Understanding the Digital Work Environment: what it is & why you should adopt it right away

  Alexandru C
  July 5, 2019
  5 min


Key takeaways:

  • Changing workforce, huge volume of data and fast-paced environments demand modern, digital work environments;
  • Define your digital work environment strategy taking into consideration 4 main pillars: People, Processes, Technologies, Business;
  • First, start with small steps, for example creating an intelligent intranet, moving your e-mails to cloud or your documents to OneDrive.



With a workforce rapidly decreasing, one question raises: how can you create the Best Workplace for Millennials 👓 and offer them the tools they need to succeed so that your business also thrives?

In addition, employee expectations have changed. They want to work how they choose—anytime, anywhere, and on any device. Today’s workplace belongs to the off-site and remote employees who work outside the confines of a physical office.

The accelerated change in the last decade is due to the 3 emerging trends:

  1. A changing workforce. On one hand, Baby boomers continue to retire and they are taking much of the knowledge with them, and on the other hand, Millennials have never known a world without devices, instant messaging and video conferencing.
  2. Information overload. The word here is Big Data. As information continues to grow at exponential rates, many businesses and employees find it difficult to find what they need, when they need it.
  3. Need for speed. With the fast-paced work environment today, employees are required to work faster and collaborate more effectively to get their jobs done and meet deadlines. Intranets have been very successful in this particular area, and digital work environments are just the next step.

If there is a moment when you should start transforming your business to successfully navigate the digital era, this is it.

Here are 3 Reasons why you should build your Digital Work Environment Right Now

  • You are competing for the best workforce
  • Engaged employees are more productive
  • Engaged employees yield satisfied customers


These trends require a digital transformation and a reshape of your work environment. So, where does this journey begin? A comprehensive digital work environment strategy is the best start and can help you along the way.


Here are 5 easy steps to help you build your digital work environment strategy:

1. Define your digital work environment strategy

Not having a digital strategy to tie all your roll-outs together can cause a bunch of problems. To meet the needs of an ever-connected workforce and stay on top of competitors, you must implement a digital work environment — a place where employees easily collaborate and communicate, where process enable them to be more effective, and where technology helps them innovate. Start by creating a digital environment team, a combo of IT, HR, and business leaders, that will drive company’s digital transformation. This includes creating a clear strategy to set out smart objectives, like “move towards paperless record keeping in the next quarter”. Define your digital work environment strategy taking into consideration 4 main pillars:

  • People (connect, communicate and collaborate in an efficient way);
  • Processes (analyze & optimize current business processes, design & implement new workflows and create a flexible and responsive digital working environment);
  • Technologies (lay the foundation for digital transformation with the right software applications);
  • Business (identify, develop, and implement the right new digital business models to gain competitive advantage).

2. Put your people and their needs at the heart of your digital work environment

Technology is just one ingredient of the digital workplace. The key here is to understand the needs of your employees. Confirm the minimum requirements for the development of annual digital workplace implementation plans within departments. From this, you can develop a change management plan and strategize the digital workplace so that it aligns with your existing infrastructure (intranets, portals, CRMs and other platforms) as well as the working culture of your organization.

3. Select the right technologies for your toolbox, and get them working together

Remove the bureaucracy, improve collaboration, organize workflows and make the first steps to a digital office. Don’t let your employees be surrounded by papers while filling hard copy forms for legal and finance departments every week. Instead, you can easily share electronic documents with the finance and legal departments with the help of MS Office 365 suite. Furthermore, you can help improving workflows by moving your e-mails to cloud or your documents to OneDrive while securely access, share, and collaborate on all your files.

4. Make your intranet the home of a connected, employee-focused digital workplace

With the Office 365 keep on adding more and more tools and capabilities, you can now easily put the power of all your content, people and information in the pocket of each and every employee – especially when they are on mobile. You can create new ways of collaboration while integrating different applications and benefiting from improved data security.

5. Bring people, tools, processes together to create a successful organizational culture where every individual can thrive. Your employees can check their e-mails on the go, update and share files from any devices, instantly collaborate and share ideas on documents and projects, participate in online meetings to ultimately become more productive and boost your business potential.


Here are 5 core business benefits you can gain by adopting a digital work environment:

  • Increase revenue and reduce operational costs by introducing more effective ways to meet virtually, cutting travel and telecommunication costs and eliminating wasted time at the airport;
  • Accelerate time-to-market and improve customer experience by using tools to support research and develop, test, and deliver new products and services more quickly;
  • Increase agility and flexibility by creating a flexible work environment that is enabled and supported by technology and IT;
  • Strengthen talent recruitment and retention (64% of employees would opt for a lower paying job if they could work away from the office);
  • Improve overall employee experience.


Final thoughts for creating a digital work environment

By integrating the technologies that employees use (from e-mail, instant messaging and enterprise social media tools to HR applications and virtual meeting tools), the digital work environment breaks down communication barriers, positioning you to transform the employee experience by fostering efficiency, innovation and growth.

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