In a recent conversation with some of my colleagues who work in human resources technology, the question came up about the meaning of a digital workplace. Putting a definition around a digital workplace is a challenging task, as it is an ever-evolving construct. A digital workplace is much more than a portal, intranet or even a SharePoint site. A digital workplace exists because employees want to work in the same way they live. Technology is a large component of a digital workplace, but it’s the enabler, not the driver. I want to take an opportunity to further explain what digital workplaces are with five facts about them.

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Digital Workplaces Are:

1. Influenced by many layers in a corporation from employees to business processes, in addition to technology, and should integrate strategy, design and technology from start to finish.

2. Created to meet the changing reality that the physical workplace is being replaced more and more by digital/virtual communication and collaboration (including enterprise-level social media).

3. An enabler to allow employees to work anytime, anywhere and on any device.

4. Constructed so that organizations have the ability to increase employee engagement, improve productivity, and, ultimately, attain their corporate goals.

5. The wave of the future for HR and corporate communications. I love this quote from Jane McConnell, a thought leader in the digital workplace space: “HR should be the digital transformation leader because, in reality, ‘digitalization challenges’ are work culture challenges.”

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Should a digital workplace be a part of your HR technology roadmap? Absolutely!

One tip is to consider a phased rollout. Build your roadmap to allow time for adoption and technology advances, and be flexible with the technology solutions. Also, as is true across most HR systems, one vendor doesn’t always meet every business need, so it’s good to explore several vendors and the functionality that each tool/solution provides. At RBA, we start building a digital workplace by imagining, designing and implementing best-in-class employee engagement solutions. With strategy, design and technology (from portals and collaboration solutions to enterprise-level social media), we take advantage of the new digital workplace reality.

If you’re interested in learning more about building a digital workplace in your organization, sign up for a free three-hour digital workplace strategy session. We’ll bring lunch to you and your team and discuss how to align technology to your employee engagement strategy. Contact us today!

 

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