what tools do you need in your digital workplace?

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The digital evolution in recent years has changed our personal lives at a rapid tempo, and has made things much easier on many fronts. 

Just think about all of the apps on your smartphone. You can buy tickets, manage your finances, order food, and so much more. It’s hard to imagine that you used to have to queue up at a kiosk or bank counter. Can you even imagine calling your favourite restaurant to place an order? That’s so 2012…

You are online when you want to be, and flexibility and efficiency are the two keywords in your online life. 

We certainly can’t let the workplace lag behind, can we? After all, today’s generation of employees also expects to use the efficient way of working (together) there, too, regardless of location. So, what does that mean in practical terms? 

  • they want access to tools and documents when outside the office
  • they opt for a decent chat tool rather than an abundance of WhatsApp groups for rapid link-ups and (informal) communication with each other
  • they prefer a social intranet that promotes knowledge sharing and interaction over an intranet with static and dry information
  • etc

How do you satisfy their needs? Enter the digital workplace. You can profit from all of the benefits provided by a digital workplace, if, and only if, you implement it properly. What important matters should you take into account when setting up your digital workplace? We’re happy to tell you.

introduce change as a positive force.

Imagine: you spent time and money on a trendy chat tool so your staff can (informally) communicate with each other in an efficient manner. Those endless email chains are surely a thing of the past! So, you’re proud because you’ve really taken a step forward.  

Yet it seems that almost everyone still sends emails en masse. Huh!? It’s not the chat tool that’s at fault. It’s just that people are creatures of habit. 

There are always a few early adopters who – in this particular case – will immediately take full advantage of your chat tool. The trick is to get these specific colleagues to also involve others from the rest of the group. Have them provide quick workshops that illustrate the ease and benefits of the tool, for instance.

implement a modern IT strategy.

Outdated technology or useless tools are a death sentence for your digital workplace. In consultation with other stakeholders, take a close look at your current IT strategy and optimise as needed.

A modern IT strategy must take the user-friendliness of the tools and technologies into account. A tool that’s a pain to use and doesn’t meet expectations will go unused and become a waste of money. 

Finally, you cannot prevent people from discovering or developing new systems and then using them without your knowledge. There simply are so many applications available, which is why it’s best to embrace citizen development, rather than prohibit it.

2 women working on their laptops.
2 women working on their laptops.

determine who is responsible for the digital workplace.

Is it IT? HR? Or maybe the communications department? Or, wait, maybe it’s the CEO? The digital workplace isn’t the responsibility of just one person or department. You will achieve optimal results with a diverse working group that:

  • knows the company culture and really understands the needs of colleagues
  • knows what’s what and proposes, implements, and maintains the right tools
  • gets other colleagues to embrace the innovations thanks to the various early adopters
  • also considers security and data protection

keep optimising.

The digital landscape constantly evolves and so do the needs of your staff. So, a digital workplace is never finished; it’s always in development. This mindset ensures that your digital workplace strategy will effectively achieve its goals. But how? 

Actively soliciting feedback from colleagues helps you discover what tools they aren’t using any longer and why. You can use that information, for example, to remove certain tools from your digital landscape, improve applications, or provide additional training to learn how to work with particular tools.

conclusion: don’t make it too difficult.

Every company is different, as is every digital workplace strategy. It’s good to know that you don’t have to implement all of your plans at once. It’s quite okay to first consider what is easiest to implement. You can then continue to monitor everything and expand step by step. This way, you can be sure you ultimately created a digital workplace that meets the needs of your staff and your company objectives.