Key Components Shaping the Digital Workplace

digital workplace evolution factors

Platform: NASSCOM

Hybrid, collaborative, and automated work models are the new reality for global organizations. Employers must position themselves today to not just follow this paradigm shift, but to help lead the next wave of digital workplace transformation. According to a report by ISG Provider Lens™, employers are increasingly focused on employee retention, cultivating a tech-savvy workforce, sustainable digital workplace practices, remote and hybrid working.

This uniquely places enterprise IT and workplace leaders at the center stage of digital transformation. Soon, hybrid, collaborative, and automated work models will become the new reality for organizations and their employees globally.

Here are the three underlying components that will shape the workplace of tomorrow.

  1. Organizational Acceptance of Digital Workplace

The first hurdle with digital workplace enablement is an organization’s willingness to adapt to this model.

Employees are already on board with gig models of working, with more than 50% of Millennial and Gen Z workers considering a freelance or contracting role, according to Kantata. In response, companies can consider specialized platforms to help them adopt a gig-enabled support model.

The question is whether the aspects of the physical workplace can effectively translate to a digital workplace environment: workflows, applications, processes, and communications.

Perhaps the physical workplace has lost its unique value proposition, making blended work models more efficient and productive. In these circumstances, buy-in from departments like human resources or IT can be the tipping point that pushes the organization to undergo digital transformation.

This buy-in is critical, according to Gartner.

  1. Foundational Technologies to Support Digital Workplace Success

Digital transformation is only as effective as the technologies used to implement it. These tools impact the overall digital employee experience (DEX).

With existing working models, only 17% of employees possess the tools they need to fulfill their responsibilities on the first day of work.

Technology is the driving force that accelerates adoption of the digital workplace. Your digital workplace should break down interdepartmental IT silos to promote a more consistent employee experience (EX).

You can identify these silos by the prevalence of Shadow IT. 52% of Dutch employees admitted to spending their own cash on technology to enhance their workflow and productivity. This reflects inadequate deployment of digital workplace technologies hence lower DEX.

The cherry on the cake would be intelligent analytics to generate insights across real-time, batch, and historical data from your CRM, ESM, and HRMS systems.

Self-service analytics is a great way to boost employee engagement and make business decisions based on actionable insights. All this data can be further leveraged for intelligent automation purposes, leading to the rapid rollout of new services and tools and the automation of low-value, low-level workflows.

  1. Onboarding and Educating Employees

Future-state of the digital workplace will involve partnering with conversational AI chatbots to alleviate the burden of low-level tasks.

Employees have personal and professional lives. Hybrid working protects the work-life balance of your employees, improving their morale. As the hybrid working trend accelerates, organizations using traditional work models will be left behind as employees seek greener, more flexible employment pastures.

Let’s explore some areas in which digital workplaces will impact employees, based on key findings in Microsoft’s Future of Work report:

  • Enhanced Productivity
    Managers are focused on outcomes while employees are focused on individual output. Your digital workplace must be capable of measuring individual wellbeing, collaboration between teams, and organizational innovation to meet the demands of tomorrow’s workforce.
  • Collaboration
    Teams will collaborate differently in the digital realm. Asynchronous collaboration makes sense considering the globalization of the workforce. People in different time zones will log on at different times and perform their work at different speeds.
  • Sustainable Practices
    A new wave of Gen Z and Millennial workers is shaking up corporate sustainability. These demographics are hyper-attuned to environmental-social-governance (ESG). 45% say they will “consciously quit” working for an employer who does not respect ESG.
  • Wellbeing and Morale
    In a new digital environment, the workplace culture must also change. By definition, remote leads to disconnect, with 42% of employees reporting a lower level of connection to their colleagues in a Microsoft-Glint study. In response, AI can track employee behaviors that contribute to inclusion, improving culture and training with post-meeting dashboards that offer suggestions on workforce participation, vocalizing sentiment, etc.

Trends to Watch Out For

As the digital workplace becomes more prevalent, trends will emerge:

  • Tactical use of digital employee experiences to boost ROI
  • Proactive experience management via AIOps and conversational AI technologies
  • Vendor consolidation of workplace technologies
  • Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) enabling employees to bring-your-own-device (BYOD), improving organizational cybersecurity
  • SLA turning into XLA, or experience level agreements, to measure and improve DEX

It’s All About Experience

Whether CX or EX, today experience is paramount. And the digital workplace brings DEX to the forefront.

Organizations must cultivate a tech-savvy workforce supported by sustainable practices. This includes the enablement of remote and hybrid working models to uplift employee retention and secure increasingly scarce global talent.

To do this, businesses should focus on:

  • Organizational acceptance of digital workplace technologies and tools
  • Laying the technology foundation to support digital workplace success
  • Continuous onboarding and education of workforce in preparation for the digital workplace

By doing so, organizations can reap immense benefits including enhanced productivity, collaboration, sustainability of practices, as well as workforce wellbeing and morale.

The Digital Employee Experience (DEX) is a priority for digital workplace leaders. Acting as an “always-on office” environment, enterprises are gearing up to provide the holistic workplace of the future to their employees.

Author: Venkatesh Agarwal, Senior Vice President, Movate

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