The workplace is not a physical place, it is something we do. The digital workplace evolution goes hand in hand with the transformation of the physical workplace. In the new world of work, we spend less and less time at our desks which requires a digital workplace that promotes productivity and create business value regardless of time and place.

The concept of “Digital Workplace” has become a strong growth trend as a result of new technologies and changes in work culture. Furthermore, what is a digital workplace?

Let’s start with what a digital workplace is not:

  • The digital workplace is not “a tool”.
  • The digital workplace is not a “project”.
  • The digital workplace is not “another system”.

 (Gustav Molnar, Diwo).

The digital workplace is a perspective that enables new ways of working. It’s a mind-set and an approach based on daily productivity and strive to drive a behaviour that contribute to increased innovation, productivity, efficiency and positive culture. The digital workplace is about the user’s point of view instead of an editor’s perspective. A perspective that increase the relevance, engagement and daily productivity for the users. It’s much more about cultural change and understanding for the business than it’s about technology. The digital workplace has made its entrance while the traditional intranet has played out its role.

Digital workplace is still a diffuse concept that feels hard to understand. At the same time the digital transformation forces companies to transform, find and triangulate three vital factors; the digital workplace, the physical workplace and the people. So my humble opinion is; it’s a must!

“There is no digital strategy, just strategy in a Digital World” / Bud Caddell

To drive the development and create a network regarding the digital workplace, Summit and Friends, www.summitandfriends.se have created an award, the Nordic region’s Best Digital Workplace (Nordens Bästa Digitala Arbetsplats), www.digitalworkplaceawards.com where the purpose is to spread best practice by highlighting successful digital workplaces that created value for users, and created business value for the organization.

It’s easy to believe that the most technologically advanced digital workplace is to be rewarded, but my personal opinion is that it’s the wrong way of evaluating a digital workplace. Instead, it’s about the benefits and value that the digital workplace contribute to the organization. A good digital workplace is when the organization perform better and contribute to its core business, for example, a seller should find it easier to sell, a marketer should find it easier to do marketing activities, etc.

It’s also unreasonable to believe that a digital workplace tis perfect in all aspects. Adequately, most knowledge-sharing takes place when organizations share precisely the features that have contributed to their digital workplace, ie that different industries have solved critical business problems in different ways. An organization that consists of a large sales force may have elements of gamification that allow their users to have a strong commitment, which contributes to the tangible business benefits. A digital workplace from a completely different industry can contribute to other insights as a sales organization had never prioritized or thought of. By sharing experiences and show both examples, organizations can learn from each other and improve in areas where they’re not in the lead.

The Digital Workplace Award 2016 went to the Svenska Spel. Two honourable mentions were awarded to Vasakronan for Best Vision and Overall Concept and the Swedish Parliament (Sveriges Riksdag) for the best Structure and Employee Alignment. The award is appointed by an external jury with different areas of expertise. The winner was announced at Digital Workplace Summit, www.digitalworkplacesummit.com at Hotel Rival April 26, 2016. Below you will find the jury’s motivations for the winners:

Svenska Spel

Based on the vision “Games will be the delight of all” Svenska Spel is a role model when it comes to using the digital workplace to strengthen the internal culture. With dedicated users, clear tonality, elaborate design and smart features, they create a common digital workplace where the employee’s pride and joy is in the center. To strengthen cooperation and effectiveness Svenska Spel takes a clear step away from the traditional intranet to a digital workplace with good evaluation results.

Vasakronan

A workplace is made up not only of the physical environment. With innovation and new way of thinking Vasakronan’s digital workplace really is a contribution and different compared to other organizations, showing that the physical and digital workplace are interrelated and interact with humans. Both environments must speak the same “language”. When the digital and the physical workplace is in harmony and supports the same organizational approach, it becomes a powerful united company that can take the cooperation and effectiveness of the organization to the next level.

The Swedish Parliament (Sveriges Riksdag)

With a task-focused structure of the digital workplace practical support that streamlines and simplifies employees’ daily. The digital tools work as an efficient channel where they have dared to violate how the intranet “usually looks like” to find the best solution for their users. The editorial principle of service pages is impressive. No content is hidden away in the menus and the key is still available a few steps away. There is a digital workplace to as citizens will be proud to see in their Parliament.

Nevertheless, no digital workplace is perfect. Maybe you’ve started your journey, maybe not, regardless, the digital workplace is not a project. It’s a cultural change, a mind-set which must permeate the entire organization, from management level to all employees. We also see great synergies for companies undergoing changes on the physical and the digital workplace at the same time, there is a similar methodology. Today, Activity Based Working (ABW) is a huge trend and for these kind of environments to function optimally, they require an effective digital workplace. These environments in turn require a new way of leadership and management skills but that is another chapter.

 

If you have input or questions regarding the digital workplace, intranet or the award so please do not hesitate to contact me at edward.ringborg@summitandfriends.se