What excites me most about the digital workplace is that it puts the focus squarely on the employee. That is pretty powerful. Employees, after all, are the ones that drive the business forward – they are the ones engaging with your customers, potential clients, and partners. I think most organizations would be fairly excited by this prospect. For me, there are two key ways digital workplaces do this:
Digital workplaces will usher in team collaboration – giving a group the ability to collaborate on specific work from anywhere. By grouping people together in a shared interface – whether that is physical or web based – they can chat, share documents, or have conference and web calls. With team collaboration tools, teams will even be able to invite in outside participants, so it’s a great way to collaborate with vendors, partners, or even a customer via the web.
Team collaboration also fits within a larger framework of Business Collaboration solutions – it’s really the technology that delivers this in the end! The great thing is that it’s about choice for the employee – you’re not coming into work anymore and only getting a desktop computer and phone. In some cases we need to talk on the phone (be that mobile or desktop), other times we need to do a conference call, or sometimes it’s easier to send an instant message. And other times there will be a need to collaborate as a larger group. With team collaboration, employees will be able to pick the technology that works best for them for the type of work they are doing.
Doing away with workplace barriers
I’m sure we can all think of a time when being isolated in the workplace didn’t help to deliver results for a project. Workplace silos can be broken down with team collaboration by getting cross-functional groups to work more closely together, share information faster and more accurately, and develop a sense of an online community that goes beyond the corporate organizational structure. And this goes beyond silos for people in the same office. Team collaboration will also help bring teams together that are in different locations because they’ll have an ability to be more connected on what they’re working on. It will really give people a sense that they are on the same team, no matter what business unit they work in or where they are located.
The spotlight is on, and it’s shining on your employees! Business are – I hope – making progress towards digitizing workplaces because, as part of that, there are two key benefits for employees: team collaboration and breaking down team barriers. The key component that plays into this is choice. Employees will be able to choose how to use technology to collaborate, which will lead to them feeling empowered and engaged. To me, it’s a simple choice.
Matthew Leppanen leads product management for Unified Communication and Collaboration solutions at Rogers.
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