The Digital Workplace Experience

| By TMA World

 

 

“The internal communication term of the year: ‘digital workplace’.”  Communication World, 2016
“A digital workplace is an environment where employees are able to quickly and easily share what they know, and find what they need with consistent experiences across devices and locales.”  Gartner

One of the positive trends in the digital space is the inclusion of the employee experience in discussions. In his ‘My predictions for the Digital Workplace in 2016’ Paul Miller – author of The Digital Renaissance of Work, Gower, 2014 – says, “Experience will become the heartbeat of digital workplace strategies.” 

A focus on the customer’s digital experience of a company has rightly been at the forefront of discussions and investments, but the employee experience also deserves close attention because it impacts potent competitive factors like:

• Collaboration & innovation
• Speed to market
• Quality
• Recruitment & retention
• Engagement
• Productivity
• Cost-cutting, and
• Organizational agility
. . .  all of which contribute significantly to the customer’s experience.

According to Miller, organizations and their leaders should be just as attentive to the “design, beauty and atmosphere of their digital workplaces as they do to creating buildings in which they hope people will want to work.”
There are a number of factors drawing attention to the employee’s experience, but one of the most challenging is the corporate-consumer digital gap.  Often employees have more sophisticated digital devices and tools at home than at work, and employees (especially the younger generation) want to experience work the way they experience the rest of their lives, i.e. ubiquitous computing, on-demand access to relevant information and learning, user-friendly interfaces, choice of apps, fast updating, easy access to Cloud applications, mobility, seamless synchronization across devices, multi-channel communications (including social).  Speed, flexibility, simplicity and convenience are key.  This is as much a cultural change as it is technology change, and is leading to what various commentators refer to as the consumerization of the workplace.
Some managers wanting to fulfill an immediate need have introduced their favourite technologies and tools into their own departments; this often makes for a very messy digital workplace experience.  What leaders must do is create an integrated digital workplace tied to business goals and objectives, but with an emphasis on what the digital workplace looks and feels like from a user/employee point of view.

 

For more on how to leverage virtual communication technologies for increased business performance, see our Digital Fluency curriculum here

 

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