The workplace isn’t like it used to be. In the past, it was a centralised physical location where everyone gathered. The power of modern technology enables a new, transformative understanding of the workplace. People and companies increasingly rely on a digital workplace to get things done.
But what is a digital workplace? This post will explain the concept and help you understand how Unified Communication as a Service (UCaaS) is vital to getting the most out of a digital workplace. Use this information to make sure your company has all the tools it needs to compete in the modern economy.
What is a digital workplace?
The term “digital workplace” gets thrown around a lot these days. However, the term itself isn’t that descriptive. Moreover, there are several ways to understand a digital workplace. Therefore, the situation begs the question: what is a digital workplace?
One definition, offered by Paul Miller in 2012, is that the digital workplace is the “virtual, digital equivalent of the physical workspace.” This definition seems clear, but it’s more than five years old. That means it doesn’t provide the understanding that today’s integrated digital workplaces require. Besides, it doesn’t offer any guidance on how to craft an optimal digital workplace.
A more helpful definition comes from Gartner, which states that a digital workplace is an “ongoing, deliberate approach to delivering a more consumer-like computing environment that is better able to facilitate innovative and flexible working practices.”
This definition has a lot more to unpack. One of the most important things about this interpretation of a digital workplace is that it imagines the digital workplace as an ongoing, curated thing. Incorporating the idea of a deliberate approach to a specific deliverable makes this definition much more helpful for businesses.
The reason why it’s beneficial to understand your digital workplace as a continuous effort, as opposed to something you just have, is that it allows you to manage your workplace more effectively. After all, no business would set up an office, release workers into it, and then expect great results. This requires management and a careful, thoughtful approach to what’s going on in the office. In that way, a digital workplace is no different.
Strategic digital workplaces
The most important point is that you need to carefully and deliberately design your digital workplace to make sure you’re getting all of the possible benefits. All too often, companies create a digital workplace from a collection of different tools and services that are acquired and implemented piecemeal.
This kind of piecemeal implementation means you can’t be sure that you're maximising the value you get for the money you’re spending. Taking the time and energy to plan your digital workplace can produce immediate returns. That makes it a task worth undertaking.
Benefits of a digital workplace
Now that we’ve established what a digital workplace is, it’s important to understand its benefits. This section will help explain how a well-managed digital workplace can lower your costs, increase flexibility, and provide better communication with UCaaS.
1. Digital workplaces lower costs
The first benefit of a digital workplace is lower costs. When people can operate from anywhere and accomplish their goals, you don’t need as much office space. This lowers your overhead tremendously. Digital workplaces also help cut down on things like printing costs, as digital file-sharing means there’s no need to print the same report 17 times.
Digital workplaces also work to lower costs by increasing efficiency. When your employees can accomplish more with their time, then the opportunity cost to any given project is reduced. That’s because workers can be equally productive in the same amount of time. As a result, you don’t have to push projects to the side, there are fewer bottlenecks, and more gets done.
Another important aspect of the definition of a digital workplace comes into play here. Specifically, the idea that a digital workplace seeks to provide a consumer-like computing environment. This consumer-orientated approach means that employees can learn their tools faster and use them more effectively. As a result, training costs and times are lowered, while productivity is increased.
2. Increased flexibility
Increased flexibility is another benefit of a digital workplace. The modern digital workplace allows people to work from anywhere, at any time. That means a greater chance of projects getting done, increased collaboration, and more.
Also, a digital workplace allows businesses to be more flexible. It makes onboarding new staff easier, so they can start working faster. That means your business can spot an unexpected opportunity and quickly hire, train, and organise the staff you need to take advantage of said opportunity.
It also means greater flexibility in hiring. The ability to work from anywhere allows your company to expand its search for talent outside the local area. As a result, you can get the best people for the job at the best price. This enhanced flexibility can be a game-changer for the bottom line, as quickly taking advantage of unforeseen opportunities is a great way to beat earnings expectations.
3. Lower security risk
A digital workplace with an effective digital workplace strategy also lowers security risks. Tracking and metrics options allow you to spot questionable user behaviour. That means you can detect security threats before they become a major issue.
4. Happier employees
An effective digital workplace strategy means that you’ll have happier and more productive employees. This is true because of consumer-like software and tools that are used in the best digital workplace strategies. This consumer-orientation means that employees will feel more comfortable using the tools at their disposal. It also means that you’ll have fewer issues with tech support and more energy focused on completing tasks.
5. Better communication with UCaaS
UCaaS allows a digital workplace to have better communication. That’s because using one source for all office communications makes it easy for everyone in your digital workplace to communicate with each other. UCaaS provides your business with phone and video calls, SMS messaging, email, instant messaging, chat, and fax in one neat package.
UCaaS also allows for better communication across your digital workplace by allowing your company to focus on its core business operations. The less you need staff and space to run your communications operations, the more your workers can focus on tasks that contribute to the bottom line.