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The Challenges of the Digital Workplace and How to Overcome Them

 The digital workplace offers an exciting new frontier in how we think about work. However, like any form of technological disruption, businesses must overcome specific challenges to unlock the potential benefits of this change.

Let’s explore some of these roadblocks and see how a digital adoption platform (DAP) can provide an elegant solution.

Image by DCStudio on Freepik

What is the digital workplace?

The digital workplace is a decentralized work ecosystem connected by digital devices, tools, and platforms, enabling deep collaboration across various locations. 

It’s a virtual space that mirrors the connectivity of the office but with a greater emphasis on seamless interactions, information and resource access, productivity, and personalization.

According to the consultancy firm Forrester, the digital workplace consists of six main pillars. They are:

  • Core productivity platforms

  • Employee-facing HR tools

  • An orchestration layer

  • Experience touchpoints

  • Analytics

  • Application integration.

When seen in totality, these tools provide a holistic, efficient, and data-rich work environment that is location-agnostic and hyper-focused on collaboration and engagement in the era of remote work.

Preparing for the era of digital workplaces requires understanding how technologies change businesses and meeting these challenges head-on with proven solutions.

Five Digital Workplace Trends

The digital workplace is a response to the growing trend of remote and hybrid work. However, it’s far more than just the communication tools that will help us get there. It’s also about increasing productivity, collaboration, and engagement via digital tools.

Here are five digital workplace trends that you need to keep an eye on.

#1. No-code tools

No-code tools will continue to make an impact within the digital workplace. These tools will allow nontechnical team members to build various types of software, and in particular, automation tools. The digital workplace is personalized, and what could be more personal than an app or solution that you build for your precise needs, culture, and workflow?

#2. Cognitive AI

Cognitive AI will help teams increase their automation capabilities by facilitating decision-making and handling unstructured data. The digital workplace is about fostering increased productivity, and AI-assisted automation tools are an essential pathway that helps workers outsource work to bots and free up their time to deal with more value-driven or creative tasks.

#3. Cloud-based collaboration tools

Cloud-based tools that allow for team collaboration are already a reality. However, when paired with process orchestration software, workflows and business processes become more transparent, organized, and efficient. The best orchestration tools break down departmental silos and accelerate productivity.

#4. Mobile Optimization

The mobile nature of the digital workplace means applications are changing to accommodate a range of devices, like smartphones and tablets. While this trend has been present for a while, developers are devising new and innovative ways to produce “lite” versions of even complex apps.

#5. Digital adoption

Organizations understand the benefits of the digital workplace. However, realizing these advantages requires a clear and deliberate strategy. Digital adoption platforms are growing in relevance because they provide businesses with the tools needed to ensure proficiency with all the exciting digital workplace tools.

Challenges facing the digital workplace

The digital workplace offers several enormous benefits for forward-thinking teams. However, there are some challenges that businesses must contend with if they want to unlock their full potential.

Here are a few of the significant issues facing a successful digital workplace and how you can solve them.

#1. Company culture

Remote and hybrid work has increased in popularity in recent years, with COVID-19 lockdown measures further exacerbating the trend. Recent Gallup polls showed that 9 out of 10 employees want remote or hybrid flexibility. However, not all employers are on board.

Over the last few years, some employers have started to call employees back to the office. The reasons cited for these demands include productivity, accountability, and the idea that in-person work boosts collaboration and establishes a company culture.

The productivity argument is up for debate. Some studies suggest remote workers are more productive, while others suggest the opposite. However, there are many complex factors at play in determining the effect of remote policies on productivity, which include understanding and remedying the challenges of working from home.

The implications here are twofold: If remote work is less productive than the office, there are alternative methods of solving this issue beyond simply returning to the office. Secondly, if the perception that remote work is less efficient takes hold, management will need to find strategies to keep employees happy.

Employers need to weigh these talking points against the benefits of remote and hybrid work, including reduced costs, positive environmental impacts, and, perhaps most importantly, higher employee satisfaction and retention.

