2020 was a tough year for all. As the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc worldwide, the business landscape underwent a radical digital transformation. As a result, organizations were forced to make a sudden shift to remote work, triggering large-scale changes that led to the implementation of digital workplace tools.
But what is a digital workplace? According to Gartner, “The digital workplace encompasses all the technologies that people use to get work done in today’s workplace – both the ones in operation and the ones yet to be implemented.”
Platforms like corporate intranets bloomed quickly to enable remote work, communicate important announcements, and ensure that each staff member received consistent messaging. For example, SharePoint has more than 200 million monthly active users, as Gartner recognized Microsoft as a leader in the 2020 Gartner Content Services Platforms Magic Quadrant Report.
As digital workplace tools continue to rise, leaders have also recognized that “the key to success, however, lies in the effective implementation of a digital workplace strategy capable of driving true cultural change.”
While building agility and resilience are the top priorities for organizations, leaders must view these technologies through the lens of the overall employee experience. Ensuring the digital well-being of remote workers is essential for leaders to create a more balanced workforce with lower levels of stress, fatigue, and conflict.
So, what are the critical leadership challenges that a digital workplace can help solve? Let’s find out.
A Gartner survey revealed 90% of respondents plan to allow employees to work remotely at least part of the time, even after the COVID-19 vaccine is widely adopted. Hence, the future of work will be a hybrid set up wherein a portion of the staff will be working from home, and the rest will be operating from the office. Or, employees may work from home atleast a few days a week.
Whatever the case may be, one thing is certain. If hybrid working isn’t planned well, there is a high probability that those working from home may feel disconnected and disengaged.
With the right intranet tools, leaders can easily establish top-down communication and ensure each employee receives consistent communication. For example, sharing message boards, weekly testimonials, success stories, or even a quick, catchy update on the homepage is enough to build a connection with remote employees. Moreover, the intranet can help leaders to share personalized news, alerts, and updates based on the employees’ role, geography, duties, etc.
Olivia Curtis, a Wellness specialist for G&A partners, a professional employee organization based in Houston, said, “Unfortunately, many remote workers experience feeling ‘out of sight, out of mind’ or, even worse, feeling as if their work and dedication are being questioned since they are not physically in the office each day.”
In such a scenario, acknowledging employee effort through badges, rewards, and shoutouts on the intranet can boost morale and productivity.
In 2019, Business Roundtable stated the purpose of a corporation as
a commitment to value employees and understand the importance of investing in their health and well-being by providing support during both good and difficult times.
Social isolation, information overload, problems collaborating with teammates, and the fear of contracting the virus have elevated employees’ grief, stress, and anxiety levels. This has created a new emotional landscape at work that leaders must navigate successfully to create a more productive and engaged workforce and retain the best talent.
Research by the Society for Human Resource Management found that between 22-35% of U.S. employees experienced symptoms of depression as they lived through the pandemic.
How can leaders leverage the digital workplace to overcome these challenges? Here are a few tips.
Technology can have a detrimental impact on workplace productivity. For example, login fatigue is real, and enterprises that use siloed apps and tools may require employees to switch between multiple tabs a day.
While employees navigate 35 business-critical apps more than 1100 times a day and enter different passwords to access everyday apps, they lose track of what they are doing from time to time, hampering efficiency and motivation.
A survey found work-related concerns left more than 40% of employees feeling hopeless, burned out, and exhausted.
To overcome this issue, leaders must implement a robust intranet solution that hosts enterprise-wide tools, apps, and information that employees need to do their daily jobs.
When employees have everything they require on a unified interface that requires a single login, productivity and morale increase manifold, reducing app fatigue in the process.
While the roll-out of vaccines will assist in returning to the office, employees will still be wary and look for centralized knowledge access and quick communication of health and safety measures at the physical workspace.
Timely insights from the top management will help ease any apprehensions the employee has. And that is where the role of the digital workplace comes into the picture.
Features, such as push notifications that communicate personalized health updates according to an employee’s role, region, and activities, can help leaders enable a smooth transition back to the office.
At Acuvate, we leaders solve critical workplace challenges with Mesh 3.0, our Employee Experience Platform for enterprises.
Built with the best of Microsoft technologies, including Office Graph, LUIS, Azure Search Services, and MS Natural Language Stack, Mesh 3.0 helps leaders establish effective communication, collaboration, and employee engagement, and facilitate a smooth return to the workplace, with capabilities, such as –
To know more about Mesh, please feel free to schedule a personalized consultation with our experts.
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