{{gradient-orange}All about the Digital Workplace} | History, definition and solutions

A comprehensive summary of everything you need to know about the digital workplace, its usage, and its benefits.

A brief look back: from the enterprise portal to the Digital Workplace

Do you remember company portals, also called intranets? These are static pages whose purpose is to share specific information with the company's employees.

For the most novice, it is necessary to differentiate an intranet from an internet page. The difference lies in the accessibility of the page. Indeed, the particularity of the intranet is that it is only accessible internally, i.e. by the employees of the company.

From the static intranet to the Digital Workplace, a few evolutions have taken place. So how did the Digital Workplace come about?

Several years ago, an intranet was a simple static page whose purpose was to share information with the company's employees. Communication and Human Resources departments circulated documents and/or information to employees in a top-down communication approach. The first intranets were born in the late 1990s, and more specifically in 1996: that's when "Intranet Genie" was released, a product developed by Frontier Technologies that was also the first intranet-type software specifically designed for communication and collaboration between employees.

💡 To go further, find out how to turn your intranet into a Digital Workplace

The intranet has evolved by becoming more dynamic and by integrating new features. After a period of strong development in the 2000s, we can now find corporate social networks with (among others) Yammer and Facebook Workplace, instant messaging (Teams, Slack...), and links to business tools. These developments allow employees to benefit from a unique and fluid digital work environment, accessible from a computer, and also from a smartphone or tablet for mobile employees.

💡 To go further, discover our 7 tips to Boost your internal communication on the Digital Workplace

The objective of the Digital Workplace is now to facilitate collaboration and interaction and to allow employees to feel connected to the company's values, reinforcing their sense of belonging.

In summary, the difference between an intranet and a Digital Workplace is as follows: the former is a relatively compartmentalized internal tool with limited functionality, while the latter is a versatile, seamless digital workspace. In other words, the Digital Workplace is a digital toolbox that employees use every day. The intranet is therefore a part of the Digital Workplace.

What is a Digital Workplace?

The term Digital Workplace has been used for several years, and more precisely since the end of the 2000s. Although it does not have an official definition (yet?), it can be said that it is a digital (or digitized) work environment that :

(1) makes available all individual and collective information;

(2) provides communication tools to better collaborate;

(3) centralizes the business applications that employees need in their daily work.

In other words, it is a set of technologies and digital tools that are useful to employees in performing their daily tasks and that are adapted to the specific needs of an organization. It is a holistic approach that centralizes existing tools and fully integrates with business applications. Thus, the Digital Workplace generally includes the following tools (the list is not exhaustive):

  • Cloud storage spaces;
  • Chat applications;
  • Project management and agenda sharing tools;
  • Video conferencing applications;
  • Electronic document management tools.

The beauty of a Digital Workplace is that it can be used by everyone in a company, including field employees. This allows all users to be engaged, whether they are on site or not. Furthermore, the Digital Workplace gives all employees the ability to work from anywhere, in a fully secure manner. By making work possible and accessible in a wide range of situations, it enables the digital transformation of companies.

Benefits of the Digital Workplace

The benefits of implementing a Digital Workplace are numerous. We will mention here the three main ones: the improvement of internal communication, the reinforcement of teamwork (collaboration), and the simplification of knowledge sharing. However, it is important to keep in mind that these benefits are not exhaustive, and that each company can find many different interests in the implementation of a Digital Workplace.

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1- Improve internal communication

Many communications end up archived in an e-mail box, without having been read by the employees. This can be very frustrating for the communication department, which may feel that it is working for nothing and/or that it is not able to circulate the necessary information. Beyond the feeling, the negative impact is important for companies: for example, it can result in a loss of adhesion to the organization's projects and values, as well as a decrease in the overall commitment of employees. This generally leads to an increase in turnover...

That's where the Digital Workplace comes in!

The Digital Workplace facilitates access to information thanks to advanced targeting that allows the right information to be communicated to the right person at the right time. In addition, tags allow employees to select the information that interests them to stay informed on a relevant topic. This significantly increases the engagement rate of shared content, and offers employees a real time saving in the search for information.

The Digital Workplace is also an excellent way to spread the company's values and culture. Employees who are better informed about the company's actions and events become its first ambassadors. Better information also helps to reinforce the culture and the adhesion to the company's project, and therefore to reduce the turnover rate.

💡 To go further, discover how to set up an effective communication intranet in 6 steps.

2- Improve the employee experience and foster collaboration

The Digital Workplace provides a positive and fluid digital experience for employees by facilitating many of their daily tasks. As an ecosystem, it simplifies collaborative work thanks to numerous features: document and agenda sharing, video conferencing, instant messaging, document management, Teams (in the case of a Microsoft Digital Workplace)... And this is all the more important as current work methods combine telecommuting and face-to-face work, and make geographically distant teams collaborate.  

In the same way, mutual assistance between employees of two different Business Units becomes possible thanks to the company directory and the Who's Who with a dynamic organization chart. Indeed, the Digital Workplace makes it possible to find an internal expert on any subject and to get in touch in 2 clicks.

Finally, the Digital Workplace makes it possible to centralize and make accessible all of the company's documentation (see next point).

