The 100% digital workplace has been discussed by businesses for years. While the majority of companies are still on the journey to digitisation, some are holding on more tightly to traditional ways of working and remain resistant to change. This is all despite the fact that innovative organisations have already been reaping huge benefits from adopting these new ways of working.
As technology expands at lightning speed, it is the employees who have quickly adapted. We all use new ways of interacting, sharing and communicating in our private life. This has inadvertently developed our own readiness to adopt new ways of working. Whether businesses are ready or not, they need to be aware that technologically savvy employees have become the driving force in making the digital workplace a reality.
The Mobile Workforce
It’s obvious the evolution of technology has significantly reshaped business IT environments. Work is becoming increasingly digitised and virtual. Our expectations and requirements on the number of technological capabilities that we need access to are increasing.
In Forrester’s 2013 global survey, the number of anytime, anywhere information workers — those who use three or more devices, work from multiple locations, and use many apps — has risen from 23% of the global workforce in 2011 to 29% in 2012. Tablet use will triple to 905 million in use for work and home globally by 2017, the mobile workforce trend is just getting started.
Mobility in the workforce is expected to stay on an upward curve. We have already seen a big jump in mobile sales in the UK, where the share of tablet and smartphone sales exactly doubled between the second quarter of 2012 and the second quarter of 2013, according to e-marketer.
Technologies To Encourage A Digital Workplace
Over the years, we have seen a stark improvement in the quality of audio and visual of telepresence, of real-time technologies. Cloud computing has gone mainstream and there is also a series of social collaboration tools such as WorkShare that are poised to help businesses collaborate and communicate better. Innovation in mobile devices means they are now sometimes equipped with better features and capabilities than computers – inspiring a surge of employees bringing their own devices into the workplace.
All these technologies have enabled more and more people the ability to work away from the office. Business transactions can happen anywhere in the world faster than ever before. With an internet connection, anyone can now sign documents electronically without requiring access to a fax machine or a printer, making it as straightforward as sending an email or instant message.
What was typically completed in a physical office space can now be conducted in a digital workplace. Work will soon be something we do rather than a place we go.
Preparing For The 100% Digital Workplace
As we have seen, many businesses have already deployed various technologies, such as electronic signature, in order to digitise their operations. Despite this influx of change it will still be a while before this becomes 100%. To ensure maximum success, there are a few things business leaders believe we need to do:
- Evaluate available technologies and business tools
- Decide what capabilities do employees need and why
- Decide what will best suit the company and employees so that they can get their job done efficiently and effectively
- Ensuring that there is a comprehensive IT support system in place
- Ultimately, they need to be able to lead by example and demonstrate that they are committed to the mission by leveraging the technologies they have chosen for its purposes.