What does a Digital Workplace look like?

It is more than just an Intranet

For people who have an Intranet at their organisation, there is a natural place to go to that people can say "There's the Intranet". When it comes to a Digital Workplace, is there the same thing? How is it different?

The key is to have a hub that supplies three main functions for all staff, regardless of their location or area of the organisation:

  • Stay updated
  • Stay productive
  • Stay connected

Many current intranets are news driven and is often the key way that people across the organisation find out what is happening. Even in the modern workplaces, having an overall company vision is key and the central hub is vital to driving this still. Sharing what is happening in different areas and helping staff engage with these happenings ensures that you have an organisation moving along in the same direction, with the same goals and aims. But this is not everything.

How you start your day?

Think about how you start your day - what is the first thing you do? Check your email? Check a to-do list? Pick up the latest research? Confirm the latest sales figures? Where do you start with this? Most people now have to wade through their emails to get all of the above and this is where distraction kicks in. Instead of reading your latest research, you end up distracted by a different conversation. If you had a central hub showing all these items immediately, you can set up what is most important to you up front and quickly and easily get to your next set of items.

There is more than just functions at work though, there is also people - organisations are powered by the people that work there and the connections that exist are what enable work to happen. Social platforms help power these connections and set up teams and communities that would require huge effort to set in place without the natural evolution. Have an idea on how you could better support clients? Share it on a connection and join in with others who have similar ideas and can help.

So what about Office 365?

There are many platforms out there and ones that can be developed. The power that Office 365 brings to the table is a set of tools that most organisations are familiar with (Outlook, Word, PowerPoint) but now being brought together with the power of AI and Machine Learning to help get an understanding of what you are most likely to be working on and what people connected to you are doing. While updates/news have long been possible and enterprise social networks have become established with many organisations, the difference that Office 365 now brings is the ability to become more productive. One of the new examples of this has been where Cortana can now analyse your mails and if you have promised to reply to someone or create an action then it will automatically create that as a task. No more remembering at the end of each day to go through your notes and set up tasks for the next few days, Office 365 can start to do it for you. This is where productivity can start to be improved, allowing people to focus on important tasks without changing the way that they work.

Help me to help you

The key to all this is to have self-service, allowing people to do things themselves without waiting. Making things simple and easy to use with guidance available digitally. Many of the latest features of Office 365 have been about helping power users to be able to get things done without needing developer support. There is lots of help and support around Office and this can be supplemented with tools like WalkMe to provide the right guidance at the right time. Bots are now available to be created so that people can talk in natural language and get to the items they need. With PowerApps and Flow, users can create their own mobile first applications based on what they want.

My next couple of blog posts will tie together a few of these items mentioned and show how you could create a daily reminder to set your tasks for today and focussed on your key goals.