What is a Digital Workplace?

Intranets have evolved enormously in recent years. The simple static pages that presented articles and sometimes documents were first replaced by CMS (Content Management System) to boost content publishing. Then came the social and collaborative platforms, now known as the Digital Workplace. But is it just a marketing term?

Digital Workplace : definition

The Digital Workplace is the employee's digital working environment. At Jalios, we define it as the single point of access enabling employees to access everything they need to work effectively: information, applications, knowledge and also people.

Thus, the Digital Workplace is also composed by extension of all the digital tools that are useful, and whose integration allows a more personalised and fluid employee experience. It generally includes real-time communication applications such as instant messaging, video conferencing and online collaboration tools, as well as project management applications and file sharing tools. It may also include business applications and task automation tools.

Jalios JPlatform - Digital Workplace definition  


What are the objectives of a Digital Workplace?

The main objective of a Digital Workplace is to make it easier and more efficient for employees to work, no matter where they are, in the office, teleworking, on the road or in the field, and what device they are using: PC, tablet, mobile. It thus contributes both to the quality of life in the company, by offering a better employee experience, and to the productivity of companies thanks to the time it saves for everyone.

This objective of individual and collective efficiency requires the optimisation of the employee path to better communication, collaboration, and knowledge management.

Communication corresponds to the traditional mission of internal communication, to disseminate a corporate vision, to inform all employees, wherever they may be, of the objectives, direction and results of their company. Communication also responds to another key challenge: how to create commitment and give employees a voice?

Collaboration involves many tools and modes of collaboration, from simple co-editing to task management tools or dedicated collaborative spaces that bring together in one place all the information relating to a project or a community. The Digital Workplace aims to make this collaboration more fluid, both internally and externally, by reducing email exchanges.

Knowledge management, which is essential to the sustainability of companies, is also an objective of the Digital Workplace: it must allow knowledge to be capitalised but also facilitate its accessibility and sharing at any time.


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What are the benefits of using a Digital Workplace?

The Digital Workplace is a key element in the digital transformation of businesses and offers many benefits, including improved collaboration between teams, a better and more personalised user experience, reduced infrastructure management costs and greater flexibility for remote working.

The Digital Workplace helps to structure the digital working environment for employees, providing a better, more fluid and efficient experience. It also strengthens the social bond, the sense of belonging, collaboration and sharing, thanks to a unified platform that allows the whole organisation to speak the same language, in real time.

In their daily work, employees use a sometimes very large number of applications. The Digital Workplace makes it possible to access them quickly but also more easily and to see them more clearly. For example, with SSO (Single Sign On) solutions, which save the employee from having to authenticate several times. Applications can also be integrated into the Digital Workplace by feeding back indicators, information and alerts.

The Digital Workplace also helps organisations to improve their agility, their ability to adapt quickly to market changes, but also data security. Indeed, it enables the integration of new tools and new, more collaborative and more agile working methods into the daily lives of employees, with clearer data governance that integrates security issues upstream.


How do you measure the effectiveness of a Digital Workplace?

Like your physical office or meeting room, but in a digital dimension, a good Digital Workplace allows everyone to organise it according to their habits and preferences. Moreover, the tools and constraints differ according to each professional sector, so the Digital Workplace must adapt to the needs of the organisations and not impose itself.

It must be usable by all employees, even those who are not permanently in front of a screen or who do not have a workstation. It is also aimed at employees who are on the move.

The adoption rate of a digital workplace is a good first indicator of its usefulness. We need to look at the number of active users as well as the frequency with which they use it, or the speed with which it is adopted. Beyond this quantitative indicator, the effectiveness of a digital workplace can be measured through user surveys: does it meet their needs? 

In general, it is essential to carefully monitor the uses of the Digital Workplace and adjust it so that it constantly meets the needs of employees and is useful to them.


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What are the best practices for managing a Digital Workplace?

The Digital Workplace should be a daily tool for the employee. It should contain the information and tools they need to be effective. But efficiency is not just personal. The Digital Workplace must provide tools to improve the efficiency of a team, such as task management, conversation tools, calendar tools... It must also support the efficiency of the organisation by offering tools for communication and cross-functional exchange, capitalisation and knowledge sharing.

Like the Intranet, it is essential that the Digital Workplace reflects the company's identity, both its graphic identity and its corporate culture. The Digital Workplace must be aligned with the processes and collaborative practices, even if it is able to contribute to their evolution. This is why it is very important that the Digital Workplace is flexible enough to integrate the specificities of each organisation.

Furthermore, the Digital Workplace must be user-centric: a Digital Workplace must be designed by the employees for the employees. Losing sight of this will compromise the adoption and thus the success of the Digital Workplace.

In other words, the Digital Workplace must create value for the employees. Thus, there is no need to reinvent what already works: applications and processes that are already in place and that already meet the needs of the employees and the organisation should be integrated and not replaced by the Digital Workplace.

How to manage the transition to a Digital Workplace?

Digital Workplace projects are often part of the evolution or redesign of an intranet. What is the difference with the old intranets? The most significant element of the Digital Workplace is the user, it is user-centric and must be designed with the user in mind.  It is a cockpit in which he can perform all his tasks and information, without having to switch constantly from one environment to another.

For any Digital Workplace project, it will first be necessary to assess the needs through user surveys or workshops. It will also be necessary to think about what needs to be taken over from the existing system, whether it is articles, publications, or documents.

The choice of architecture and hosting will also be critical. Jalios offers both SaaS in the Cloud and on-premise deployment, or a mix of the two with its PaaS offering. Each of these options has its own advantages, which must be studied before the project begins.

Digital Workplace projects also benefit from being deployed an agile way: with an initial scope that often first addresses communication or collaboration issues, before moving on to more advanced uses or those that require more digital maturity.


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Digital Workplace FAQ

What is a Digital Workplace? 

A Digital Workplace is a virtual working environment that gives employees access to all the information, applications, knowledge and people they need to work together effectively.

What are the benefits of a Digital Workplace?

The Digital Workplace helps to structure the digital working environment of employees and thus offer them a better, more fluid and more efficient experience. It also strengthens the social bond, the sense of belonging, collaboration and sharing, thanks to a unified platform that allows the whole organisation to speak the same language.


What technologies are needed for a Digital Workplace?

The Digital Workplace acts as a link in the information system and must be based on open technologies and standards. At Jalios, this means a web application accessible from any device. The Digital Workplace will offer an optimized user experience with a dedicated mobile application.

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