The workplace intranet has come a long way since its establishment in the mid 1990s. It used to consist mainly of internal emails, business-specific information and notices for employees. Nowadays, the old-school intranet has expanded to create the digital workplace. Encompassing individual devices, remote workers and of course, plenty of technology, the digital workplace is the future for most businesses.
The digital workplace connects employees – whether they be remote workers or within the office – and encourages co-working. It both speeds up processes and automates mundane tasks, which improves employee satisfaction. It also protects businesses and enables them to become the best that they can be in this digital age.
But not all digital workplace trends are worth the investment of both money and time. Some are too archaic and some too futuristic; we might have a need for them one day, but not right now. If this is all starting to get too confusing, have no fear – we’ve put together a list of the best digital workplace trends that are worth your investment. From interactive displays to virtual assistants, we consider the money and time investment of each of these trends to uncover which ones are worth it.
Today’s best digital workplace trends
Possibly one of the best investments that you can make in your business this year are interactive displays. Not only do they function seamlessly and encourage employee co-working, but they are handy for processes like training new employees – meaning that would-be trainers can be working on other projects.
The capability of the devices ranges from an interactive displays to effectively a computer on a wall; they can also be used across devices, making them work well with the BYOD (bring your own device) model.
Just some ways that interactive displays can be beneficial in workplaces include:
Brainstorming with colleagues
Sharing screenshots and photos
HD Video chatting
Interactive displays provide a more personal experience to each employee and are especially great in boardrooms and huddle rooms. As far as interactive technology in the workplace goes, they aren’t the cheapest, but if your business has the budget for them, they are well worth the investment.
Siri joined the iPhone scene in 2011, and now many couldn’t be without him and other virtual assistants. But now they are gaining popularity in the workplace; in fact, 62% of companies are expecting to make use of virtual assistants in just two years.
There are lots of ways that virtual assistants are incredibly useful. Being voice enabled makes work a lot speedier – it is easier to say ‘send Thomas the accounts’ than to manually find and send the accounts across. By being able to move documents just by voice, desktops become a lot easier to organize.
But, although Siri and other virtual assistants are very useful for some purposes, it’s important not to rely on them for absolutely everything. Virtual assistants are best used for simple tasks, not complicated directions that require them to do more than one thing.
Knowing the best way of using virtual assistants in the office is key to using them successfully. They are worth the investment, but only when they are used in the right way.
Why would I want to use a bot? I hear you wonder. Many people associate bots with spam, and while some are used for junk emails and nonsensical comments, some can work very well with your business.
They work slightly differently to virtual assistants, although Siri and Alexa are often considered as ‘bots’ as well. If you are a customer-focused business, bots can be invaluable workplace technology tools for your website or Facebook page, as they can answer simple questions and quickly filter requests, taking customers to the appropriate expert right away.
Bots and virtual assistants can also pull data much quicker than the human brain; so they can be an invaluable source when wanting to know profits, losses or any other information. This gives time for human intelligence to work on the big stuff!
Web RTC (web real-time communications) is one of the most progressive digital workplace technology tools. It enables employees to interact with each other via a web browser, ridding businesses of the need to download a special app to communicate with their employees.
It took a while for Safari to get on board with web RTC, but now all major browsers use it; meaning that its heyday is nigh. Web RTC uses less battery, bandwidth and network resources than other applications and plugins, making it a lot quicker and simpler to run.
Other ways in which Web RTC is useful are audio sharing and data communication.
It is free to use Web RTC, but it is worth investing the time into training your employees of its usefulness.
Cloud is already used a lot in the home and office, but those who don’t utilize it should seriously think about it. Cloud is a great sharing system for businesses, and is vital for storing documents in a safe yet secure space. Companies offering remote work should especially consider using cloud to share files with workers in other locations.
The price of cloud storage solutions varies, depending on the businesses’ needs. With some prices for small businesses starting very low, there’s no excuse not to have your essentials backed up.
In modern society, the threat of cyber attacks are constantly increasing. Part of this is due an advance in technology, but the rising popularity of remote workers and BYOD puts businesses at more threat. Similarly, while cloud is a great investment for your business, using it does bear a small risk of more cyber attacks.
However, purchasing a cybersecurity programme is the only way to be completely sure you’re protected against attacks. Around half small businesses that are victims of cyber attacks experience are forced to go out of trade in six months, which makes cybersecurity a digital workplace essential that you cannot afford to miss out on.
These digital workplace trends are tried and tested and will be beneficial to your business, whatever its size. They are all worth the investment if you have the budget, and you’ll really notice the positive impact on your company after making a purchase. In today’s modern climate, it is vital for businesses to adopt appropriate digital workplace trends to be able to work at a speed and quality that matches that of its competitors. The digital workplace is an experience and a concept which in our opinion is the future of offices all over the globe. Investing in the right digital workplace trends for your business is essential to keep up with today’s modern working climate.