Employees who work in digital workplaces are not only more productive but also more motivated, have higher job satisfaction, and report an overall better sense of well-being.
Those are the findings of a new global study from Aruba, entitled 'Digital Revolutionaries Unlock the Potential of the Digital Workplace', which reveals both the business and human benefits of more digitally-driven workplaces, and how companies that are less technologically advanced are at risk of falling behind the competition and not attracting top talent. It also notes that companies must be vigilant as more digital-savvy employees are taking greater risks with data and information security.
Key Themes and Findings
The study of 7,000 employees across 15 countries revealed a clear chasm in employee performance and sentiment between more advanced digital workplaces and those that employ digital technology to a lesser degree. A number of key themes emerged:
“No matter the industry, we’re seeing a move toward human-centric places as enterprises strive to meet rapidly changing expectations of how people want to work,” Joseph White, Director of Workplace Strategy, Design and Management, Herman Miller. “This depends upon combining advances in technology – which includes furnishings – with the cognitive sciences to help people engage with work in new ways. This will not only mean singular, premium experiences for individuals, but also the opportunity for organisations to attract and retain the best talent.”
“The very nature of the term “workplace” is being transformed, as companies begin to realise that effective space is experience-centric, and must accommodate work styles spanning generations and personality types,” said Francisco Acoba, Managing Director for Deloitte Strategy & Operations. “This ushers in new processes where IT solutions, building systems and furnishings interact harmoniously with humans to create such spaces. Regardless of your enterprise’s specific situation, when spaces become active participants in the user experience it benefits the bottom line. After all, workers who feel comfortable in a space get their tasks done. Those who don’t will eventually move on to a more inviting option.”
The study also found that employees are enthusiastic about new technology and have a desire for their employers to provide more. Almost all respondents (97%) thought their workplace would be improved through greater use of technology, while 64% said their company will fall behind the competition if new technology isn’t implemented. The same portion (64%) believe the traditional office will become obsolete due to advances in technology.
While the benefits of digital workplaces are wide-ranging, the study also revealed that cybersecurity is a challenge for employers.
The Road Forward
These findings indicate that companies must adapt to leverage the benefits of new digital workplace technology while simultaneously minimising security risks. Aruba recommends that organisations take the following actions:
“The consumerisation of the workplace is a very real movement. Employees are consumers and we bring consumer expectations with us to work,” said Janice Le, Chief Marketer for Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company. "The workplace is getting smarter and therefore, employees are working smarter.”
A new paradigm has started to emerge where smart building technologies are intersecting with the digital workplace to form the Smart Digital Workplace. This is where human-centred design meets IoT and building automation. The Smart Digital Workplace can enable personalised experiences such as connected furniture and smart lighting that adapts to the user. Buildings can go greener by dynamically optimising energy utilisation based on employee patterns. These new use cases not only foster employee productivity but also improve efficiency while putting people at the centre.
Le concluded, “This global study indicates that choice, personalisation, ease and automation are improving the top line and the bottom line for organisations who are defining the future of work. Our own place of work is a living lab for the Smart Digital Workplace and we are seeing results such as faster hiring and higher offer acceptances. The benefits are tangible and go beyond productivity.”
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