Since quite some time now, the so-called digital workspace is on everyone’s mind. When companies use it correctly, a digital workspace can lead to better communication within the team. Whole work processes can be designed in a much less complicated way and lead to less mistakes in the business operations.
Just like digitization overall, the digital workplace can lead to a better standing in the market for companies that know how to take advantage of the opportunities in this area.
The Digital Workspace in SME
Some companies have already completely integrated the digital workspace in their processes. For others, there are still a lot of problems. Overall, larger companies have dealt with the idea of a digital workspace much better than small and medium-sized companies.
However, SME have a lot of advantages when introducing and implementing the digitial workspace in their companies.
- Digitization is a topic for management. And when the top manager introduces the digital workspace, the employees tend to happily go for it.
- In small and medium-sized companies, processes tend to be more centralized and the number of tools in use in the various departments is limited.
Both of these realities support the successful introduction of a digital workspace. As soon as an SME decides that they want to implement the digital workspace in their company, they are good to go and things are quickly implemented.
The Digital Workspace in Numbers
The study “Arbeitsplatz der Zukunft 2017” [article in German], for which more than 1.500 interviews were conducted with decision-makers and employees, offers great insights into where we stand in regards to the digital workspace. What is perceived to be part of a workplace of the future by both companies and employees is rather similar.
Only the order is different among the top three answers. Companies rate mobility and technology in first place. Employees see the rethinking of working hours models and/or home and remote work in first place. One’s first place answer is the other one’s second place answer and vice versa. Both consider the increased use of technological possibilities as coming in third place.
Three out of five interviewed companies say that the workplace of the future is already pretty advanced in their company or even that they are very advanced and that they see themselves as a pioneer. It is shocking that four out of five employees don’t consider themselves to work at a workplace of the future. Either these employees work in different companies or they simply have higher expectations.
The three most popular collaboration tools according to companies and employees are
- workgroup tools &
- remote desktop
From the perspective of the companies, there is a bigger need regarding the topics „self help“ and „collaborative reviewing“. The employees instead consider „online project management“ and then a lot later also “self help“ as useful and important.
How important the digital workspace really is where recruitment of new employees is concerned (or of course in the employee retention) can be seen in the responses to the following question: „Suppose you had to decide between the offers of different employers that include the same salary. How important would the following options be in comparison to each other to win your acceptance?“
- number 1: flexible working hours for a better work life balance
- number 2: remote work and fewer compulsory hours at the office
Both are much more easily implemented as part of a digital workspace – or can’t be implemented without it.
What exactly is the Digital Workspace?
The digital workspace is part of the digital transformation that deals with the work processes of your employees. There are many expressions that are used as a synonym for the digital workspace:
- workspace 4.0
- work 4.0
- digital workplace
- workplace of the future
The definitions vary just like the possibilities vary to implement the digital workspace in different companies. I personally like the definition provided by CloudComputing Insider as it is easy but very broad:
The digital workplace is a central work station that is completely digital and mobil. It represent the only platform that provides all features or applications needed to complete the work and allows for the collaboration among all groups.
Simply put, the digital workspace is comprised of one or more tools that allow your employees to access company data – no matter where they are and no matter when they want to access it. What exactly that implies is different from company to company and depends entirely on the needs of your employees, clients, suppliers and other stakeholders.
How does the Digital Workspace fit in my company?
There are no universal methods and also no universal solutions when it comes to the introduction and implementation of the digital workspace. While there are good tools available that could be useful for many companies, the decision about what exactly is implemented, should be looked at closely.
Nevertheless, of course there are good suggestions that are universally applicable and that can support you in the successful implementation of the digital workspace in your company. The Computerwoche [German article] summarized these very well:
- Central coordination point regarding the implementation in the company
- Controlled tests of new technologies
- Less tools thanks to consolidation of the IT
- Motivation of employees/ successful pilot projects
If you would like to learn more about the possibilities of implementing the digital workspace in your company, just get in touch with us. Together, we can discuss the different possibilities.
And sign up here to receive the new blog posts directly in your inbox. The next article deals with the best German-language blogs about the topic digital workspace.
Want to read more about Digital Workspaces? You can find further articles related to this topic here: Digital Workspace Article