile and social access and this is a growing trend. Today’s employees have grown to expect more flexible work hours and locations, meaning that the office can no longer be seen as a single space.

In fact there is an increased trend to provide staff with the ability to work the hours that they wish – catering for the diverse needs of the workforce. Flexibility enables employees to work in the mornings or evenings, whenever and wherever they’re most productive. As a result, flexibility has its rewards. And this is why it’s important that every organisation, no matter how big or small, has in place a mobile responsive intranet to facilitate workforce communication and collaboration, and get one step closer to being a highly productive digital workplace.

According to James Robertson, a global expert on intranet strategy and design from Step Two Design, there are five purposes of intranets (outlined in the image below):

Going-Digital-5-Purposes-of-Intranets

Whilst seemingly complex and extensive, setting up a digital workplace, supported by a mobile social intranet, isn’t all that difficult to achieve. With this in mind, it is important to start thinking about designing your digital workplace with a mobile responsive intranet at the centre of the solution.

Why? Because it has been proven time and time again that intranets deliver valuable support to your workforce on any device, anytime and anywhere! In addition to this, empowering a digital workforce directly increases productivity, keeps staff happy and facilitates a culture of collaboration. A study carried out by Deloitte found that organisations that installed social media tools internally found a median 20% increase in employee satisfaction. They also found that when employee engagement increases, there is a corresponding increase in employee retention by up to 87%. These statistics are impressive and a call to action for you to create or improve your digital workplace strategy.

To get you started on your digital workplace strategy here are a few keys to success outlined by James Robertson:

1. ‘Create and communicate a clear vision of the digital workplace’
2. ‘Have a clear strategy and roadmap for the next 12 months’
3. ‘Steadily deliver improvements and enhancements’

With a clear vision, long term plan and the ability to steadily deliver improvements, remember to treat your transition as a renovation. And as with any renovation things can get stressful and sometimes overwhelming. Which is why, in your shift to digital, it is important to break things down and to remember the following:

“Great digital workplaces are a journey of many small steps... so what are you waiting for: get going!” James Robertson.


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