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Best Practices for Building a Digital Workplace

Creating a dynamic digital workplace is key to creating more engaged employees and maximizing the productivity of the multigenerational workforce. Your organization can build a digital workplace with the following best practices:

Partner with business and IT leaders.

Building a digital workplace requires human resources, IT, facilities management, and corporate leadership to become partners. Having support from all company leaders can help change the company culture and get more workers engaged.

✓Empower the multigenerational workforce.

There is currently a tremendous amount of attention being paid to empowering Millennials. However, businesses shouldn’t lose sight of the large percentage of workers who make up the other generations. Each generation has its own unique work styles and motivations, and businesses should fully embrace today’s diverse, multigenerational workforce and find innovative ways to engage all workers.

✓Build activity‐based workspaces.

Businesses need a variety of workspaces to meet the unique needs of different teams and individuals as well as their varying activities. Offices need to be outfitted with huddle rooms, meeting spaces, medium and large conference rooms, and individual work areas. Workspaces should be flexible to facilitate different kinds of meetings such as presentations, seminars, ad hoc work groups, and training.

✓Deliver seamless meeting experiences.

Meeting rooms are filled with technologies that are typically deployed in silos. This can be very disruptive to the meeting experience, particularly when the start of every meeting is typically consumed by technology issues. Meeting room technology should be integrated, be easy to use, and extend to workers who are at home or on the road. A meeting that delivers a flawless, high‐quality experience will enable workers to start communicating and collaborating with each other immediately.

✓Personalize the user experience.

Workers need the ability to easily personalize their workspaces. Users should be able to reserve a space and then personalize room settings such as lighting and temperature, as well as the settings of an IP phone and video endpoint. A personalized workspace makes employees more comfortable and productive. A study published in Psychological Science found that employees who could not personalize their workspace were both physically and mentally more exhausted than those who could, and a UK worker survey found that workers in personalized spaces are 32 percent more productive than their counterparts in non‐personalized spaces.

✓Embrace workplace mobility.

The concept of a workspace is normally tied to physical spaces in a corporate location. However, the fact is that any space can be a workspace. Insurance adjusters work in their vehicles, sales professionals collaborate at customer sites, and call center agents can take calls from their homes. Integrating mobile devices into the digital workspace can have a significant impact on productivity. The Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) 2015 Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement found that 55 percent of employees cited the flexibility to balance work and life issues as a very important aspect of their job satisfaction.

✓Collect data and analytics to continuously improve the workplace.

No matter how much planning is done up front, it’s likely that the workplace will need some tweaking after deployment. Organizations should collect data to monitor key metrics such as occupancy and dwell times. This data can be used to understand and optimize office space utilization.

✓Implement employee self‐service tools.

Self‐service tools increase utilization and adoption of new technologies. For example, workers should be able to reserve conference rooms, set up videoconferencing equipment, and perform other communication and collaboration tasks without IT assistance. Another benefit is that self‐service frees up the IT staff’s time so they can focus on strategic tasks instead of supporting and troubleshooting meeting tools.

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