It’s easier to start a company than it ever was before. This is partly because the economy is doing well and investors are easier to find, but also because the changes in technology have made business infrastructure that much cheaper.
Many businesses choose to have a digital workplace instead of a traditional one, and it’s a call that both saves money and makes management tasks less complicated. Have in mind, however, that setting up a digital workplace still requires time and resources.
A holistic approach
A digital workplace is a concept applied to the whole company. It may seem that introducing this innovation will only affect tech and office jobs, but if you take a closer look, you’ll have to acknowledge that the nature of work is changing in all industries and professions.
Wearable devices and the introduction of automated vehicles are bringing in manual jobs into the digital workplace system and both the companies and the workers are finding ways to adapt to it. The work is becoming safer and easier to manage, but at the same time, for some professions, there will be less of it, at least at first.
Businesses need to expand from day one if they want to stay competitive. These days, those expansions happen rather quickly because a company starts as an idea between friends and then it explodes as it finds investors. Making this transition is often stressful and expensive.
A great feature of a digital workplace is that, once the systems it uses are established, you could easily make them scalable and applicable to a much larger company. This will give you a chance to jump at every opportunity and transform your business when you have new investors.
Even though digital workplaces rely on technology and implementing systems that can work as the company changes, they still require leaders in managerial positions just like traditional businesses did. These leaders need to have two sets of talents that complement one another.
Firstly, these leaders need to be interested in technology and their role in building a new workplace. Secondly, they should still possess all the qualities possessed by leaders in traditional companies. In the end, a productive workplace is about employees and a good leader needs to be a people person even with the most innovative technology on hand.
Setting up clear communication channels between the employees, as well as between the employees and the company is much easier now than it was before. A digital workplace allows everyone to be heard and it cuts across the lines set by seniority or job title.
Have in mind that even with the most cutting edge technologies, there’s still a need for face to face meetings and brainstorming sessions. Renting a coworking space to supplement your digital workplace is, therefore, a good idea, especially if your job involves dealing with clients.
In most traditional businesses, employees are judged and their performance is reviewed based on the time put in. It’s easy to see why that’s not a good way to measure how well a person is doing on their job. Instead, rewards and management overall should be based on how much an employee can do for a company.
Measuring performance in this way becomes much easier when you have a digital workplace and the options it provides. However, every employee is still an individual and there’s no system you can put in place to factor in for the personality of each employee. HR will still be mostly about people skills and not about technology.
This new approach to how work is being done will have to leave room for the role of analytics involved in running an office. When most of your customer interactions and most of your work is done in a digital space, you get to analyze your work with greater attention to details.
It’s best to create a feedback loop between the analytics you have at your disposal and making changes in your workplace. That way, changes won’t come as a surprise to the employees and you’ll have to think about them and implement them slowly.
When a company becomes large enough for its managers to be able to delegate, there needs to be a process put in place, that determines how to do it, productively and without too much effort. Delegating is often one of the most difficult things a business owner needs to do, since it’s hard to let go of the control that comes with doing things on your own.
This too becomes less difficult with the use of modern technology. You’ll get a better idea of what your employees are able to do and where their true talents lie, just by diving into the analytics of their previous performance.
In the end, the transition to a digital workplace isn’t something that can or should be done overnight. Even if you’re starting your business from the ground up, it should be a process during which you can rely on the traditional office structure.
That’s easier both for the management and for the employees who need to adapt to the change more than anyone else. Have in mind that digital tools are, in the end, tools like any others and that they are there to make your work easier.
A digital workplace is here to stay and it offers numerous benefits to both employees and to the company as a whole. You’ll need to adapt to it over time if you want to be on the cutting edge of your industry. In the long term, it will make your business more productive and easier to manage.