The shift towards digital workplaces is happening for years now and at this point, it became clear this is how all of us will work in the future. It has also become apparent that digital workplaces need managers and office leaders as much as traditional ones do.
These leaders need to have certain qualities and skills that are unique to the digital platform in which their work is done. However, they will also need to possess the talents that are important for traditional office leaders as well.
Every business needs to handle a variety of tasks every day and stay on top of numerous crises that are impossible to plan for. That’s just the nature of running a large organization and it can consume all of your time and energy. This means that most businesses don’t have the time to make long-term plans and cultivate an overall vision of their goals.
This is where a leader in the workplace is so valuable. A person whose able to keep the bird’s eye view of the company could steer it in new and interesting directions and not just put out fires when they come up.
It may seem like digital workplaces are made so that people skills are less important. Experience shows that this isn’t the case. First of all, interpersonal relationships are formed in a digital environment as much as they are in the real world. Secondly, even the most high-tech businesses tend to have a reliable coworking space for meetings and important brainstorming sessions.
A digital workplace leader should be someone whose able to understand the dynamic formed between the employees and work as a mediator in case there’s some sort of dispute. There should also be a company policy to follow in this regard, but the person in charge of it is equally important.
A great thing about having a digital workplace is that you have at your disposal a lot of different analytics that showcase how your business works. Depending on what data you’re gathering, the analytics could make your company more productive or more lucrative at different times.
However, sheer numbers and keeping track of office activity isn’t enough to improve your business. There’s still needs to be a person there to interpret the numbers and to use the data gathered from them in a productive and prudent way. Having this skill is completely different from understanding how the data is gathered.
Working in a team implies that there needs to be a hierarchy and a system for deciding who does what. This is the case in a digital workplace as much as it is in any other workplace. Delegating tasks is often more difficult than it seems. A leader should be able to determine what tasks are important enough to be handled personally and which can be delegated at all.
It’s also imperative for them to understand the employees and their abilities in order to delegate in the most productive and lucrative way.
In the end, a digital workplace provides the company with many feedback channels coming to it from the employees, managers, and customers and clients. This is very valuable data that could be used to improve the business in the long run or even right away. It’s important to have a system for processing and analyzing the feedback as well as making all the participants comfortable providing it.
Using this feedback is a skill of its own. Just knowing what everyone involved with the business think about it isn’t the same as making a change in the way you work based on those opinions.
Digital workplaces are innovative and provide the company with a lot of new features and tools. However, in their essence, they are not that different from traditional offices since similar rules and dynamics apply to both.