The digital workplace may sound like a new label for current intranet platforms, but in fact it encompasses much more. The term has become quite popular in business, however, many organisations don’t know what it actually means or if they even have a digital workplace implemented (and if they don’t, where do they get one?).
The Digital Workplace Group defines digital workplaces as “a collection of all the digital tools provided by an organisation to allow its employees to do their jobs”. Within the digital workplace might be an intranet, communication tools, email, HR system, calendar and other enterprise processes or tools which assist in the general day-to-day functioning of a business. Most of the time the intranet is the central tool connecting all the others, becoming the gateway and go-to of the digital workplace.
Most recent business trends suggest tools that encourage and facilitate engagement within the workplace are one of the most important factors influencing the overall success of a business. No wonder digital workplaces have taken off in popularity.
Intranet software has been on the rise for years and show no signs of stopping, but digital workplaces are a new term breaking into the world of modern enterprise with a bang and the term is pleasing for employees and managers alike.
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Trend Towards Digital
Business models are required to constantly adapt to new technologies, demands and standards. In the face of innovative organisational tools and processes, the workplace must follow suit or be left behind. Constant rethinking and new implementations in business allow for a new, formative atmosphere where managers and CEOs are aware of surrounding factors like advanced technology and the way it can be optimised to find new ways for employees to be engaged in the workplace. But engagement isn’t the only factor affecting the changing face of the workplace. Other factors include:
- Traditional workplace models can’t keep up with the way businesses work today
- Advances in technology mean we can develop better ways to establish and maintain workplaces (including usability, user experience, streamlined processes and enterprise collaboration tools)
- Shift of focus to international opportunities and catering to remote workers
- Rise of workplace mobility; smartphones, tablets being used to access company tools
A need for more cohesive integration of intranets into the workplace, having a digital workplace strategy is simply the next evolutionary step in how businesses will operate in the future.
Further reading: [Blog post] 10 Digital Workplace Trends Set to Transform Productivity
Moving forward with a digital workplace platform means taking advantage of today’s business landscape and optimising current features and processes to stay relevant in an increasingly digital world. What else can businesses expect to gain when implementing a new digital workplace platform? The benefits are extensive. Here are just a few:
- Integration with existing intranet system to improve employee collaboration which leads to more successful work and better customer satisfaction
- Integrating information, applications and knowledge to improve processes and outperform competitors
- Meet the demand for digital skills
- More accessible computing resources
- Faster innovation
- Optimising the online workplace to take advantage of growth opportunity
- Like intranets, digital workplaces provide a platform which promotes knowledge sharing
- Meaningful Design
These benefits sound similar to the benefits an intranet platform can bring to a business strategy, but keep in mind a digital workplace is an umbrella term which contains intranets and other digital processes integral to enterprise.
Digital Workplaces Technologies
Gartner discussed the top trends and technologies influencing the digital workplace and how these are changing the way we do business.
Organisations must build a solid technological foundation to cultivate agile, inclusive and engaged workforces that are not constrained by their physical location.
Some key technologies to consider when setting up your digital workplace:
Mobile - The digital workplace should be translatable to mobile devices and not affected by geographical situation. Much like intranets where employees can access resources from anywhere, on any device.
Easy connectivity - Connectivity is important both inside and outside the physical workplace. Workplace processes, information and applications should be available or fast to browse without geographical or device restrictions.
Intranets - Intranets should not lose importance or be replaced by digital workplaces. Instead, current intranets can be further integrated into everyday workplace life to promote knowledge sharing, collaboration and engagement by providing access to company documents and applications within the digital workplace. Most intranet providers have also moved from on-premise to cloud-based offerings, making it easier for organisations to implement new solutions.
There are many exciting elements of digital workplaces that we can all look forward to using and implementing.
We strongly recommended you watch the webinar 'Thriving Digital Workplaces: Best Practices for Success' or download the free guide 'How to Build a Productive & Engaged Digital Workplace'.
We take a closer look at how to implement a thriving digital workplace step-by-step. You'll discover best practices to help your staff succeed this year and beyond.