The COVID pandemic has served to test many ways of arranging remote work in the business world. Digital offices reached an impact never seen before. The question now is how to get the workforce back to regular sites. However, these offices seem obliged to change utterly.
In this article, we will address the new meaning of digital offices. We will discuss:
- To what degree has the pandemic affected the workplace?
- Benefits of digitally equipped offices
- What are the features of the digitally functioning offices?
- What are the promises and problems of the new digital workplaces?
- How can you set up a new digital workplace?
- What to consider when setting up a digital workplace?
- How can we help you set up a revamped digital office?
1. To what degree has the pandemic affected the workplace?
It is assumed that the pandemic that changed the workplace will continue to do so. However, changes in workspaces and digital offices have been around since before the pandemic. Hence, the main topic is to know how this post-pandemic office is emerging and how it should be.
1.1 How is work changing?
Many workers do not want to return to a regular office. Until now, it used to go to the office day after day because that is what people supposedly do when working. But now it is more and more thought that going to the office should be only for meetings.
In effect, regular offices now are conceived as places for teamwork. Therefore, they should have shared desks, rooms for dialogue, and technology for talks with colleagues in different locations. It is about to use the office to learn, spend face-to-face time, and rekindle the culture lost by working remotely.
In the meantime, remote work continues to spread and is almost the new normality. So, many companies are now making crucial decisions. They need to combine distance with talent strategy, cost reduction, and business risk.
1.2 The end of the traditional digital office
Thus, a new workplace seems ready to replace regular offices and even today’s digital offices. There are three areas for addressing: digital, physical, and human features.
The changes are already very varied and profound.
- Some of those remotely employed now want to work distantly forever.
- Joint spaces will need revamping, particularly emphasizing remote talent strategic management.
- Coworking spaces will never be the same again, as shared desks are seen sideways, like other group facilities.
Many of these are just speeding up managerial and real estate trends that existed in lethargy long before the pandemic. In the end, digital change will enable a set of people and technical assets to work together to expand skills, preset tasks, abridge work, and boost accords.
2. Benefits of digitally equipped offices
It is necessary to point out the contrast between a digitally equipped workspace with a digitally functioning workplace. The first focuses only on the needed technologies. The second is a larger strategy to provide a digital setting where everyone can team up and ably complete their tasks.
2.1 Improving the equipment of the present digital office
Not surprisingly, technology providers are happy to promote their products as complete solutions for the present digital offices.
An alliance of providers of digital offices in Dubai and Sharjah defined some elements as necessary to consider a workspace as digitally well-equipped: virtual desktops, collaboration tools, secure endpoints, virtual applications, print management, and general security.
A digital office is a great spot where data is stored and organized electronically and is easily retrievable. However, some people doubt that the correct output only comes from simply moving to a digitally equipped office.
2.2 Other advantages of a digital, well-equipped office
The successes of a digitally well-equipped office are:
2.2.1 Exploit output by reducing search time
Firms often do not realize the time spent searching for documents. Digital storing allows quick and easy retrieving of records.
2.2.2 Easy storing
Firms that do not have enough physical space tend to store vital files in the wrong spots. Digital location is a better solution to save records securely and fast.
Digital site means no more walking through physical file rooms looking for a document. Digital record-keeping can give only lawful users easy and instant access.
2.2.4 Better customer service
Digital keeping gives easy access to all customer data. It equips the offices to respond more quickly and actively.
Paper forms can fall into the wrong hands. Digital files are better on secure servers that only lawful users can access.
Those gains taste little if we talk about a change in the paradigm. Further, no single product or service delivers a fully digital workplace. Firms need tools and methods tied together by a solid strategy.
3. What are the features of digital functioning offices?
As said above, the meaning of the digital office has suffered a change during the recent worldwide health crisis. This forced learning has allowed it to discern that it is not just about the equipment.
3.1 Digitalization for unlocking human potential
The term digital evokes many unlike things: technology, new business models, and new working schemes. In this context, digital means the ability to apply technology to humanize the working place. Indeed, the core is the linking between humans giving people access to data, products, and services that meet their needs.
When we focus only on technology, we forget the ends. Being digital requires reshaping structures, ways, methods, and decision-making. Thus, we will keep up with the changes.
In addition, this challenge is for many types of entities. Being located in the UAE, two examples concern us nearly. Firstly, the Sharjah Digital Office is delivering smart apps to enable its clients to access all its services remotely, at any time.
Secondly, there are demands for in-deep changes in digital offices offered by business centers to address this new context. It could mean to go even further than the real estate deals, making, for instance, a complete fusion with PRO services tools.
