For researcher Jane McConnel,"The Digital Workplace is at the intersection of people, organization and tools,"emphasizing that technology is only one dimension of the Digital Workplace.
It is important not to fall into the trap of introducing technology for technology. Technology remains at the service of the company, and it must not be to the detriment of the individual within the company. It is this awareness of the importance of the individual that turns organizations into new organizational models. Whereas individuals were seen as "interchangeable resources", the emphasis is now on the individuality and personal development of employees.
The digital transformation of companies began with business IT tools in order to increase productivity for the company. With the Digital Workplace, digital transformation re-appropriates a human dimension and begins a rebalancing towards the well-being of individuals. In a way, the Digital Workplace brings people and business together.
Let's look at this through three cases that are common in companies.
The arrival of the email has transformed the work into a company, whether it is to ask for information, inform, have a decision validated. Almost instantaneous, the email allows you to keep a written record. With the copying system (bcc and cc), it can be distributed to several people. But email is reaching its limits: employees find themselves with piles of messages to be processed, and important information is flooded with them. Time-consuming email serves the productivity of individuals.
The Digital Workplace introduces a range of tools adapted and differentiated according to content and intent. Significant news items related to internal communication may be the subject of editorial articles that will be recommended with follow-up by readers. Working documents no longer have to be sent by email, they are available in a unique way, with their complete history and electronic document management features. Frequently asked questions are capitalized in a collaborative FAQ. Instant messaging (webchat) provides a more fluid alternative to email and less intrusive than the phone. The collaborative planning tool replaces long email exchanges to find the time slot that suits the greatest number of people.
Out of sight, out of mind. This goes for the life of mobile trades. They are, however, essential to the success of the company, especially when it comes to sales or deployment teams, they are asked to increase their performance, but they lose the link and the meaning of their work in a structure impoverished by human interaction.
With the Digital Workplace, you can recreate the atmosphere around the coffee machine, the office where you meet with colleagues and make informal news. With micro-blogging and comments, you can share your mood, the news whether good or bad, you can even make a joke. A win-win business, participation in an event, information gleaned from a conversation or web search, about a competitor, a product, etc., thus contributing to a collaborative watch. With collaborative spaces or communities of practice, we also recreate a esprit de corps for people who are not physically in the same office. This goes hand-in-hand with a custom-designed desktop that allows individuals to organize their virtual workspace, making it easier for them to access the tools they use most often.
The productivity of the company depends on an optimization that is difficult to question at the individual level, because the individual does not seem to have the weight in front of the organization. Yet this is what we are rediscovering today: innovations come from the field. Not succeeding in making them emerge is as much a loss for the company as it is a source of frustration for individuals.
The Digital Workplace helps level the organization to give visibility to ideas and improvement initiatives. They are no longer lost in a cardboard idea box in the HR department or in the mailboxes of a few employees with other priorities. They are no longer quickly forgotten words quickly exchanged during the lunch break. An idea can be born in a micro-blogging, then brought into a discussion forum, where we can measure its relevance with votes and comments, before being formalized in a wiki form, which can be associated with a task to prioritize in a project. It may be recommended to certain key recipients and in all visible cases to all those who might be impacted by this idea.
These everyday examples show how the Digital Workplace offers more comfort, autonomy and impact for individuals. There are many of them and the Digital Workplace goes far beyond that. It is the manifestation and technological instrument of a cultural change of organization, redefining the relationships and expectations between the organization and its constituent individuals.