Twenty years ago, “the workplace” was a pretty simple concept – a shared, physical space that employees would use daily during set hours of the day.
Fast-forward to 2020, and things are no longer so straightforward.
In this ever-connected era, the boundaries between where people work are becoming increasingly blurred. Many of us increasingly find that our laptops are our “office.” We can complete a huge array of tasks anywhere in the world, and outside the confines of a physical office.
Spontaneous meetings to share new knowledge and information become more cumbersome to arrange and crossed wires might easily occur. Unlike a physical workplace, a digital one needs a different set of strategies to get your team off the ground.
A digital workplace is built around a company’s technological environment: email, virtual meeting tools, and the social media presence. It involves embracing digital solutions to traditional admin processes – checking payments online or entering new sales opportunities in a cloud-based platform that teams can view from their smartphones.
Most businesses have some variation of a digital workspace. For most, opportunities to streamline their way of doing things are becoming more frequent – whether it’s new fintech apps for the finance team, or employees migrating to a newer, more intuitive cloud-based solution where they can work on projects together.
The good news is that digital transformation does not have to be a costly exercise. It’s about cultivating a company culture where digital processes are explored and embraced. Of course, for businesses to be productive wherever they are, they’ll need the right hardware and software to hand. But once that’s in place, a truly digital workplace is one where management leads by example.
Business leaders can build a digital workplace by creating protocols on how virtual meetings are planned and conducted. They can offer training to those who need support in using new software. And they can invest time in becoming more proficient with digital tools themselves, in order to make their business more competitive.
As more and more businesses become more agile in how and where they work, co-working and flexible work environments complement the freedom and efficiency of this new way of working.