In the early days of the pandemic, I remember hearing that we might need to work remotely for a few weeks. (LOL, right?) While I didn’t love the idea, I wasn’t all that concerned. After all, it was only temporary. I could make do for a little while. Well, those “few weeks” have turned into several months. And as it turns out, not only is remote work not-so-temporary, it’s become a permanent policy for many organizations, relying on the digital workplace.
As many of us accepted the reality that we’d be parked in our dining rooms, basements, or home offices for quite some time, we started to plan for the future. We purchased standing desks and ergonomic chairs, brought home succulents and pen holders, and mounted white boards on the walls.
While I was busy transforming my guest room into a productivity-enabling workspace, I began to notice corresponding changes happening in my virtual workspace. My colleagues began to have more formal meetings, rather than our usual Teams chats, we relied more heavily on productivity tools like Trello, and our leadership team devoted even more time to communicating with each of us. Overall, we were taking full advantage of our digital resources. We were discovering new tools, and developing new uses for existing ones.
Which made me wonder… how can you tell if your digital workplace is ready for the future?
1. It’s Dynamic
No matter what company you work for, or in which industry you operate, there is one constant in successful business: evolution. Because without it, there is no progress.
So if your organization is in a constant state of growth and change (and you have to hope that it is), your digital workplace should reflect that. Employees need tangible evidence of the growth and success that they’ve contributed to. So a digital workplace that is consistently updated with new data, new tools, and new messaging is important in creating a workforce that is ready to tackle the challenges that arise.
2. It’s Personalized
There’s a key difference between providing your employees with the tools they need to be successful and providing all of the tools to all of the employees. A digital workplace can streamline this process.
Consider my example. In my role, I often need access to design tools. So I requested a license for our Adobe Creative Suite subscription, and I was granted access. For those of you who are unfamiliar, the Adobe CS has several amazingly comprehensive tools that you can make design magic with. I was like a kid in a candy store. I downloaded all the apps and tried each of them. I was prepared for anything. But I certainly wasn’t productive.
A year-and-a-half later, and the only tool I consistently use is Photoshop. I’ve gifted my license for the other applications to colleagues who will use them.
My point is, although I had a wealth of tools, they weren’t helping me. In fact, they were holding me back, because time spent with them was time that should have been spent elsewhere.
Providing all the latest, flashiest applications seems like a good idea. After all, who doesn’t love using the best of the best? But when the novelty wears off, making sure the you’ve provided the most useful tools, and only the most useful tools, is much more beneficial.
3. It’s User-Friendly
Employees are the cornerstone of every good business.
Millions of dollars are spent each year to attract and retain the best and brightest workers, and to fairly compensate them for their work. But we know from our time with senior Forrester analyst David K. Johnson, that it’s not just a paycheck and recognition of a job well done that keeps employees engaged. It’s the ability to make progress in the work that they believe is most important that makes the most difference.
Providing tools that every employee can use, and use effectively, is absolutely critical to their engagement and overall experience. So why invest in highly-complex applications that only IT can figure out how to operate? The high-tech apps and gadgets might seem cool and cutting-edge, but if only the most technically-apt employees can actually use them, they are bottlenecks and productivity-inhibitors.
Make sure that every tool you invest in is a tool that can be used with minimal effort and training.
Now that we’re all seasoned remote workers, operating in a digital workplace on a daily basis, we’ve got some idea of what works and what doesn’t. If you have a fantastic digital workplace with tools and features you love, share them with us on social.
And when you’re ready to build a digital workplace that’s ready for whatever we throw at it, set up a meeting with one of our experts.Read More