When discussing digital workforce transformation, other articles will usually throw out remote worker stats and studies about mobile device use. While these can offer some insight into the digital trends shaping today’s workforce, they also fail to give you a full picture.
What we’re seeing is the emergence of a truly digital workforce. One that works from anywhere, not just the office and home. These workers carry all the functionality and options with them that that they’d access if they were sitting in their offices. Communications, files, data, reports, interfaces, platforms—they’re all suddenly mobile, accessible, and productivity enhancing. At least, they need to be to keep up with the expectations of today’s workforce.
There’s no set way to define the digital workforce. The only consistency you’ll find in any attempt to explain it is this: the digital workforce is a tailored approach that combines a holistic, integrated embrace of technology and a highly flexible workplace culture. Perhaps the key factor is how it’s blurring the lines that designate where employees can be productive.
Maybe you’re already transitioning your workforce to a digital model. Perhaps you’re just starting to learn about digital workforces and how that could apply to your organization. Either way, it’s important to determine the best ways to lead your workforce down the digital path. Here are a few simple recommendations to get you started.
This step involves more than merely looking at your essential workplace’s technological infrastructure. But that’s also a good place to start! You ought to evaluate your intranets, conferencing capabilities, communications platforms, mobility apps, and your attitude toward BYOD (bring your own device).
But more than just your infrastructure, you’ll also want to look at your enterprise, namely the employees and the culture. A study of workplace trends found that 74 percent of enterprises struggle more with employee pushback than they do with technology updates. Hence, it’s important to gain your team’s support when adopting digital workforce initiatives.
So how prepared is your organization for these changes? Will your teams welcome them, or will the changes strain their morale? Perhaps your team will embrace the digital path, or they might resent it. This is where you can anticipate what you’ll need to either sell your employees on the idea (such as internal trainings and marketing campaigns), or if you simply need to build excitement and awareness.
You can’t expect the right technology to come to you. You also can’t expect to grasp the intricacies and benefits of tech solutions without investing time and effort. Our ancestors used to hunt for food out of necessity. Now you’ve got to hunt for the right technology to help your employees bridge the digital divide. A first suggested step here would be to find resources, blogs, and thought leaders. Pay attention to those who try to break down and explain complicated technological concepts.
Because the digital workplace is a new, nebulous idea, it’s easy to get swamped by the theory behind it. But theory only takes you so far. Using what you know, you’ll want to outline practical, measurable steps you can take to achieve your goals. Start by drafting your vision for your digital workforce transformation and what your workforce’s capabilities should be. But don’t get married to the plan. You’ll probably wind up modifying it as the realities of tech deployment and workplace adoption become more readily apparent.
Don’t look at each digital technology service as its own solution. It should be only one piece in a broader, connected solution. Look for providers whose platforms integrate with other providers’ services. New tools that don’t mesh well with other systems will become more of an impediment than an asset. Poor or non-integrating systems inevitably lead to underutilization of the new tools you’ve worked so hard to deliver.
Despite the challenges, the digital workforce has a lot to offer. The main benefit is how digitization supports a growing array of workspaces. These digital workspaces are where your employees will share information and work together seamlessly, unhindered by geographic hurdles.
An essential component for any digital workforce transformation is a cloud-based phone system that’s hardware-light, mobile-friendly, and easy for every employee to adopt and manage. Download our Buyer’s Guide on how to find the right business phone system provider for you.