💡 To go further, find out how to optimize your Teams meetings with Microsoft Whiteboard

3- Promote knowledge sharing

The lack of access to relevant information can waste a lot of time for employees and ultimately, a lot of money for companies. Thanks to knowledge management tools, the Digital Workplace is becoming a major asset in the daily life of employees. Thus, knowledge is not lost when an expert leaves the company, and the search for information is simplified.

How do you do it? It's very simple:

  • Thanks to the availability of information on the Cloud ;
  • By doing versioning, which consists in working on the same document by saving several versions of it, as it is modified;
  • By making employees actors in the creation of content and by encouraging them to contribute;
  • By providing a Knowledge Management library and avoiding complex documentation trees;
  • By providing procedures and product sheets accessible in 2 clicks thanks to an advanced search engine.

💡 To go further, discover the advanced search reinvented by Mozzaik365 and Microsoft

How to create a Digital Workplace?

1. Identify your own needs

The implementation of a Digital Workplace must meet a company's concrete needs. First of all, ask yourself what your specific needs are and what objectives are associated with them. Do you want to improve the flow of information? Strengthen your employees' sense of belonging? Improve document retrieval and information sharing among employees? This identification phase should allow you to focus on the processes to be put in place, and thus create a relevant and efficient Digital Workplace that can evolve with your company.

2. Define a Digital Workplace Manager

It is out of the question to launch a Digital Workplace project without appointing a manager! Whatever the title (HR manager, IT manager, etc.), this person will have to ensure that the project runs smoothly: implementation of tools, employee training, support for change, etc. He or she will also have to be available to answer any questions employees may have, and provide after-sales service.

3. Remember to train your employees

Changing work methods and/or tools overnight, without preparing employees, is often counterproductive. If you want the implementation of your Digital Workplace to go as smoothly as possible, and for it to be massively adopted, you need to prepare your employees beforehand by explaining to them why these changes are taking place and why they are useful. This can be done by creating a user guide with all the relevant information, or by organizing remote training sessions. The better prepared employees are for the upcoming changes, the faster they will adopt them!

💡 To go further, discover the issues and methods of change management in business

4. Establish a digital culture

No company today can afford to neglect its digital transition. It is indeed a necessary step to promote the adoption of a digital culture in the company, and the tools that accompany it. In concrete terms, this means making digital technology not only accessible, but also advantageous for employees. This implies multiplying communication and training actions. In this way, the adoption of the Digital Workplace will be stronger and faster.

5. Measure the performance of your Digital Workplace

Measuring the performance of a Digital Workplace is important. And, contrary to what one might think, this phase must be thought out before the project is developed! Indeed, defining the KPIs of your Digital Workplace allows you to set up precise objectives and the means to reach them. These objectives can be the following: improving employee satisfaction, or increasing the number of leads. And if you find that the results are not up to your expectations, this gives you the opportunity to make changes to your Digital Workplace, with a view to continuous improvement.

💡 To go further, check out our article on the ROI of a Digital Workplace

How to create a Digital Workplace with Microsoft?

Microsoft offers a suite of tools called Microsoft 365. Among these are powerful collaborative tools, such as :

Many other tools are included in Microsoft 365: Outlook, the office suite (which includes Word and Powerpoint), Planner, Delve, etc.  

Since the arrival of Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365), the publisher is providing more and more efforts to break the silos of its application base in order to provide a seamless experience for the end user. The arrival of Microsoft Viva in 2021 is a perfect example.

However, the functional scope of the Microsoft suite does not allow for a fluid and engaging experience without the use of specific developments or integrated software.

Should you leave Microsoft to set up your Digital Workplace?

This solution, although attractive, poses many problems. Indeed, leaving Microsoft means :

  • Doubling of features: some features will overlap, making companies pay twice;
  • Security flaws, as the data is kept in two places;
  • A loss of sense of the IT Roadmap, because leaving Microsoft does not allow to rationalize the applications it has in stock;
  • Users bogged down by too many applications.

So what is the solution to using Microsoft as a fully-fledged Digital Workplace?

There is an alternative solution that does not require specific development. Indeed, Microsoft's strategy is based on partnerships that complement of its solutions' features.

Mozzaik365 is one of these partners. We propose a fluid and complete solution to allow companies to implement their Digital Workplace from their Microsoft environment. It's easy and fast: our solution allows to create a fully customized space in less than 3 weeks!

Want to know more? Check out our Mozzaik365product or Request a demo with our experts (mozzaik365.com).



Digital workplace - GUIDE

What is a Digital Workplace ?

A Digital Workplace extends beyond the confines of a physical office space. It facilitates knowledge sharing, international communication and collaboration through innovative and efficient means. It encompasses a connected ecosystem that grants employees access to all necessary resources, enabled by digital technology.

See more

What are the benefits of a Digital Workplace ?

  • Enhance Internal Communication
  • Foster Internal Collaboration
  • Enhance Employee Experience
  • Cultivate Employee Engagement

How to create a collaborative workspace?

How to transform your intranet into a Digital Workplace ?

  • Establish a Clear Vision
  • Cultivate Communication, Collaboration, and Connectivity
  • Deliver Essential Training
  • Maintain Transparency Throughout the Process

See more