Fast-paced technological and digital innovations have not only changed the way that we live but also the way that we work. Today, organizations around the world are integrating digital workplaces as part of their digital transformation strategy to make it easier for employees to communicate, collaborate and engage.
Given the quick evolution of the digital workplace, we should pause and look toward the near future to see what digital workplaces will be like in 2025. If we know what will be essential to office workers in the future, we can build and select platforms that stay ahead of the curve.
Digital workplaces are the future of work
A digital workplace is the complete set of tools modern office workers need to complete their work. They drive employee mobility and flexibility without compromising on productivity. In fact, digital workplace platforms have the ability to revolutionize and disrupt the way employees work. When implemented in the right way, digital workplaces can reduce costs, increase efficiency and achieve business outcomes faster.
Digital workplaces integrate all the required business applications including cloud storage, group messaging tools, collaboration tools, project management, automated processes and more. The rise in their popularity is a result of the increasing demands of workers to be able to handle more responsibilities. Today’s manager needs to be able to lead projects, create custom processes, collaborate with remote workers, share documents and create a complete strategy.
In today’s workplace, we have baby boomers who entered the workforce even before email was normal, and now they must learn a new system every month to solve even the smallest of problems. Simultaneously, digitally native generations are entering the workplace who know nothing before smartphones and have high expectations for how tools should function.
A digital workplace must bridge these gaps and be a tool that is extremely user-friendly, intuitive, highly functional and convenient to use. The many benefits of digital transformation include:
1. Better collaboration
By digitally transforming business processes, employees are able to easily communicate with each other and access all the required work files seamlessly. This fosters trust among employees and makes the work environment more collaborative. It also allows employees from different departments to work closely with little to no communication gaps.
2. Improved transparency
When employees are able to access all the required information about a particular project or task through a single platform, it improves visibility and transparency across the organization. More importantly, transparent and digitized business processes make it easier to identify any bottlenecks.
3. Increased productivity
Handling mundane and repetitive tasks every day that could have been easily handled by automation tools can take up a big part of an employee’s time, which they could have used to handle more important and complex tasks instead. With digital transformation, companies can automate repetitive parts of a business process and in turn improve employee productivity.
Here are four of the essential dimensions of a digital workplace that must be present to unite the entire organization.
The digital workplaces in 2030 need to be inclusive of all employees no matter where they are working from or the device they are using. Workplaces aren’t fixed physical locations anymore and digital versions should support that.
When participating in a digital workplace, everyone should feel like they have access to the same data and contacts. A digital workplace can level the playing field by opening up all information and force teams to work in public so that everyone stays up-to-date and can celebrate together.
With an inclusive digital workplace platform, employees are able to access their work data and projects online even while they are traveling or working from home. Virtualizing and digitizing workspaces allows organizations to optimize their business processes and bring change from within.
Great digital workplaces also level the playing field when it comes to ableness and other marginalized groups by putting the focus on the work to be done rather than the environment.
Digital workplaces of the future will offer augmented and virtual reality features to employees who aren’t working from the same physical office space. The capabilities that are currently being incorporated in digital workplace platforms will probably be fundamentally reinvented in the near future to align with the latest technological trends and workforce expectations.
Digital workplace platforms will continue to adopt the latest technology to make sure that everything is kept on a common platform. The more work that can be included in your digital workplace, the better. This ensures a common system of record for everything that happens in the organization, and employees can access any of the business applications or data through a single interface.
Digital workplaces also need to support monitoring control and only give employees access to data that is relevant to them. At the same time, chatbots can use natural language processing to simplify work interactions among employees and allow them to manage their core responsibilities seamlessly.
The ever increasing capabilities of the digital workplaces will help empower the employees by completely overhauling job roles and responsibilities within the organization.
Automation is already a part of digital workplaces, and by 2025, intelligent automation will allow organizations to automate complex parts of the business processes that require decision making and problem-solving.
By 2025, artificial intelligence in digital workplaces will be able to help organizations optimize and digitize business processes to a much higher level than is currently available. At the same time, data-driven digital workplace tools will be able to make robust decisions without the involvement of any employees.
Through AI, business tools will be able to analyze data and patterns in order to make optimum decisions. This will create a hyper-personalized digital work environment powered by data-driven behavior and allow employees to focus more on their core responsibilities.
Organizations need to remember that work begins and ends with people. No matter what new technologies or tools they are using to accomplish their work, if the employees are not able to leverage the tools the right way or if the employees don’t find the tools useful enough, then it defeats the whole purpose of investing in new technologies.
Therefore, the real focus of digital workplaces of the future should be on employees. Tools must align with employee needs and always focus on keeping it simple and streamlined. Organizations need to offer them with the right tools that can help them maintain work-life balance in order to hire and retain better talent. This will result in aesthetically beautiful, immersive digital work environments in the physical world. For a workforce increasingly concerned with health, wellbeing and happiness, this will also be a key employer attractor.
Looking to the future
The practice of looking into the future and coming up with well-considered ideas and predictions is not new, but it does require rigor and creativity. When considering the dimensions of digital workplaces of 2025, you have to remember that while the dimensions will stay the same, the technology that you use to integrate these dimensions will depend on the latest technological trends of the next decade.
One thing that seems to be certain is that we will spend less time looking at interfaces and more time interacting with people in the environment. Our digital experience is therefore bound to become more physical as digital starts to disappear as a separate notion.