The Fundamentals

Digital workplace 101

What is a digital workplace? Well, it depends who you ask. According to the Digital Workplace Group, the digital workplace is a collection of all the digital tools provided by an organization to allow its employees to do their jobs. Building on this definition, a digital workplace is a unified workplace where tech-based solutions and tools allow employees to be productive, creative, and engaged – anytime, anywhere. It's about creating a digital destination that connects your People, Processes and Information in an effort to improve employee productivity, drive innovation and create competitive advantage.

Success in today’s competitive marketplace is often measured by how quickly a company adapts to market conditions, industry trends, competitive threats, and an ever-changing workforce. The speed at which a company’s information can flow through its internal network is a crucial factor in its ability to act quickly on major business decisions.

When the flow of information is stalled or derailed, the results can be detrimental to a company’s bottom line:
  1. Time is wasted looking for information or expertise, and duplicating or re-creating work.
  2. Knowledge and expertise are locked inside the minds and memory of your employees
  3. Projects stall because teams spend more time talking about work than actually doing it.
  4. Trust in leadership wanes due to a lack of direction and accountability.
  5. Employees become disengaged and less productive at work.
Knowing that these effects can have a negative and lasting impact on the future of their business, many companies are urgently turning to a modern intranet solution to solve these challenges.   

Ten key digital workplace attributes


Create a digital destination

Think of your digital workplace as a single destination for your organization - a digital doorway, so to speak. It is a place where your employees start their day, and where they come back to communicate, collaborate and work with others. Be sure to design a digital destination that:
  • Is easy to use
  • Supports your corporate culture
  • Promotes your corporate brand
  • Is compelling and relevant to your employees and their work
  • Is fun and social

Solve real business challenges

The primary purpose of a digital workplace is to help organizations solve business challenges. Be sure that you have defined and prioritized those challenges and have clear goals, objectives and measures to address them.


Set up "Instant On"

Don't make your users find your digital workplace, bring it to them. Configure single sign on and set the site as the default homepage in the corporate browser.


Make it easy to use

The KISS rule, rules. Try and keep your digital workplace simple and easy to use. Too many organizations try to do to much, and end up confusing their end users. Think about a crawl, walk, run strategy.


Make it fun and engaging

All work and no play will make your digital workplace dull and boring. Be sure to make it fun (e.g. add a social zone) and encourage, even reward two way communications.


Make it mobile friendly

The nature of work is changing. Work is more virtual than ever before.


Embrace email

You can't forget about your email junkies. Remember, your Gen X and baby boomers grew up in the digital world relying on email as their primary communication tool.


Centralize employee authentication

Adding, removing and managing users can be a daunting task. Simplify this process by using a centralized directory tool such as Active Directory.


Integrate with other applications

Your digital workplace must play nice with the other applications in your organization. Employees have their favorite productivity tools and companies standardize on corporate tools. Be sure you have a plan so that these tools work seamlessly in your solution.


Measure success from data

You have big dreams for your digital workplace solution. You have put the time in to create a strategy with key goals, objectives and timelines. Be sure your are ready to measure and validate your success from analytics.


Playbook Tip

Before embarking on your digital transformation journey, take the time to determine the maturity level of your organization. Implementing a digital workplace solution that is too complex often leads to poor employee adoption and engagement.

Key Resources


A Digital Workplace Defined

The traditional and archaic intranet system is not enough to empower today's workforce. Enter the digital workplace. Download this 10-page guide to learn the characteristics and benefits of a digital workplace, and the steps you can take to move your organization along the journey of digital transformation.

Read the guide

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