It’s difficult to pinpoint when exactly the shift from “office hours” to “always on” occurred. 

Technology advancements, paired with the widespread adoption of bring your own device initiatives (BYOD) and results-oriented work environments that allowed work anytime, anywhere, no questions asked as long as you’re successful, have fanned the flames of this flexible approach to working.  

While Gartner defines the digital workplace as agile, effective and engaging, if you’re like me, you'll add “challenging” to the list. 

Although digital workplaces offer unparalleled flexibility, other necessities like productivity and collaboration can suffer without the right strategy or resources in place. But as a technology leader within your organization, you are uniquely qualified to tackle those pain points. 

Tap Into Department Processes

Behind every successful digital workplace is a well-thought-out strategy — take the lead in developing a plan for your company. 

Work with department heads across your organization to peel back the layers of their processes and get a deeper understanding of what does and doesn't make sense in today’s digital workplace. 

Say for example your customer service team’s data analysis process consists of sharing information back and forth via spreadsheets. Obviously, this is inefficient and possibly error-prone as the information isn’t delivered in real-time. 

Discuss these issues with the head of your customer service department and work together to find an effective solution — perhaps involving automation and visualization technology for better monitoring and on the spot decision-making. 

Once you establish a knowledge set of department processes, you can prioritize what’s vital to your organization and map out tactics that enhance collaboration and efficiency. Taking this approach helps from a management standpoint, and curbs you from introducing digital components just for the sake of having a digital workplace. 

Cater to BYOD Demands with Device Agnostic Tech

Another advantage of exploring processes throughout your organization: getting a better gauge on how the BYOD concept is faring. 

While an essential component of having a digital workplace today, bringing third-party devices to the office can often cause more issues than ease if the organization is unprepared. Technology incompatibility is often the culprit, causing loss of productivity, collaboration and even unnecessary stress. 

We recently commissioned an independent study which found heart rates reached a staggering 179 beats per minute — nearly three times the average resting rate — when office workers struggled with device incompatibility issues like sharing screens and finding the right cables in order to give presentations. 

Avoid this by implementing device agnostic and wireless solutions at the office which allow BYOD enthusiasts, remote workers in for the day and guests to operate and contribute without any roadblocks. 

Enhance Collaboration for Remote Workers 

While digital workplaces provide easier accessibility to people and information, collaboration still presents challenges. And, if most of your co-workers are off-site, the technology you adopt can make or break communications. 

Without resources like screen sharing, web cams and social technologies, it’s difficult for your off-site team members to feel the same level of engagement they would had they attended in-person meetings and saw co-workers daily. Foster a culture of collaboration among your team and provide tools to help everyone, off-site and across departments, interact with one another more easily. 

The Digital Workplace is Here to Stay 

As the growing demands for mobility, flex-schedules and collaboration in the workplace continues, your influence on cultivating a successful digital environment will only flourish. 

Taking proactive steps like understanding and improving existing processes, deploying adaptable technology and enhancing collaboration for both on-site and off-site team members, will make managing a digital workplace less challenging and more agile, effective and engaging.

Title image "Work" (CC BY 2.0) by  @Saigon