Designing Your Digital Workplace

Organizations that adopted or are willing to adopt a digital workplaceoffer an increased access to technology, allowing co-workers to collaborate constantly, enhancing their efficiency and leading to an enhanced customer satisfaction. In this article, we are going to look at this from a different angle.

The numerous benefits that are offered to businesses when adopting a digital workplace, like enhanced communication and collaboration, mobility, and ease the process of searching and finding information, are strongly influenced by the way you design your digital workplace environment.

Branding

When it comes your digital workplace design, one of the main aspects that should be undertaken by your organization is branding.

Branding is a mean for an organization to differentiate its services or products from the rest. A unique name, great PR and/or advertising or images are some of the tools an organization have in hand to do so.

Branding offers organizations the opportunity to shape the desired image or perception consumers will have in mind when thinking about their products

Customizing the look and feel of your intranet will boost your employee’s engagement, give them a sense of belonging but also will make sure that you use that opportunity in the case of an extranet implementation as well.

Develop Application Integration

According to a 2014 study conducted by Teknion, organizations increasingly offer workplace mobility programs to support going digital. In fact, they found out that it generates about 30% of savings for the selected organizations. One of the main challenges that organizations are facing when designing their digital workplace is a poor integration of these technologies with business software applications (like CRMs and ERPs).

According to a 2013 study published by Booze & Company, poor integration is one of the leading issues that restrain many organizations from achieving a digital workplace. We believe that modern digital collaboration tools and culture should be at the heart of your organization.

For this reason, we estimate that the ideal gateway to your business app should be a collaborative platform.

Workflow Automation

Employers used to rely on workflow formulas to measure employee’s productivity (think charts, graphs, etc.). Today, organizations use workflow automation solutions to coordinate the activities between workers, measure production and help make work completion as efficient as possible i.e. digitizing workflow formulas into your computers.

Your production will gain in efficiency through collaboration tools and workflows for your team.

Securing Digital Data

Securing private company information is a critical factor for any organization designing its digital workplace. With social media, mobile, cloud computing, along with the bring your own device (B.Y.O.D.) trend, data leakage increased due to overlooked corporate security.

Investing in digital security will prove to be a sound and safe move for organizations designing their digital workplace. This will allow your organization to save a lot of money. In addition, controlling your solution will allow you to make sure that the manipulation of your sensitive information is done safely.

Have an Open Workspace

The digital workplace, even though mainly influenced by technology, is also about the work environment surrounding collaborators. Even though technology plays a significant role in designing your digital workplace, the importance of your organization’s’ physical workplace layout should also be considered. According to the previously cited Booze & Company study, organizations that are striving for an optimal digital workplace usually hold offices that are too cluttered which can limit employee creativity and morale.

Adopting an open space and enabling remote work and mobility are some of the means for you to make your employees happier, thus increase employees’ engagement and satisfaction, by doing so it will lead to a more efficient and profitable workplace. Therefore, when you are thinking about the design of your digital workplace, opting for an open environment encouraging interaction and collaboration is recommended.

Adopt a Human-Centric Approach

The productivity of workers is impacted by their tools effectiveness. Even though a poorly designed system automating can impact productivity, the issues they face can be solved with a better purpose of the solutions they use. However, when people use digital collaboration tools, organizations need to address a more complex dynamic between the people and the tools. To succeed in creating a productive environment and reducing frictions, organizations should absolutely understand the context to address productivity.

To do so, you should consider these 3 essential elements:

  •         Be realistic towards what the technology can offer: indeed, you need to understand what value the technology brings to the table to avoid under or overestimation of productivity benefits
  •         Have empathy towards your collaborators: understanding their needs and wants. Seek and understand users that need informed and rational requirements
  •         Solve productivity issues with your collaborators: in fact, there is a myriad of techniques (personas, agile approach and co-design) allowing you to come up with the right solution and engage your workers

A human-centric approach to designing and implementing your digital workplace will not only reduce the project failing, but it will also ensure your productivity outcomes.
In this increasingly digitalized world, embracing a digital workplace is becoming more common for businesses that are aiming to be up-to-speed. Taking into consideration not only the technology of your digital workplace but also its design should allow you to build a steady open workspace.

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Patrice Lamarque

I am the product officer at eXo. I oversee product management and product marketing. My teams design, create and promote the features of and improvements to eXo Platform. As a former enterprise software developer turned product manager, I have a passion for how IT can improve people’s lives. In this blog, I write about some of my personal interests, such as productivity, alternative forms of management and corporate organisations, collaboration, open-source and emerging technologies..

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