Propelled by advances in artificial intelligence (AI), automation, data analytics and high-speed connectivity, the digital workplace continues to evolve, unlocking efficiency and productivity gains for employees. Here are four strategies organisations are using to drive transformation towards the digital workplace of the future:
1. Collaborative, anytime-anywhere workspaces
In today’s world of always-on connectivity and consumerised technology, employees want the freedom to work from anywhere and at any time, using applications and devices of their choice. To unlock the full potential of your workforce, your organisation’s digital workspace should be designed to provide anytime-anywhere access to all apps, services, data and resources, seamlessly delivered across all devices — mobile, tablets, laptops and desktops.
With this approach, you create flexible, collaborative environments that enable a variety of workstyles. Consider how your company’s digital workplace can extend beyond office borders to support remote workers, freelancers, partners and customers. Avoid a one-size-fits-all approach and provide a user-centric, personalised experience tailored to the preferences of each employee.
2. Compelling employee experiences
By 2020, 35 per cent of the global workforce will be millennials. Millennial employees look further than competitive salaries and job stability, and are driven by autonomy, meaningful work and the need to be part of a larger shared purpose. In a time when competition for top talent is stiff, creating a compelling employee experience for a millennial workforce is crucial for success. According to the Employee Experience Index, organisational trust, co-worker relationships, meaningful work, growth, empowerment and work-life balance are critical factors for creating a positive employee experience.
Global leaders such as Google, Facebook and SAP have designed their organisational structure and ethos around the experience of their employees. Flexible hours, telecommuting, autonomous work culture, resting rooms, self-service portals and on-demand online training are some strategies to consider in creating a purpose-driven and versatile work experience for your employees.
With this approach, you incorporate design thinking and sentiment analysis into the digital workplace, and map employee journeys and process flows to ensure that your employees have a positive end-to-end experience with your organisation. Your employees define your customers’ experiences, and ultimately, positive employee experiences will lead to the creation of great customer experiences.
3. Data literacy and data-driven decisions
According to IDC, revenues from big data and analytics products and services will eclipse $200 billion by 2020. Across every industry, enterprises are using data analytics to innovate, discover insights, improve operations and make smarter decisions, replacing guesswork and intuition with factual data.
With the proliferation of big data, you need to put in place the necessary infrastructure, processes and expertise to harness its potential. Foster a data-driven culture by providing data literacy training for your employees. Data literacy, the ability to work with and interpret data in meaningful ways, will increasingly be an invaluable skill for employees at various levels of the organization, empowering them to ask the right questions of their data, interpret findings, make predictions and communicate meaning to others.
4. AI-augmented workforce
As AI, robotics and cognitive tools grow in sophistication, jobs are being reshaped, creating a blend of human employees and intelligent machines known as the “augmented workforce”.
Chatbots are evolving into complex virtual assistants that automate everyday tasks, and robotic process automation technologies are freeing up employees from time-consuming processes to focus on higher-value strategic and creative work.
As this paradigm shift gathers speed, you should begin piloting and experimenting with AI tools to streamline processes, lower costs and increase productivity. Provide training for employees to harness these tools, and focus on defining the differences between human skills, such as creative thinking, and machine skills, which are better managed through machine AI.