Employees who relish the latest devices and online services in their consumer life expect that these same capabilities and conveniences will carry over to their work life. Workplaces that meet these expectations will keep employees more engaged and productive, while inviting more innovative thinking and aspired growth. Conversely, watercooler talk about backward technology, poor implementations or old-school approaches can quickly flow through and beyond the organization, damaging morale and discouraging potential new hires.
Business leaders tasked with creating today’s productive digital workplaces should curb their urge to quickly adopt the latest technologies, instead setting a comprehensive and rational strategy to adopt what’s practical and possible. Too often, ambitious intentions collide with the stark reality of aged processes and IT infrastructure. This can impede progress or, even worse, lead to failed implementations.
There’s no holding back the exploration of new smart devices and technologies that aim to redefine work as we know it. Artificial intelligence (AI), automation, virtual assistants and Internet of Things (IoT)-connected devices can significantly elevate efficiencies and bring new levels of employee freedom, collaboration and intelligence. However, taking a piecemeal approach to digital add-ons is like juggling blindfolded. When balls drop, hopes are dashed. Employees expect workplace technologies to work right the first time and deliver on expectations. They want to be free from IT hassles and constraints. Leaders must draft a holistic plan to meet these needs.
You may recall that the bring your own device (BYOD) movement was a major undertaking for some early movers. They likely didn’t account for what was to come next — security and compliance requirements were secondary thoughts. Today, business leaders must be more digitally astute. As bots run processes, automation controls environments, and connected devices proliferate, it’s important to ensure proper diligence and stay in step with the digital workplace strategy.
The journey to create a more digital workplace is paved with myriad ways of working and doing business. Virtually every aspect of the workplace is evolving toward smart devices and more intelligent tools. As organizations advance on their digital workplace strategy, here are four important innovations and their associated considerations to support adoption.