Digital Workplace Best Practice & Strategy

Businesses are starting to truly embrace digital transformation and the shift towards remote and hybrid work models. In the US, the percentage of people working from home at least one day per week has risen by 40% from 2019 to 2023, according to WFH Research.

This means employees are no longer shackled to one location. Hybrid and remote-style working has offered them the freedom to work where they want, how they want.

However, 67% of US and UK IT decision-makers and knowledge workers still believe they have a better digital experience outside of the work environment; only 8% believe their experience in the workplace is superior to their experience as a consumer, according to a 1E survey. If employers wish to keep their employees engaged, they must implement digital workplace best practices that empower employees, drive collaboration, and maximize efficiency. It is also important they do this in a way that mirrors the digital interfaces they would interact with as consumers.

Additionally, to ensure the success of work-from-anywhere and hybrid initiatives, enterprises must put into place key principles and strategies surrounding the digital workplace. This will ensure their wider company is built and optimized for the future, continuously empowering employees to do their jobs.

A digital workplace strategy is essential to ensuring success as enterprises move toward this new normal. Unily provides the solution with our digital workplace software, designed to boost productivity and engagement no matter the device an employee has access to, or where they are in the world.

What are digital workplace best practices?

Digital workplace best practices are the guiding principles that let organizations harness the full potential of their digital workplaces. These practices empower employees, promote collaboration, and enhance overall efficiency.

Digitizing your entire workplace must be fully in line with your enterprise's wider digitization strategy. It must also follow a defined vision that melds with your organization's strategic goals. You can achieve this by choosing platforms or tools that are appropriate within the context of your employees and enterprise. The digital workplace software your company chooses should follow these best practices:

Foster a culture of collaboration

Encourage employees to collaborate across teams and departments. Use digital tools and platforms like social features that provide real-time, multichannel communication capabilities, alongside project collaboration and document sharing. Cultivate an environment where sharing ideas and information is the norm. Employees are open to this possibility; 45% of employees believe workplace productivity can be improved through online collaboration via social networks, according to Zippia.

'Informa brings international divisions together using a single digital workplace' case study front cover

Informa brings international divisions together using a single digital workplace

Prioritize User Experience (UX)

Design your digital workplace with a user-centric approach. Ensure that interfaces and employee apps are easy to use and navigate, and accessible on any device. Employees must use their company's digital interfaces, so your site must be engaging to ensure they are kept satisfied.

Enable remote access

Embrace flexibility with a digital workplace that employees can access from anywhere. 35% of employees feel more productive when given access to remote workplaces, according to Forbes. To support remote and hybrid work models, invest in cloud-based solutions and native mobile-friendly apps that provide the same tools as those accessible by desktop.

Streamline information management

Centralize information and documents to reduce data silos. Dan Mallin, founder and CEO of Lucy, stresses the importance of easily accessible information, highlighting that employees can spend up to 25% of their time looking for information, leading to decreased productivity, as reported by Forbes. Use content management systems and knowledge management platforms to ensure that employees have easy access to any information relevant to their role.

Support employee well-being

Implement policies and tools that promote well-being, such as flexible scheduling. Flexible work hours can help employees improve their mental health by allowing them to go to doctor appointments, do school runs, attend therapy sessions, or take part in hobbies without taking paid holidays, according to Mental Health UK.

Data analytics for insights

Leverage intuitive analytics to gain insights into employee behavior and digital workplace usage. With this information, you can make data-driven decisions, enabling continuous improvement of the digital workplace experience.

Training and onboarding

Provide onboarding and training programs to ensure every employee is proficient with the new platforms and tools. Additionally, strong employee onboarding can improve new hire retention by 82%, according to Brandon Hall Group. Offer ongoing support and resources to help them adapt to new technologies and remain engaged in their role.

Integration of tools and software

Ensure that digital workplace tools and applications like Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, or any other external software, are integrated seamlessly. This creates a single online location where employees can access everything they need to do their jobs.

Regular feedback loops

Establish feedback mechanisms that allow employees to voice their opinions and suggestions for improvement. Employees who receive regular feedback are four times more likely to be engaged, according to Gallup. Act on this feedback to refine digital workplace processes and features.

Evolve with technology trends

Stay updated with emerging technologies and trends in the digital workplace landscape. Embrace innovations that can enhance productivity, such as AI-driven automation and virtual collaboration tools. The good news is that 93% of employees believed that retention rates and job satisfaction could be increased by employers investing in new technology, according to a recent OnePoll survey.

These best practices help organizations create a digital workplace that adapts to the changing work landscape and empowers employees to thrive in a more connected, collaborative, and productive environment. The benefits of workplace transformation are showcased in its ability to create an ecosystem where people, processes, and technology harmonize to drive success.

What is a digital workplace strategy?

While the above best practices serve as guidelines, your digital workplace strategy encompasses the actionable steps your organization can take to establish a robust digital workplace. One that is tailored to your unique business objectives.

Before you can see any digital workplace benefits, you must have a well-defined digital workplace strategy. This is crucial for aligning technology with your business goals and ensuring the successful execution of your digital transformation initiatives.

