2019: The year of the digital workspace
2019: The year of the digital workspace
2019 might just be the year that the digital workplace becomes ubiquitous, connecting apps, data and hardware to truly unify enterprise IT.
The concept of the digital is more than just making platforms mobile accessible or placing data in the cloud, it’s a convergence of technologies that enhances employee efficiency and their well-being, and also provides greater business efficiency and agility.
Bringing technologies together.
“The boundaries between home life and work life are crumbling, so people’s expectations as being consumers of tech are also informing their expectations as consumers of tech at work,” notes Steven Frost, CEO of employee engagement survey platform WorkBuzz.
Integrating software and ensuring that data is portable can ensure that tech never needs to be a headache for your workforce. By helping your staff to connect and collaborate, these tools can make your workforce dramatically more productive and provide a critical competitive advantage for your business.
How the digital workspace can bring benefits to your business
Tools, apps and software now available to organisations, opens up new opportunities to easily analyse processes and track workflow. This quickly identifies new opportunities, as well as areas for improvement, with decision making firmly rooted in data. What’s more, the capabilities of the digital workplace also hold the key to boosting employee satisfaction.
Making changes doesn’t necessarily have to be costly, and companies can actually save up to 50% on their operational expenses, by using smart building technology to analyse workspace utilisation – providing a better employee experience while cutting outgoings.
“By analysing multi-source data on building occupancy, weather, heating and cooling, [our clients] can make huge savings in energy costs,” writes Alex Bennett of Dimension Data. “Machine learning and analytics will play a key role in this optimising of space.”
Looking ahead, businesses should also keep abreast of how Internet of Things (IoT) and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies can bring new capabilities to the workplace, enhancing how information is captured, communicated and shared.
AI and machine learning tools will also drive change, automating rote work and freeing up individuals to focus on more creatively challenging tasks, and to better engage with customers and colleagues. Crucially, AI can also test and validate data to ensure that it delivers the maximum value to the business.
By harnessing these new resources, (whether that means using AI for scheduling, to synchronise records or to run basic checks on text), businesses can improve the employee experience while making staff more efficient and more productive. Indeed, when polled, 37% of digital transformation strategists ranked improvements to employee morale and engagement, as being among the top benefits offered by their work.
At a broader level, AI platforms can deploy pattern recognition to find new opportunities for optimisation, whether that means fine-tuning a factory’s workflows or finding correlating events in a business’s computer systems that indicate a security breach.
However, these initiatives have to be part of a wider programme of engagement. “There’s no silver bullet [in terms of individual changes],” says Steven. “It’s about looking at your culture holistically... and seeing whether you’re meeting the expectations of your employees.
Employee engagement has become a core metric of success
“Expectations have never been higher for what is expected in terms of recognition and instant feedback,” comments Steven. It is predicted that in the coming year employee engagement metrics “will become as critical as profit, sales or productivity metrics”.
Getting feedback from the grassroots can be pivotal to directing change, and using this knowledge to ensure that they have the tools and hardware needed to get their work done; or making sure that the environment is conducive to working needs.
Organisations that foster a “choose-your-own-work-style” culture are forecast to see a 10% boost in their employee retention rates by 2020; while flexible working schemes, (including remote working and offset hours) are becoming the norm.
With millennials now make up the majority of the workforce, gone are the days when workers simply accept a 9-5 job at their desk the norm. Organisations who embrace what a digital workspace can offer to employees. they are more likely to attract the best talent.
Who drives the change?
More and more organisations are taking a broad view of their digital toolset and the employee experience – and, as in so many departments, it’s about data, applying analytics across the workplace.
Given this, data analysis is an increasingly important skill across the business; while digital transformation professionals and IT architect are guiding broader strategies, unifying IT systems and driving employee engagement from the top. As seen in the shift to DevOps, opportunities will also arise from the crossing and combining lines of business, enabling the organisation to operate as a consistent, coherent whole.
Enabling the digital workplace is a key part of the transformation journey for businesses, today. Perhaps more importantly, though, it will be a critical driver of engagement for the workforces of tomorrow
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