The Digital Workplace: the ultimate digital work environment

Employees now often work in environments that are dispersed in different locations. This recent trend is due mainly to new technology and greater accessibility of online tools, but it is also because people want to find a balance between their personal and professional lives. HR today must therefore make an effort to engage teams that are dispersed in various locations, but working on the same project.

Though digital technology is often seen as dehumanizing relationships between people, it can, on the contrary, become a real opportunity to increase a feeling of belonging, develop a company’s culture and ensure contact between employees working from various different locations (coworking areas, Fab labs or from home).

HR teams also have to deal with job zappers and slashers who will not hesitate to leave their jobs if they get a better offer with better career opportunities or conditions and challenges that better suit their needs.

Major challenges

Such variety in working locations combined with the younger generations’ desire for greater independence, autonomy and responsibility has multiple consequences on a company’s management, productivity and culture.

The first challenge will be faced by managers, who will need to handle employees working from different locations in project mode. There are many collaborative tools available today, from Microsoft, Salesforce or Slack, that can help them maintain – or even increase – their team’s productivity. Managers will also have to find a way to ensure their employees’ engagement, despite the fact that they are no longer in the same work environment. How do you remain in close contact with your teams, when they are working remotely?

HR now needs to develop services that enable close contact

In a digital world with work environments spread out in different locations, HR departments need to develop their services. We are experiencing a paradigm shift that requires us to rethink how we deal with people and review our management models. Working remotely should not decrease profitability or availability.

HR today is exploring the best way to use technology to remain in close contact with employees. What HR services can be digitized? How do you keep in close contact?

The ‘digital divide’ hardly even exists anymore. Most populations and business segments are now digitally mature. Most employees want new HR services that can be accessed on their laptops or smart phones. They can for example request SMS notifications for when their salary has been paid. They are even open to giving the employer their personal mobile phone numbers so they can access new innovative HR services.

Remote access to applications is now common and this presents real opportunities to create services. Too much data or too many apps can, however, reduce productivity. The challenge in the coming years will be to create a simple employee experience tailored to each user. All this will of course comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

A spherical approach

Today, HR is focusing all its attention on employees. Companies now see their employees as internal customers. They are focusing on their employees’ needs. HR now needs to incorporate the concept of quality of service rendered to their ‘internal customers’.

Employees now no longer need to search for a procedure or a service in multitude of HR applications. Instead, algorithms will ‘push’ the information towards the employee. These new HR e-services are increasingly becoming personalized and context-sensitive.

A ‘Digital Workplace’ to enhance the employee experience

This change in how employees are managed has led to the development platforms known as Digital Workplaces. Digital Workplaces meet today’s requirements in terms of proximity and productivity. They are designed for all employees and allow each and everyone to organize their work and exchange information. They provide quick access to all types of applications based on preferences and needs. Digital Workplaces have become essential tools for employees. They also make it easier to work with other people working remotely.

These Workplaces should also encourage employees to feel they are part of the company and its values. HR has a crucial role to play; it has to keep employees well informed and should pay close attention to their needs. HR will have a great effect on how committed employees are to their companies. The connection between Digital Workplaces and HR services will be an essential part of meeting employees’ new requirements.