The workplace of tomorrow
The already ongoing paradigm shift that was accelerated by COVID-19 has greatly increased the usage of and changed the way we are working with digital tools. As we look back in time, we have come a long way from working with physical mail to email to employing virtual collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams. According to the Remote Work Trend Report published by Microsoft, there has been a new daily record of 2.7 billion meeting minutes on Microsoft Teams in a single day. This translates to a 200 per cent increase from 900 million minutes in mid-March, around the time many businesses shifted to remote working. This is what is happening right now, but what comes next and beyond? Needless to add, the workplace of tomorrow will look completely different. As we move into a hybrid-work world with the support of existing and emerging digital tools, the way we work will be completely different and we will be able to enjoy a better, more integrated employee experience.
So, what does the digital workplace look like? The digital workplace is a collection of digital tools and enablers that makes it possible to better leverage the knowledge of the collective organization for greater efficiency, engagement and innovation. This includes the collaboration technology and knowledge management tools that enable us to work and collaborate in teams and communities but also the business applications that are required to conduct our daily work. It is also about the hardware and technology that help us to integrate the digital and physical workplace. This includes smart screens, virtual whiteboards and other smart office technology.
As we move into the future, we see the emergence of employee experience platforms. One example is the recent product launch of Microsoft Viva from Microsoft that will help improve the employee experience by better integration of communication, collaboration, knowledge, insights, learning and much more. The workforce of today are used to consumer-grade applications and experiences in their personal lives. The experience in the digital workplace should thus be on a par with what they are accustomed to.
Organizations acknowledge the need for a great digital workplace, though many still have a long way to go. According to the Physical Return to Work Reimagined (PRWR) survey, 79% of employers are looking to extensively/moderately change digital workforce tools, while 84% of employees are looking for better digital tools. In order to succeed, organizations need to execute a comprehensive digital workplace strategy so as to unlock new value drivers.