The digital workplace: What does this really mean?

The ‘digital workplace’ is a growing trend among businesses of all sizes. Whether it’s to enhance collaboration and teamwork, productivity, reporting and more, users should know what ‘digital workplace’ actually means in the context of a business. As well as this, it’s important to know how a digital workplace can be used well in an organisation. For example, using tools such as Office 365 and SharePoint and greatly enhance a digital workplace; but only when used properly!

What is a ‘digital workplace’?

‘Digital workplace’ refers to internal tools companies use to function in a more digital way. A digital workplace basically reflects digital innovation and transformation within an organisation. Tech-savvy employees are enabled to to access systems they need on the go from almost any device. If the business has suitable infrastructure to accommodate such flexible working, employees can work more securely and productively. This is especially true for users who work from home or disparate workforces who operate from multiple offices.

How has the digital workplace evolved?

It’s not just about enabling users to work from home without a disruption in functionality. A digital workplace is a growing business trend enabling mobility in team productivity and the way an entire business performs its processes. If a business changes its focus from being hardware-centric to software-centric, new possibilities can be unlocked from the functionality the software can provide. Workers do not need to be chained to their desks to be able to do a good job – in fact, they can sometimes do a better job by having more flexibility!

How do we determine a digital workplace?

We’re an incredibly software-centric organisation ourselves. Part of the work we do with our clients is enabling them to embrace the digital workplace. The principles of a digital workplace (flexibility, productivity, efficiency, communication) are all underpinned by tools like Office 365 and SharePoint. By unleashing the power of Office 365 (cringe!) so to speak, your organisation can transform into an agile and collaborative workplace. Users can become empowered themselves as a result. By having their documents accessible in the cloud, and having suitable tools (i.e. Teams, Forms and more) their efficiency across the board can be increased.

How do I use a digital workplace properly?

The digital workplace isn’t just the use of productivity tools. It’s using correct and relevant tools in an appropriate way to achieve what traditional software or hardware can’t. If you can achieve mobility without limitations or restrictions, then you’re utilising the digital workplace in your organisation in an effective manner.

Having data in the cloud can be useful, however it can also be dangerous. Being able to sufficiently govern and control the level of user permissions is paramount when utilising the digital workplace. If users are accessing the same documents on their phones, laptops, tablets and PCs across the country, can you be sure that the information is being used properly? This is something we work on with our clients – being able to control how your digital workplace is managed.

Being able to do everything from one central place certainly has its benefits; but it’s easy to get bogged down with the vast amount of software out there. We’d recommend that you assess what you need to do in your organisation first before attempting to adopt everything under the sun. This could include;

  • Users communicating easily – for example,  working on the same document simultaneously
  • Information being stored and accessed safely
  • Business intelligence (reporting) to have seamless functionality
  • Information to be collected appropriately
  • An intranet the entire organisation can use

…the list goes on!

Office 365 & SharePoint are fantastic tools for this.

You can read more about how to properly use these tools in your organisation by checking out our suite of downloadable guides here.