There are a few inflection points where DAPs can help. For starters, the technology can help teams learn and adopt productivity-driving software quickly. Secondly, user guidance and support will also lead to increased output by dealing with issues. 

What it comes down to is this: Does management have faith in digital technologies' ability to create an engaging, seamless, connected workplace with digital orchestration that drives productivity? If the answer is yes, digital adoption tools will be crucial in ensuring workforce adoption of these tools.

#2. Digital employee onboarding

The remote nature of the digital workplace expands the potential talent pool for organizations looking for new hires. The benefits are considerable, especially in a tight labor market crying out for technical employees. But with teams spread out across the country or the world, digital employee onboarding takes on increased importance.

Digital adoption is one of the critical pillars of digital transformation. Investing in technology that facilitates the digital workplace is one thing; encouraging your employees to use it to full effect is quite another. Digital adoption platforms offer a credible way for organizations to get new hires up to speed on the various tools. 

However, it goes beyond using training to ensure software proficiency. Good onboarding experiences are also a big predictor of employee engagement and retention, two concepts that influence overall company productivity. Digital employee onboarding helps you automate your onboarding experiences and save time and money at this crucial stage in the employee lifecycle.

Finally, a digital adoption platform lets you track your new hire onboarding. This data can let you know who has completed their training and even give you insights into which areas employees are struggling with, allowing you to intervene. No one needs to fall between the cracks.

#3. Cybersecurity

The biggest cybersecurity vulnerability in any organization is the people themselves. From clicking on phishing links to accidentally leaking data or installing malware, human error is the most considerable point of attack. When everything is digitally connected, including devices, data sources, and other company resources, the likelihood of getting attacked increases.

Digital adoption platforms can become part of your cybersecurity training. For example, you can build interactive product tours that show best practices for using a range of digital tools and ensure your staff develops the habits that keep your company and your reputation intact. What’s more, tools like Usetiful are built with data security in mind, so your onboarding material is always safe.

#4. Employee learning and development

As outlined above, remote work means fewer in-person interactions, which can have a negative effect on knowledge sharing. The success of the digital workplace involves bridging these gaps and ensuring virtual environments that help employees flourish.

Employee learning and development is another exciting part of the digital workplace. Connectivity, easy access to data, and a wealth of analytics will ensure that the digital workplace can deliver engaging and futuristic learning and development for employees. 

With the assistance of digital adoption tools, organizations can deliver personalized training based on the individual, their role, or department. What’s more, DAPs open the door to a kind of just-in-time training that allows employees to ask for contextual help when they encounter specific problems or features within an app or software. 

Finally, the data produced by the interactions with DAP could be leveraged to monitor learning and provide crucial feedback to improve training materials.

#5. Change management

Change management is another big topic that intersects with digital transformation and the digital workplace. Strategizing a move toward the digital workplace involves company-wide buy-in, software investment, training, and strong communication. Failure to adhere to any of these steps can result in a failure to achieve your pivot towards a digital workforce.

DAPs can help accelerate change within your organization by augmenting training, 

onboarding, and adjustment to new workflows and business processes. What’s more, these tools are almost an effective way to promote the education and learning required to counter the resistance to change.

Usetiful: A digital workplace solution 

As you can see, Usetiful is a solution to many of the challenges facing the digital workplace. From creating first-class digital employee onboarding experiences to effective learning and development material and support for change management, organizations need a digital workplace solution to take advantage of virtual workplaces. 

Usetiful is recognized as one of the most influential SaaS startups that are transforming the European Tech space. As a remote-first business, we intimately understand the challenges of the digital workplace and the best practices involved in achieving productivity, employee satisfaction, and digital adoption. 

We’re here to guide you on your journey toward being a more cost-effective, flexible, and data-driven company with more satisfied and engaged employees and users. Start free to see how Usetiful can be your partner in a brighter digital future.

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