3.2 A redefined digital workplace
No one knows for sure what the office will be like in the years to come. It could be the gradual (and often hybrid) return that we are living. But almost everyone agrees that only technology decisions do not bind success.
Some now define the digital workplace as a business strategy that builds the work setting and drives the workforce. It is a device to apply technology for improving business skills. Others are more succinct in defining it and affirm that it is a connected, secure work setting, independent of place and time.
In short, a new digital office is not a connected form of the old office. Creating new digital workplaces means much more than lets remote work through VPNs, access controls, and cloud-based applications.
Firms must adopt a joined approach that permits even new digital coworkers (artificial intelligence, robotic processes, augmented reality, virtual reality, and the like) and a workplace culture fostering engaged and empowered workers.
4. What are the promises and problems of the new digital workplaces?
With the new cohort of digital offices, certain goals are possible. All of them meet with better business performance. These are:
- Explore more options to deal flexibly with new business chances or unplanned business breaks
- Empower employees to work wherever they can by offering improved collaboration and multitasking features
- Attract talent who values work-life balance and a remote work model.
- Reduce overhead installing elements to minimize travel, renting, and furniture costs
- Improve clearness by pushing more of the workflow into the digital space. It provides more insight into daily tasks, helping to find triumphs and chances for progress.
- Increase incomes thanks to merging diverse cost-saving factors. Digital models supply more agility to hasten business odds
But there are also challenges to address:
- They need reliable Internet linking at any time, usually worldwide and with human and non-human partners
- Any digital setting is vulnerable to cyber-attacks and other threats. Unlike standard models, where assets are more isolated from external forces, valuable data can become the target of hackers and other nasty actors
- They require starting funds and regular costs, including setup, training, upgrades, and the like
5. How can you set up a new digital workplace?
Where can we start to unlock the human potential that will drive a digital change? It depends on the level of digital maturity of your organization.
Digital maturation is a flexible and endless process. It means lining up the culture, structure, and tasks to compete soundly. All the organizational elements must work together over time, in a consistent manner, in highly volatile markets. It is a challenge for managers at the helm of their firms.
Digital offices in the UAE are excellent spots for studying these events. Recently, we could see the transition from today’s well-equipped digital offices to the new digitally functioning offices in Dubai and Sharjah, locations quite mature in offering the best digital services.
5.1 What are the components of a new digital workplace model?
Briefly, new digital workplace models must include this set of vital gears:
It is critical to the success of any digital workplace. It is to interact and work together in real-time from one or multiple locations. Regular programs could include instant messaging platforms and virtual meeting apps. This component must also add asynchronous methods.
While it is convenient to do so, critical programs and workflows to online platforms can expose the firm to potential cyber threats. A digital workplace must stay protected from any raid.
Whether on-site on physical servers or uploaded to the cloud, having enough room to handle foreseen or sudden workloads is a priority.
Saving and carrying large amounts of data is a critical function. It must exist as an efficient mainstay to increase agility and enhance innovation.
A digital work ambiance demands tracking every project chiefly when implying working remotely. Doing so will require watching the progress from start to finish, working together through a single interface, and process management to identify failures and solve them strategically.
6. What to consider when setting up a digital workplace?
First, forget about the physical office. Do not try a direct conversion to the digital situation. Choose flexible and easy to integrate technologies for guiding processes and tools.
User skills also matter. The worker must come first, and IT units must consider how employees work, behave and use technologies to be fruitful. An aspect of the digital workplace is supporting continual change, not only in technology but also in processes and skills growth.
Said that there are to attend several essential aspects of the new digital workplace. For instance:
- Automate work actions using an efficient software
- An intelligent, decentralized work setting that reduces troubles by proactively and wisely planning the resources needed for crucial tasks
- Secure linking for people, non-human digital workers, and corporate resources anytime, anywhere, and from any device
- Tools that enable a joint workplace (able to enter non-human digital workers, as well as business partners, customers, and similar)
- Strong security that does not hinder productivity or diminish the experience
- Human resources and administrative solutions self-aware and self-service
- Intelligent, agile, and flexible learning systems that allow new skills and constant learning
- Joined workplace detection systems that optimize and brand the employee experience, improving productivity and safety
- Knowledge insights that connect experts with relevant content across units and business processes
All those features plus human action show the difference between only being digitally well-equipped and being digitally functioning.
7. How can we help you set up a revamped digital office?
Digital office setup is already the present and the future. Many companies are familiar with the new online modality and are acting in consequence. In that sense, we hope you have learned many relevant insights from this guide and invite you to set up your digital office soon.
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