Digital Workplace Changes
Changes in an organization to support a digital workforce occur in the areas of hardware, software, primarily using Software as a Service (SaaS), culture, security, and support services.
- When the workplace was bricks and mortar, most employees had hardwired desktop computers at their work station.
- As the digital workplace evolved, the hardware needs for employees changed. The first set of changes involved laptops with docking stations with a standard keyboard, mouse, and monitor and wireless capability around the building, so employees could work at their desks or take their laptops to meeting rooms. This configuration resulted in a digital workplace but inside the building.
- As more and more employees began to work from home, their requirements expanded from just laptops to include cameras, headsets with microphones, and spare laptop charges.
- The home offices required enough broadband to support increased uploading and downloading of large files, streaming, and video calls.
- If the organization requires the use of a VPN, the system will have to be tested to ensure it can handle the larger number of users.
- From a policy perspective, the organization may have to revisit reimbursement for internet access or data plans for hot spots.
Software Solutions (SaaS if possible)
To provide a complete digital workplace, the following technology is required.
- Required to provide a fast way to communicate with colleagues.
- Types include email, instant messaging, mobile messaging, microblogging.
- Enables knowledge workers to get their jobs done more efficiently.
- Solutions include word processing, spreadsheets, presentation software, calculators.
- Enables employees to work with each other and with partners.
- Includes creation of team rooms, communities, wikis, and web conferencing.
- A tool is required to support information sharing and internal publishing.
- Solutions include Portals/intranet, blogs, personalized homepage.
- Enables employees to access business-critical systems, such as ERP's, Manufacturing, Sales, Finance, HR, and more.
- Examples of the processes these systems support include expense claims, attendance and payroll processing, and reporting, customer relationship management, procurement, sales management, and more.
- It enables an organization to gather ideas, inputs, and thoughts from employees.
- Solutions include an Ideation platform, polling, survey, and forums.
- It helps locate experts and colleagues across the organization.
- Tools include Employee directory, Organization chart, and Rich profiles for employees.
- Mobility enables access of tools away from the physical office or workplace.
- Tools include a PC/laptop, mobile/smartphone, home office space, and remote scanners.
- The organization's culture guides the way employees behave and work. Therefore, it ultimately determines how and to what extent your employees leverage the digital workplace to connect, communicate, and collaborate.
- One of the significant cultural changes in moving to a digital workplace is the increased transparency and autonomy that results. Employees, managers, and business leaders all can track the status of every project and even provide their opinions.
- The positives in this model of autonomous work environments include everyone knowing their responsibilities and everyone seeing the corporate goals and understanding how their work fits into the big picture.
- The improved transparency also allows business leaders to see deeper into the organization and have better control and management.
- This transparency means fewer meetings and more time to focus on the actual work. The sessions that do take place will have to be virtual, which may require some training in both the technology and the etiquette of virtual meetings. Using video is necessary as it helps employees stay connected, regardless of distance.
- Traditional hours of working will also change. Teams and individual employees will need to be flexible with a potential shift in working hours.
- Managers will also experience added pressure to make sure their teams are performing well while remote.
- If the company's remote working strategy allows employees to use personal devices, employees will no longer be working on secure networks and machines but relying on their own devices and home and public Wi-Fi.
- This accessibility could require changes to security settings such as "multifactor authentication (MFA) to allow the workforce access to the sites and files they need while ensuring the right person is logging in."
- If requiring access through a VPN, then untrusted personal devices have access to the corporate network.
- When the workforce is remote, and employees are trying to figure out new processes and tools, support desk requests will surge.
- There should be self-service resources and knowledge bases for employees to reduce requests, as well as enough trained resources to cover increased demand.