Defining your digital workplace strategy

  • Understand your business goals: Start by understanding your organization's overarching business objectives. What are you trying to achieve? Are you aiming to increase productivity, enhance customer experiences, streamline operations, or all of the above? Your digital workplace strategy must reinforce these goals.
  • Assess current state: Evaluate your existing digital infrastructure, tools, and workflows. Identify possible pain points and areas that provide opportunities for improvement.
  • Have clear objectives: These should be specific and measurable. For example, you might aim to increase employee productivity by a certain percentage, reduce response times to customer inquiries, or improve employee satisfaction scores. This can be accomplished by setting your employees clear goals - those with clear goals are 3.6 times more likely to be committed to their organization, according to BIWorldwide.
  • Engage management and team leaders: Involve key people from different levels of your enterprise in the strategy development process. Their insights and buy-in are vital for success.
  • Select appropriate technologies: Choose digital tools and platforms that align with your objectives and organizational culture. Consider factors like integration and communications capabilities, alongside how these technologies might improve employee experience.
  • Prioritize security: Ensure that cybersecurity measures are integrated into your strategy from the start. Data protection and compliance should be top priorities to safeguard sensitive information.
  • Create a roadmap: Develop a clear roadmap that outlines the phases of implementation, timelines, resource allocations, and milestones. A well-structured plan will guide your strategy's execution.

Executing your digital workplace strategy

Executing your digital workplace strategy is like embarking on a journey with your organization's future success as the destination. It's not just about launching new tools; it's about how you navigate the path toward a more efficient and collaborative workplace. Before you launch, it’s also wise to consider the digital workplace challenges that can arise.

Begin by launching small pilot projects. These allow you to test the selected technologies and gather feedback from your team, helping you identify and address any challenges before implementing the strategy on a larger scale.

"With the right resources, pilots can be an excellent low-risk, high-reward tool for organizations looking to disrupt an industry. Pilots allow businesses to experiment with a potential solution and continuously adapt it to create a new, scalable option."

After your pilot project ends, make sure your employees will be able to quickly adopt new technology by making onboarding and training programs available throughout their employee journey.​​

Ensure that your employees are proficient in using the new digital tools and that they understand how these tools can improve their daily work. Communicate why this technology benefits them.

Your digital workplace strategy must continuously improve. Regularly monitor the performance of the digital workplace by collecting data on user engagement, productivity, and satisfaction. Refine your strategy with these insights and make any necessary adjustments. Establish feedback mechanisms and social channels that empower employees to provide input on the functionality and user experience of the digital workplace. Show that you listen to and value their opinions by addressing their concerns.

By consistently measuring progress, actively listening to user feedback, and promoting an environment of innovation, your organization can ensure that its digital workplace strategy meets its objectives. Once it does, it can evolve to meet the changing demands of the digital landscape, positioning your company for future success.

Digital workplace adoption guide pages

Digital workplace adoption guide: everything you need to know

The digital workplace: benefits and challenges

As more and more organizations adopt digital workplace strategies, it's important to recognize both the advantages and potential hurdles that come with this change.

Digital workplace benefits

  • Enhanced productivity: Employees can access information and collaborate with colleagues more efficiently, reducing time spent searching for data or waiting for responses.
  • Improved collaboration: Digital tools and platforms make it easy for teams to work together, even when they're in different places. Social features, autotranslations, document sharing, and video conferencing facilitate better teamwork and idea exchange.
  • Flexibility and remote work: A digital workplace gives employees the chance to work from home, a coffee shop, or in the office—the choice is theirs. This flexibility can improve work-life balance and draw diverse talent from all around the world.
  • Cost savings: Transitioning to digital workflows can lead to cost savings by reducing the need for physical office space, paper-based processes, and commuting expenses. With everything on the cloud, there is a reduced need for on-premises IT infrastructure.
  • Data insights: Digital workplaces generate valuable data on employee behavior and work patterns. This information can be used to make more informed decisions, enhance workflows, and allocate resources more efficiently.

Digital workplace challenges

  • Cybersecurity risks: With increased digital interactions comes the risk of cybersecurity threats. Organizations must invest in cybersecurity measures to protect sensitive data and set up training initiatives to educate employees about cybersecurity best practices.
  • Information overload: Digital workplaces provide access to vast amounts of information, which can sometimes lead to information overload. Organizations need to employ strategies for effectively managing and curating information, such as targeted emails, to avoid overwhelming employees.
  • Privacy concerns: The balance between data analytics benefits and privacy concerns can be delicate. There must be clear and transparent policies regarding data collection to ensure employee trust is maintained.

Launch your digital workplace strategy

A well-executed digital workplace strategy is not just a one-time initiative but an ongoing process. Your digital workplace should be a dynamic ecosystem that continues to evolve and drive success.

Digital workplace best practices and strategies aren't solely about the technology you implement; they’re about empowering your employees, improving collaboration, and enhancing efficiency to create a workplace that thrives in the digital age. Unily can help your enterprise establish a digital workplace that does all this and more.

Speak to our experts and find out how implementing a digital workplace strategy is the first step to bringing your future-proof enterprise to life.

Get started. Get your free demo.

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