As a productivity tool for employees, but also as an attraction for the X generations, the Digital Workplace is a key to the productivity and agility of modern companies. Creating a Digital Workplace is not a project like any other. Here are the keys to making yours a success.
The Digital Workplace is certainly the great challenge of this decade for companies. A true work environment connected to the employee, it is both the virtual office and a new way of working. The Gartner 2020 Digital Workplace Survey showed that the Digital Workplace has become a priority for 68% of managers following the COVID episode, going from "Nice to Have" to "Must Have" status in a few weeks.
For many consultants and managers, this is a real technological breakthrough in the world of work, a tool to instill more agility in organizations. The design of Open Spaces and meeting rooms must fully integrate this new digital dimension of work. In addition, this environment has become the main link between the teleworker and the company and the productivity gains are spectacular. According to an Avanade survey of 500 managers and CIOs, these gains can be as high as 67%!
In addition, the Digital Workplace contributes to the improvement of the company's brand image among its employees. In this sense, it is an element of the employer brand, just as the company car or the size of the office was a few years ago. In 2021, you don't attract and retain high-potential candidates with obsolete digital tools.
According to the research firm Arctus, although 79% of French companies surveyed in 2021 will have an intranet, only 39% of them believe that they really do offer functions worthy of a Digital Workplace to their employees. Deploying a Digital Workplace is not a trivial project. There is no single model to be deployed in all companies. Each sector of activity, each profession has its own specificities and each company has its own organization. The Digital Workplace must reflect this and must take all these specificities into account from its conception.
Deploying a Digital Workplace is not simply a matter of opening Microsoft 365 accounts to employees. Offering tools without dialogue with future users is a recipe for failure. This is why it is absolutely necessary to carry out a project beforehand in order to identify the real needs of employees.
The role of the IT department is to frame the project, ensure its integration and data security. However, it is essential to involve business representatives in the working groups. They are the ones who will help identify the functions that will be useful to them, those that they need, but which are not integrated into the chosen collaborative suite.
The key functions of a successful Digital Workplace
Every company, every IT department or even every user has its own vision of its ideal Digital Workplace. This will be based on Microsoft Teams tools as well as on SharePoint and the intranet portal in order to stimulate and generate collaboration.
Some recipes are common to all projects:
Centralize productivity and collaboration tools in a common environment. This should reflect the image that the company wishes to cultivate among its employees. The Digital Workplace must be ergonomic, but also of a studied and elegant design. A Kissflow study conducted in 2021 shows that for 42.7% of users, the multiplication of tools is the main obstacle to their productivity.
Adapt the Digital Workplace to the company's context. The priorities in terms of management and organization are not the same for a tech start-up or a large industrial company. The Digital Workplace must reflect this corporate culture.
Customize the design and content according to the type of user within the company. The priorities and interests of users in support services are different from those of operational or management staff. The Dashboard displayed on the screen must be generated according to the user's profile.
Offer multilingualism: even if English is the company's language of use, implementing multilingualism can be an asset in engaging users. Easy-to-implement automatic translation functions help non-English-speaking users to get to grips with the tool. This simplicity naturally stimulates user engagement in forums, chat and the corporate social network (CSN).
Integrate all the employee's business tools. Avoid the silo effect where each application works independently of the others. The role of the Digital Workplace is to be open and to integrate all the employee's tools into a single environment. This is a way of increasing employee productivity, but also of simplifying the learning curve for new recruits.
Why a Digital Workplace must be alive
Setting up a successful Digital Workplace is one thing, being able to make it live and evolve is another.
The only way to achieve good user adoption and sustainability is to ensure that the Digital Workplace remains relevant to the real needs of the business. Businesses and organizations must constantly adapt to their environment and the Digital Workplace must reflect this agility. The example of intranets created under Lotus Domino a few decades ago shows one thing: a technology that is unable to interface with more modern tools will eventually die.
At the enterprise level, the same approach must be applied. The project team must be able to evolve its Digital Workplace when Microsoft introduces new tools within its Microsoft 365 suite or when the business deploys a new solution to meet its needs.
The Avanade study "Global Survey: Companies are unprepared for the arrival of a true Digital Workplace" showed that a Digital Workplace not only increases employee productivity and ultimately revenue, but is also a great engagement tool for employees. Analysts estimate that the level of engagement generated by such a project is +53%. To maintain such a level of activity over time, it is necessary to be able to constantly animate the intranet. Whether the initial project is led by the Communications department, Human Resources, the IT department or Knowledge Management, the Digital Workplace must be led by a network of contributors. Its members must have all the technical means to feed the Digital Workplace with content very simply, in a few clicks. Not only must the intranet be supplied with relevant content to generate commitment among employees, but care must also be taken to optimize this distribution according to the profile of the users. The ability to target the distribution of content by employee population makes it possible to increase exchanges and initiate innovation processes. In this respect, the Digital Workplace goes well beyond the mere provision of collaboration tools.
The IT department must ensure the security of content
Security is a key issue for the proper functioning of a Digital Workplace and this dimension must be integrated into the project from the start. You cannot provide a working environment that can potentially become a source of data leakage or be immobilized by malware or ransomware. Recent experience has shown that in such situations, it is the very activity of the company that is put at risk. Promoting exchanges between employees or with company partners increases the level of risk. This is why it is important to integrate this security dimension from the start of the Digital Workplace project and not to worry about it until it is ready to be launched.
It is preferable to opt for a platform which, like Microsoft 365, is "Secure by Design", i.e. designed from the outset with cybersecurity issues in mind. Furthermore, data should not be replicated between multiple systems. Mozzaik365 is a natural extension to the Microsoft platform and will not replicate data. This plug-in approach is a security guarantee against data leakage.
Things to remember
📌 A Digital Workplace must be able to evolve at the pace of the company and the new needs of its business users;
📌 This is not a one shot, but a platform built to last and integrate with the entire IT ecosystem of the company;
This must accommodate all the company's current or future applications while ensuring the security of data exchanged by employees;
📌 While Microsoft 365 has established itself as the number one collaboration platform for French companies, as a Microsoft extension, Mozzaik365 now clearly appears as the ideal solution to deploy its Digital Workplace.
Agility, the key to a Digital Workplace built to last