A digital workplace is a virtual counterpart to the physical workplace, where employees can collaborate and use various tools to complete their day-to-day tasks. Digital workplaces have gained momentum since the start of the pandemic as organizations moved to remote and hybrid work. State and local governments can greatly benefit from digital workplaces to enhance both the citizen and the employee experience.
Still, many government agencies have been slow to accept the concept of the digital workplace due to some common misconceptions.
Click the banner below to discover management solutions for your organization.
Fallacy: Digital Workspaces Are the Same as Digital Transformation
While digital workplaces are typically the result of an organization’s digital transformation, the terms shouldn’t be used interchangeably. It’s true that the digital component is what allows organizations to become more efficient and cut down costs associated with manual processes. But here’s the difference between the two: Digital transformation is the integration of digital technology into all parts of a business, while a digital workplace is an ecosystem of technologies and tools that organizations implement to support remote and hybrid work. A digital workplace often is the first step toward digital transformation.
ASSESS: The four pillars of modern workspace management.
Fact: Digital Workspaces Provide Flexibility
A digital workplace offers employees flexibility when it comes to their work schedules and their work environments. With digital tools, employees can work from anywhere and not necessarily adhere to a traditional 9-to-5 schedule. This provides more opportunities for work-life balance, which leads to happier employees. According to the Gartner 2021 Digital Worker Experience Survey, 43 percent of employees said that having flexible work hours helped them achieve greater productivity, while 30 percent said that spending less or no time commuting has allowed them to be more productive. An agency that provides a digital workplace shows that it’s responsive to employee needs. In fact, now that employees have gotten a taste of remote work, they’re more likely to choose companies that offer this flexibility in the future.
Fallacy: Digital Workspaces Leads to Downtime and Disruption
Although digital technologies are known to cause disruptions, such as browsing social media, digital workplaces can increase efficiency. Take meetings, for example. Meeting fatigue is the leading reason that employees feel overscheduled, unproductive and disengaged in the workplace. But in a digital workplace, employees have access to real-time communication and collaboration tools. People can participate in meetings any time from any location, which is a more efficient alternative than sitting in a physical meeting room. Once a meeting is over, the participants can keep the momentum going by collaborating using various digital tools, such as messaging apps or online file sharing services.
Fact: Digital Workspaces Boost Productivity and Efficiency
In a digital workplace, it’s easier to collaborate in real time to get projects done quickly. The technologies and tools that are part of a digital workplace streamline processes and enable employees to get more work done, resulting in increased productivity. Additionally, user-friendly tools that allow employees to troubleshoot on their own can free up company resources. Government agencies with limited budgets can benefit from a digital workplace by using their employees in more efficient ways. For example, if an employee is able to troubleshoot a problem with the help of an online tool, IT staff can focus on other tasks.
LEARN ABOUT: Modern workspace management's flexibility and agility.
Fallacy: Digital Workspaces Are Only About Technology
One of the most common fallacies about digital workplaces is about technology. Although technology is a vital part, a digital workplace is driven by people. The focus for organizations and government agencies should be user-oriented. The purpose of tools that organizations deploy in a digital workplace is to enhance what people do in a physical workplace. An organization cannot expect instant changes just because it deploys new technology. Plus, piling technology on top of technology can create a mess of disjointed tools and platforms that people don’t want to use. It takes a cultural change for people to accept technology and use it in a beneficial way.
The percentage of state and local governments allowing regular telework
Source: slge.org, “Survey Findings: State and Local Government Workforce 2021,” May 2021
Fact: Digital Workspaces Improve Employee Experience
Considering that a large chunk of the population is unsatisfied with their day-to-day work, engaging employees in a digital workplace should be a top priority for organizations. Digital workplaces — where people are the driving force, where colleagues can communicate and collaborate easily, and where issues can be addressed quickly by employers — contribute to a better employee experience. People want to work for organizations that treat their employees well and equip them with tools to succeed. Government agencies can achieve this by adopting technologies that are user-friendly, intuitive, contemporary, efficient, secure and cost-efficient.
DIVE DEEPER: Modern workspace management improves efficiency.
Fallacy: Digital Workspaces Are Not Relevant to Everyone
Many organizations are apprehensive about moving to a digital workplace because they don’t see the benefits for their industries. For government agencies, reliance on legacy technologies has hindered digital transformation initiatives. Before the pandemic, Deloitte surveyed 1,200 government officials globally and found that nearly 70 percent had digital capabilities that lagged behind those of the private sector. In a separate study, Deloitte noted that a digitally supported workforce saw an increase in employee engagement and employee retention. This shows that every organization can benefit from a digital workforce, regardless of the industry, because it leads to positive business outcomes.