The pandemic has changed people’s lives by unveiling the full potential of digital tools. Some of the features that make up a digital workspace are online collaboration, video calls and remote meetings, document management, and cloud services. This has been a lifeline for many companies to continue operations, but it is still an unexplored path for many others.
Many business leaders believe that implementing the right technology like a low code development platform will transform the business. But the truth is, you cannot rely on technology alone to solve the problems. Technology is just a tool that enables employees to accomplish goals. So, employees must come first while designing a successful digital workplace.
Humanizing the workplace is an essential step towards improving employee morale and retention rate and, in turn, improving the company’s productivity and capacity. Employees who feel connected to their digital workplace are much more likely to exhibit higher rates of morale and satisfaction levels than those who feel dehumanized in their work environment. This is the first and most crucial step towards digital transformation. According to a global survey by JLL, workplaces of the future will be versatile and hybrid, focusing on employee-centric solutions.
What is a digital workplace?
A digital workplace is a cloud-based work platform that allows organizations to work virtually.
Gartner analysts define it as “a business strategy that enables innovative and more efficient ways of working, leveraging worker-centric organizational models and technologies, and improving employee engagement and productivity.”
A successful digital workplace aligns technology, people, and business processes to improve operational efficiency and achieve business goals.
The next step in digital transformation strategy is to focus on employee engagement and provide them with an intentional and crafted digital experience to accomplish their work. As it is no longer mandatory to limit oneself to the office’s physical space to carry out professional activities, organizations need to think deeply about aligning their business processes and employees with technology.
Ways digital workplace helps in making work more human
Thankfully, there are several measures that business leaders can take to create a human-centric digital workplace. Here are some key elements to focus on –
- Trusting employees and encouraging their autonomy
The first step to bringing a human-centric approach to the digital workspace is trusting your employees and empowering them. Since you won’t be physically next to the team, you won’t be able to supervise tasks all the time, and this is where trust is required. If employees are well-associated with their tasks and perform activities with quality, they do not need full-time supervision. In these cases, it is necessary to encourage autonomy and assign responsibilities to them.
Before granting this independence to the entire team, it is essential to know each employee well and understand their level of maturity in the position. For instance, recently hired people may need your supervision more, so their autonomy will not be equal to professionals with more experience.
- Keeping lines of communication open
A strong communications strategy based on modern, intelligent delivery systems can help employees feel safe, secure, and connected in a digital work environment. But, with tons of apps now available in communication, it is quite easier to send a quick message than have a real conversation with your employees. IMs and emails can often come off cold and distant or leave the employee feeling like you do not really want to engage with them. Therefore, it is essential to have a more human approach to interaction when possible.
With digital workplaces, you can set up an effective communication channel making it easy for the remote staff to collaborate easily with other team members and keep up to date with business changes.
Moreover, eye contact helps you empathize with employees and see if they understand what you’re talking about! For this reason, at times, you should turn on the camera during team meetings and ask your team members to do the same.
- Aligning and engaging your workforce
Keeping remote employees engaged isn’t an easy feat by any means. As most of the employees and managers work remotely, ensuring the same level of motivation has become quite difficult compared to when they are at the office premises. So, implementing OKR here is the secret to digital workplace success.
The acronym OKR stands for “Objectives and Key Results.” As its name indicates, it implies employee career success by allowing employees to focus and communicate more effectively and be more aligned across teams. OKRs assist in organizing teams and their day-to-day work around achieving common objectives. It helps employees connect with their managers or business leaders with increased transparency, improved focus, and better alignment.
Moreover, the OKR framework also helps employees to:
- Keep regular track of their progress.
- Increases focus & productivity.
- Elevates employee engagement & commitment.
- Allows employees and their leaders to work cohesively.
- Offering flexible working-hours
It is worth saying that flexible working hours are the key to productivity during remote working. Gartner’s 2020 Reimagine HR Employee Survey revealed that only 36% of employees were high performers at organizations with a standard 40-hour workweek. And organizations that offer employees flexibility over when, where, and how much they work see 55% of their workforce as high performers. When employees are getting the job done, being a business leader, how can you support them and provide the digital workplace solutions they expect and need?
To start, organizations should strive to provide employees with modern digital experiences that enable them to work according to their convenience. Empowering employees with this sort of flexibility delivers significant employee experience benefits and helps them to better manage their work-life balance, improve their wellness and be more productive.
- Main advantages of human-centric digital workplace
Now that we comprehend the concept of the digital workplace and the implementation of a human-centric work environment, let us explore the advantages of putting it into practice.
- Increased productivity
Adopting the digital workspace will allow your company to rely on more effective processes, generating a positive impact on the entire team’s productivity. Technological advancements have entirely reshaped organizations by streamlining business activities and automating some tasks.
With this improvement provided by the digital workplace, team members will produce more in less time. Moreover, they will be able to leverage these smarter tools to collaborate better.
- Retaining talent
Every employee wishes to be valued, and it is common for everyone to like it when superiors express the same. Employees who feel valuable and essential to the company have a great tendency to remain part of it and do so of their own free will. Thus, business leaders now can value their employees, skills, presence, and all the excellent work done in the process using technological tools.
A digital workplace enables businesses to take advantage of technological developments by centralizing information and organizational processes, creating a social network and collaboration platform, thus building a strong employer brand, and retaining talent.
- Superior team engagement
Keeping your team members engaged with their activities is very desirable, as it contributes to the efficiency and quality of their deliveries. Although it appears that a digital workplace will make people more distant, the reality is quite the opposite. In most cases, there is an increase in team engagement. It is because the digital workplace facilitates access to learning platforms, making it possible to train your team independently. Moreover, gamification features help to amplify that potential.