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The Digital Workplace Evolution: How It Started and How It’s Going
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The Digital Workplace Evolution: How It Started and How It’s Going

Companies are now going digital, not because they want to, but because they need to.

A lot of workplaces are currently facing a dilemma: Either they go under a very demanding transition from analog to digital and risk suffering its many obstacles. Or, they keep their traditional ways, hope to retain their relevance in their markets, and not go bust in the long run.

This is digital transformation. It’s the “craze” in the business sector today, which is expected to be accountable for approximately $1.8 trillion in global spending, according to the International Data Center (IDC).

Digital transformation affects the different components of a business, including production, customer service and workforce. In this article, we’ll talk about how it’s changing the traditional workplace, what sparked the change and its future trajectory.

Digital Workplace Evolution: How Did It Start?

First, let’s take a quick dive into the history of digital transformation and the evolution of the digital workplace.

Is it a new occurrence? Not necessarily.

The digital transformation had long existed, way before you even knew it did. So despite the term being coined in 2013, the phenomenon already existed around 1950.

Digital transformation is the result of the discovery of computerized processes and the added efficiency that they bring to a business’ workflow schematic.

In 1993, the term digital workplace was coined by IT specialists Charles Grantham and Larry Nichols, according to Unily. They wrote a book titled “The Digital Workplace: Designing Groupware Platforms,” which was about advanced communication technologies integrated within a business system.

Today, however, digital transformation is becoming more popular than ever before. Most recently, it’s gained momentum due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has pushed businesses to adapt to remote work environments and new business models that can thrive in a world of social distancing.

Since the traditional workplace setup was made inaccessible during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses had to resort to using digital means of collaboration and communication to safeguard their employees from health risks. Companies like Argano are meeting these needs by offering robust digital solutions that support operational and financial performance.

How Is Transitioning Into a Digital Workplace Helping Companies Today?

Beyond occupational health and safety purposes, digital workplaces empower businesses in more ways than one. Let’s take a closer look.

For Employees

The center point of a digital workplace evolution is the employees. This new method does not only protect them from the current global health threat, but it also provides them numerous other benefits, such as:

1. Flexibility

With the variety of digital tools that are available today, bringing work home or anywhere outside the workplace is now feasible. Because of this, employees now have more options on how they can accomplish their work responsibilities.

According to Gallup, 32% of employees say that they prefer a permanent work-from-home setup, while approximately 60% are more inclined to a hybrid setup.

2. Improved Productivity

According to a CoSo Cloud survey, 77% of employees are reporting an increase in their productivity, followed by the implementation of digital methods of streamlining business processes.

The digital workplace evolution not only changes the way work is done, but it’s also improving how much work can be done in less time.

Of course, this is all thanks to various technology tools that are speeding up communication and collaboration processes by abolishing pen and paper methods, the need for a physical venue, and commute times, among many others.

3. Job Satisfaction

Digital workplace employees are happier, more efficient and more productive. With an overall improvement in work-life balance, we can now see an increase in employee satisfaction.

For Businesses

Given the increased productivity among employees, businesses that support digital transformation are now seeing a massive decrease in operational costs. In addition, lower turnover rates are also observed among companies that allow their employees to work remotely or in a hybrid setup.

The Future of Digital Workplace Evolution Post-COVID-19

Is there still a need to convert to a digital workplace now that restrictions due to COVID-19 are easing in some countries and employees are being welcomed back to their on-site workplaces? With the increasing availability of COVID-19 vaccines, is there really a need to keep employees in their homes?

For some companies, the pandemic served as a wake-up call that encouraged them to see the flaws of traditional systems and rethink and remodel their businesses. Seeing the advantages of using digital technologies, some are adopting a hybrid workforce wherein their employees are divided into on-site and work-from-home setups.

Companies that have switched to the new digital model include 3M, Coinbase, Lyft, and Hubspot.

According to 3M, they decided to transform into the “Work Your Way” model because they want to put their employees first. This model allows their employees to build a personalized work plan. They are currently focusing on their office workers, but they are planning to extend the new model’s reach to their factory workers in the future.

Should Your Business Go Digital?

There is no doubt that the future is digital, but when is the right time for digital transformation? The answer is: it depends. Businesses have a lot of factors to consider before going digital. With careful, strategic planning, companies can undergo digital transformation seamlessly and reap the benefits of the new ways of working.

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