How a Digital Workplace Can Solve Collaboration Tool Overload
A Digital Workplace is a naturally evolved version of the traditional office. It is the sum of all technologies and tools that your employees use to collaborate and get their work done. Along with your core business applications, it also includes digital tools for sending emails, information sharing, instant messaging and video conferencing.
The internet has drastically changed how we work. A work day is no longer confined to a fixed eight hour period and nor is the workplace a physical space where work is accomplished. Employees work flexible hours, either in the office or from home, in coffee shops, at airports and even while commuting.
To satisfy the needs of this ever-changing, mobile, digital work culture, there has been an explosion of cloud-based, content and collaboration tools. Everybody is trying out, evaluating, and using different tools based on the problems they are trying to solve. This approach is overwhelming the enterprise with too many tools and no direction as to when and how to use them.
There are also the following problems to consider:
- Demographics shift: The workforce is multi-generational with different work styles, ethics and levels of technological awareness and prowess. It is difficult for a business owner to satisfy the different needs of this diverse staff.
- Technology preferences: Most employees use their own devices which they are comfortable with, and use enterprise collaboration tools and apps which increase their productivity. This may serve well when working individually, but when working as a team, all the different applications will create chaos.
- Information overload: Information these days is not only documents – it is images, videos, meeting recordings, graphs, charts, etc. Information is continuously growing at exponential rates and users have a hard time finding what they need.
- Work culture: Companies need to change how they perceive work. They need to embrace an employee-centric approach to attract young, energetic, motivated talent. Along with anywhere, anytime access; employees expect choice, flexibility and personalization.
A digital workplace solution can connect all the disparate applications and resources that employees need to do their job.
- It is intuitive and easy to use so even the 60 some year old, non-techy user can quickly learn the ropes.
- It is driven by search and discovery making it easy for you to find the right information at the right time.
- It allows you to store information, keep it secure, share it with your team, or even co-author pieces with your colleagues.
- It allows staff to work more transparently and unifies online and offline communication.
To consolidate and provide all the enterprise collaboration tools employees need, a Digital Workplace Solution must have the following features:
- Collaborative content creation: All businesses create content, whether it is quotes, under writing documents, forms, business plans, or travel brochures. Content creation is a collaborative process. It has to be authored, reviewed and published and involves a different set of people for each stage. An ideal digital workplace solution must supports co-authoring of documents, as well as sharing traditional text-based content, audio content and video content. It should also support communication and collaboration with your business partners, including suppliers and customers.
- Content management: It should be easy to view and manage content. The solution must include security services, version control and access control. Additionally, it could include a document approval process and automated notifications based on roles. Associating categories, tags and keywords adds further advantage of being able to find the content you need.
- Communications: This is what people mostly use their phones and handheld devices for and so it is important for a digital hub to have this capability. Users like having various communication options to fulfill different business needs. The solution must offer synchronous (chat, phone and video conferencing) as well as asynchronous (email, discussion forum) communication channels to satisfy the needs of all users.
- Task management: Employees shouldn’t have to navigate to an alternate application to manage their tasks. If they work in the digital workplace environment, it only makes sense to have them create, manage and update their tasks there as well. This will ensure consistency, will save time and will minimize task/application switching distractions for the user.
- Personalized: A digital workplace should be about you. It must be geared to show content that’s relevant to you; your projects, tasks, and reminders, forms you need to approve and notifications you’ve received, news about your department and changes to policies that affect you. It should also allow you to access resources you need as an employee. It should be the first thing you want to check when you start your work day.
When you offer employees a cloud based, robust digital collaboration tool which puts information on the tip of their fingers, gives them flexibility of time and work location, makes communication and collaboration a breeze and takes away unwanted distractions so that work can be accomplished, it is advantageous to the business.
- You will not only attract the right employees but also be able to retain them.
- The company can tap into the collective intelligence of their workforce by making sharing and communicating ideas easy.
- Employees will feel valued and their productivity and satisfaction will increase.
If your workplace is a tangle of different collaboration tools and you wish to have all those capabilities in one organized solution, you must look into a cloud- based intranet offering.
If you are on Office 365 (now renamed Microsoft 365) and want to consolidate all your business processes under one roof, or if you are looking for a turnkey solution that can enhance your current intranet offering, we can help. Please email us at email@example.com and our representative will get in touch with you.