An overarching need for seamless and collaborative business environments has led to the natural evolution of digital workplaces. A digital workplace consists of a custom and flexible set of tools and technologies which are needed for employees to connect, communicate and collaborate effectively, leading to improved efficiency and productivity.
While digital workplaces are not new, they have certainly evolved. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated adoption of digital workplace solutions, which have gone from being nice-to-have to must-have. Remote and hybrid workers are the new normal, and an optimised digital workplace may now be essential, given that we may not return to the pre-COVID ways of working for a long time to come.
Today’s work environment requires speed and flexibility. A distributed on-demand workforce means that organisations need to cater to employees across geographies who are available dynamically with the right skill-set, and are able to on-board them swiftly to fulfil demands.
While many organisations are “digitized”, so to speak, having a holistic digital workplace strategy with business focus helps to mitigate many everyday issues faced by remote workers.
Rather than offering applications in isolation, a digital workplace strategy would facilitate knowledge sharing with collaboration, adopting the right tools that support business needs, while taking into account the organisation culture. Business policies and regulations, governance and risk management provide the necessary controls to make sure all compliances are handled.
Remote – what’s that?
We typically picture remote workers with a laptop in hand and working on a couch, however, when you look closely, remote working actually dates back to two centuries ago to much before the industrial revolution, when craftsmen such as carpenters, smiths and potters sold wares made in the comfort of their homes and workshops, long before the advent of stores and commercial spaces.
Let’s fast-forward to today’s remote worker who is supported by a cloud-based or hybrid IT infrastructure. A large part of an optimised and seamless digital workplace is technology, and the customized set of applications and tools that can integrate into backend systems.
The Digital Toolkit
Organisations need to facilitate remote working based on the business needs.
Communication and Collaboration can be enabled by web conferencing, virtual team rooms, email and messaging systems, intranet portals and knowledge sharing systems.
2020 made businesses rethink the way they function, and caused some sweeping changes to workplaces. Business applications now facilitate remote working, and hybrid workplaces are here to stay.
- A sturdy HR Tech Stack is one of the pillars for the smooth functioning of an organisation. Recruitment solutions such as video interviewing, automated assessments and virtual onboarding facilitate virtual hiring. Attendance tracking, employee engagement and health and wellness tools are now an important part of an evolving workspace.
- Remote work requires the right set of enterprise applications. Cloud and hybrid ERP solutions offer integrated AI capabilities, process automation, and analytics.
- The CRM software should be accessible to all stakeholders to increase transparency and empower them with self-service solutions and data-driven reports, given that people cannot walk up to a desk and ask for information.
- Project management software, time-tracking tools, video conferencing platforms, file sharing and collaboration software can all help track and improve efficiency and productivity.
- Data analytics and predictive analytics provide deep insights and help track employee performance.
AI and ML-based systems lead to intelligent enterprises, and many traditional processes such as recruitment can be largely automated. HirePro offers several products such as virtual interviews, automated assessments with proctoring, and virtual onboarding, to make virtual recruitment a breeze.
An optimised digital workplace strategy is employee-centric, rather than business-centric. Enabling this requires a conflux of people, processes and technology. Organisations need to work towards providing consistent, secure and device-agnostic solutions to remote employees.