Five tips to prepare for the digital workplace through 2020 and beyond

For the past couple of years, the same enterprise tech trends seem to have done the rounds. With continued focus on the likes of cloud migration, automation, AI, big data and blockchain in the modern digital workplace, it’s no wonder industry commentators have observed that it feels like “the same chairs being rearranged around the same old room”.

However, within each of these trends, the speed of progress and evolution of the field is being pushed beyond previous levels of expectation every year. Alongside these familiar technologies, there are also new emerging trends such as 5G, XaaS and ACPCs, which are set to make their impactful debut in modern offices across the globe. 

Since being ahead of the latest technology trends is key to remaining competitive in today’s digitally-driven markets, here are our five top tips for supporting the digital workplace. 

1. Build a strong foundation for your digital workplace through technology

From the latest sales enablement tools to the recruitment of your digital workers, it doesn’t matter how advanced your technology is - if you do not have the right digital ecosystem in place, the technology will either not work or be extremely limited in its output. Each digital tool should not be viewed in isolation, but instead seen as a cog in your tech infrastructure which needs to be able to fully integrate with existing systems.

Companies will differ in their technology needs depending on size and industry but, universally, marketing and IT teams will need to closely align on how each tech development can be successfully implemented to supercharge business objectives, without compromising the digital ecosystem. It goes without saying that each new program also needs to undergo extreme (and constant) security vetting, as one weak link in your tech stack could leave your enterprise wide open to the increasingly advanced cyber attacks facing modern digital workplaces.

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2. Educate employees about everyday AI solutions 

The digital workplace is likely to be increasingly defined by AI. According to research stemming from Deloitte’s global surveys, AI has been identified as the top emerging technology CIOs plan to invest in. By the end of this year, Forrester predicts more than 40% of companies and one-tenth of future startups will employ more digital workers than human ones.

Although once viewed as a futuristic buzzword, AI now fits so seamlessly into modern work life that it can often go under the radar for many employees. Take Microsoft Office 365: Office is constantly innovating with new AI techniques, ranging from optimizing work calendars to determining the priority of emails, helping employees create better documents and improving personal and enterprise-wide productivity. Users either adopt these AI digital workplace solutions intuitively or can be brought up to speed through a series of automatic prompts or videos. 

Making sure your teams are on top of the latest AI innovations provided in the everyday programs they’re using will help streamline digital workplace workflows and improve enterprise-wide output on a daily basis.

3. Automate manual tasks 

Alongside AI, there will be a greater focus on the automation of manual tasks in the modern digital workplace. Research indicates that 71% of employees surveyed think the future workplace should be fully automated, and 93% are of the opinion that increasing the use of digital technologies leads to a better digital workplace. Automation of manual tasks is a helpful and productive way of aiding employee workflows. 

As a platform that facilitates the automation of document creation, Templafy is aware of the value automation tools add to modern enterprises. A 2019 TEI report by Forrester found that organizations with 10,000 users saw a 1,239% ROI after implementing Templafy’s automation solutions. Users created documents 30% faster with Templafy, 95% of IT’s involvement was eliminated, and users saved around 4 hours per week by avoiding manual document reviews. 

With less time spent on repetitive manual tasks (in this case, document formatting, following compliance regulations, searching for brand assets and creating documents from scratch), employees are able to focus their time on the job they’ve been hired to do and shift their attention to higher value work. 

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4. Address generational technology gaps 

A good digital workplace isn’t just determined by the innovative technology it implements. A digital workplace strategy must, above all, focus on the enterprise-wide user adoption of its systems and software. 

A major challenge to this objective is the generation gap - the average workforce will be made up of five generations for the first time in history in 2020. By 2025, millennials are predicted to account for 75% of the global workforce. As a result of this, companies can’t rely on a one-size fits all approach to the workplace, due to the diverse needs of their multi-generational workforce and age-specific preferences impacting varying attitudes towards technology.

Choosing software that is complex in its backend but easy to use is one of the main ways organizations can ensure even the least tech-savvy employees are benefitting from tech innovation. When introducing any new software into your technology stack, you should consider all levels of ability within your workforce. An update might be mastered in seconds by a millennial, but their baby boomer colleagues might need more guidance to get to grips with the same feature. 

As we’ve seen with the likes of Microsoft Office 365, software is constantly updating, so it’s vital to offer regular training sessions for those who need it, as well as giving employees easy access to technical support so they can operate on a more level tech-playing field. 

5. Prepare to take the digital workplace home

In previous years, enterprise trends have often been contained within the digital workplace itself. However, a shift has now begun from the digital workplace as its own entity, to part of integrated modern working life, because employees will be able to work from any location using apps that are supported across multiple devices.

Enterprises will benefit from encouraging employees to integrate their business and private lives more, so that the best work-life benefits come to the fore. For example, employees currently often receive business and private mail on two separate platforms, whereas integrating the two into one application is more efficient. Similarly, integrating business and personal calendars will allow employees and their families to easily compare their agendas, manage their shared calendars, and receive important updates. 

Promoting a less divided attitude towards work and home life and powering both with digital workplace tools and technologies will give employees a more productive edge over those who compartmentalize different aspects of their lives.

Templafy helps businesses create future-facing digital workplaces that facilitate the latest enterprise technology trends. If you’d like to find out more about how our AI-powered and automated digital workplace solutions can help your company streamline workflows and increase productivity, you can book a meeting via our online scheduler below and we’ll be in touch.

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