The concept of digital transformation has many components but put simply, it is fundamentally deploying the use of technology to change the way people do things to streamline efficiencies.
Digital transformation was a buzzy trend before the COVID-19 pandemic, but it has had a resurgence of interest in light of the changes to the workplace in 2020 with organisations adopting new digital tools and process to better support remote work.
Digital transformation is something all successful businesses, large and small, should be investing in now to ensure the needs of their workplace technology is met in the future. Now, in 2021, this investment is even more critical with a viable COVID-19 vaccine being distributed and planning for a phased return to the office begins for many companies. Google, for example, recently announced it’s pans for a hybrid return to work for fall in 2021. The reality is that a majority of organisations will adopt a hybrid-approach long-term even as physical workplaces open back up. So how can decision-makers address this evolving hybrid model of work in their digital transformation and re-opening planning?
If you’re considering transforming your business process and culture to be digital- first, there are several trends ad overarching themes to consider to best suit the new workplace needs.
Enabling more seamless collaboration is key.
Many employees have discovered newfound work/life balance with remote setups as a result of COVID and telecommuting is still likely to be a big part of how they work in 2021 and beyond. Recent research from Steelcase on work trends found that “the vast majority of people expect to work in the office, and 54% say they only expect to work from home one day a week or less.”
At the same time, employees have also acknowledged the benefits of physical workplaces and offices that are harder to replicate virtually – one of them being interpersonal connections and relationships they are able to forge in person. According to the same research from Steelcase, “the top two reasons people say they want to be back in the office are to connect with colleagues and to feel and sense of shared purpose within the organisation.”
With these considerations in mind, leaders developing a digital transformation strategy for the return to the workplace should focus on space design and technology that supports flexible collaboration, from wherever teams are working. Employees should be able to move from each style of work fluidly, whether they’re in a conference room in the office in the AM and at home working in the PM. Collaboration and UC technology can enable this seamless transition by replicating the in-person experience through video display technology, and vice-versa.
Employees should be able to walk into any workspace regardless of location and get to work collaborating with fellow team members without a lot of setup time. Features like the ability to show cloud-based real time annotations in a meeting with (and from) everyone on a call and then saving and sending the meeting’s ideas and edits makes it easy to connect in-person teams with those working from home. It also fosters a sense of connectivity by eliminated siloed conversations and meetings that are happening in-person and opening the possibilities of how teams must work today.
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