The route to creating a digital workplace is different for every business. Needs, challenges, and your digital maturity all help define your route to new ways of working. But no matter what your situation, you need a strategy. And here are some tips to help you.
What is a digital workplace strategy?
A digital workplace strategy outlines your goals and your route to achieving them. Having a digital workplace isn’t just about having shiny things around the office; it’s a means of using technology to deliver a better service to your customers, to work smarter, and to build a better workplace. A digital workplace strategy enables you to take the right steps at the right time to ensure success.
Why invest in a digital workplace strategy?
Businesses are changing thanks to the opportunities presented by accessible new technologies. With a digital workplace strategy in place, you can future-proof your business and keep a competitive advantage in your market.
3 reasons to have a digital workplace strategy
- Productivity. Businesses that deploy Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies as part of their digital workplace strategy are 34% more productive.
- Engagement. Organisations with a highly engaged workforce are 21% more profitable.
- Retention. Highly engaged business units experience 59% less employee turnover.
The idea of the digital workplace is to bring that same simplicity and intuitiveness to employees when they're doing their mission-critical work.
What goes into a digital workplace strategy?
A digital workplace strategy boils down to 5 steps:
- Set goals
- Build a roadmap
- Establish best practice
- Engage stakeholders
Every digital workplace strategy needs an audit.
Because without one, you don’t know what you need or what goal to set. When you make assumptions about what you need, all you do is waste money, so it’s important to discover the truth. An audit like this goes further than documenting an inventory – it’s important that you also discover:
- Key pain points of your staff
- Specific hurdles to service delivery
- New opportunities you’d like to grab
A people-focused, results-oriented approach to a technology audit will tell you what you need to focus on. You can achieve this through a variety of means, including interviews, surveys, or team workshops. In our experience, businesses can struggle to be so self-critical. This is when having an outsider’s perspective can be useful.
2. Set goals
Set goals that align with the needs and challenges of your business. Milestones will help you reach long-term goals, while stretch goals can include the “nice-to-haves” should the opportunity arise. Goals, of course, should be SMART, but more importantly, they should be shared across your business, so everyone knows what they’re striving towards.
3. Build a roadmap
Your audit has given you your starting point. Your goals set an endpoint. Now it’s time to join the dots.
Start with the easy wins. Figure out the 20% of change that’s going to give you 80% worth of output and go from there. A great digital workplace strategy delivers value quickly for two reasons:
- It allows you to make the most of your new tech faster
- It demonstrates success, which can improve stakeholder buy-in
Easy wins will vary by your need, but as an example:
Building a cloud architecture to enable applications for people who already work remotely may be more effective than buying everyone else a laptop to work remotely first. From there, you can plot your route to your digital workplace goals safe in the knowledge that you’re making money, not just spending it.
4. Establish best practice
A digital workplace strategy touches on every department in your business. Now that tech lives beyond IT, everyone in your business must understand how and why to use the new technology.
This can include, but isn’t limited to:
- BYOD policy
- New service/process documentation
- Security policy
- Cloud storage best practice
Once written, these best practices should be kept in a shared space so they’re readily available to everyone.
5. Engage stakeholders
We find that a common roadblock to a successful digital workplace strategy is a lack of support from key figures in the business – some people just don’t like change. People who are responsible for driving tech innovation in your business must demonstrate the benefits and impact of change in a way that’s contextual and sympathetic to people’s positions.
Accountability and oversight are often underlooked tools in stakeholder engagement. So, consider appointing “champions” to specific projects, milestones, or activities in your strategy.
Ultimately, it’s all about communication. Keep people in the loop so they aren’t caught off-guard by changes. Listen to objections and reply with specific answers.
Execute your digital workplace strategy
Gone are the days when the workplace was a box to keep employees in. Today's always-connected, instant-access environment blurs the lines between the physical office and the place where work actually happens. And the key to success lies in a digital workplace strategy that drives true cultural change.