There’s never been shortage of new technology that promises to change the way everyone works and deliver greater productivity. But getting people to embrace it can be a challenge because it often complicates their work. The digital workplace is different. Because it delivers increased productivity by making people’s working days easier, they’re a lot more enthusiastic to embrace it. As productivity boosters go, it’s rare win-win for businesses.
But what does a digital workplace actually look like and what do you have to do to create one? it’s surprisingly easy for any other organisation to get started.
The keys to a digital workplace
At its most basic, building a digital workplace is about empowering your people to become connected employees. Their workspace goes with them, so their “office” is anywhere they’re connected. There are a couple of key technologies that organisations should be investing in, in order to facilitate this:
1) A cloud-based PBX
This puts your organisation’s communications platform in an anywhere, anytime format, and has the added benefit of shifting the substantial CapEx expenditure on communications to a monthly OpEx spend.
2) Upgrading from ISDN to SIP
This is a more flexible and cost-effective approach to voice and data communications that allows for centralised management, even as staff become more dispersed.
3) Shifting away from email
Instant messaging and social sharing with tools like Yammer are powerful ways to facilitate greater collaboration across teams and the whole company. The traditional “correspondence” approach evolves into a purposeful continuous conversation that’s much easier for people to engage with.
4) Secure WiFi within the office
Rather than being bound to desks, WiFi allows staff to take their work into meeting rooms or shared spaces. It’s also valuable for clients and partners.
5) Cloud-based storage
This is essential for working on and sharing documents when employees might not be in the office with access to the internal network. A secure cloud storage platform is also a safe and efficient way for staff to work on documents when away from base instead of emailing it to themselves.
It is paramount for businesses to invest in Mobile Device Management. This will allow them to remotely wipe or control lost and stolen devices when employees are working on the go.
How Vodafone did it
Each staff member in our Christchurch Innov8 location is provided with 4G-enabled smart devices, a wireless keyboard, mouse, and USB headset, and they are encouraged to move around the office and join different working neighbourhoods, depending on the project that they are working on.
Those same 4G devices also operate as a key for the doors, lockers, printers and digital screens, which highlights another key benefit of investing in digital workspaces – as a platform, a digital workspace allows an organisation to do more than just enable flexibility; it also enables the organisation to start driving deeper engagement with technology across the business, which benefits all employees.
How could your people engage with a digital workplace?
Imagine a workplace where customer service agents can respond to enquiries from customer bases that increasingly demand instant answers, through to the truck driver that can use the technology to monitor road and traffic conditions, while the sales agent can remotely monitor the status of the freight on the truck and update the client in real time. Or consider the marketing manager that can make use of analytics tools on their tablet while at a meeting off-site, and instantly communicate an opportunity back to their sales team via an instant messaging and collaboration tool for instant roll out. The human-centred workplace is one that is highly flexible and can be tailored to the specific needs of each organisation. Helping businesses make that transition has become a key priority for Vodafone.
The digital workplace is a dynamic and energetic one, where none of the energy is wasted. It’s a technology-heavy workplace, but one that bends the technology for the explicit purpose of helping teams collaborate productively, and feel good about it as they do so. Visit www.vodafone.co.nz/bwow to begin your company’s journey towards a more productive workforce.
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