Many think the digital workplace is being able to work on multiple platforms; mobile devices, handheld tablets, and different computer operating systems. But it is so much more than that. It is truly changing how companies conduct business.
1.) Work Processes and Sharing Information
Within the last decade, companies are changing the way they do business. Mobile applications and processes allow for instant data capture and presentations out in the field. The ability to collaborate in real time when traveling by using a mobile data network or Wi-Fi can save an employee hours of their precious time. Employees no longer have to waste time waiting for a response or for the next business day to start working.
2.) The New Work Environment
Daily work for most businesses will never be solely tied to a computer. More and more, companies allow and encourage working remotely using multiple devices throughout non-typical business hours. Studies have shown that employees work more efficiently at home, since there are often less distractions than in the office. Also, job satisfaction rates are typically higher; employees have a positive attitude toward their current role. One of the key reasons for that is non-traditional business hours. Employees like to be able to schedule meetings to see a child’s 10 minute school play, or not need to lose a half day of work just to see a doctor. Even when they are out doing these types of activities, employees are checking their phone for email or chat messages.
3.) Productivity at all Hours
Smartphones and tablets are everywhere. Multiple experts project that the number of smartphones will jump from 1.44 billion in 2013 to more than 2 billion in 2016. With everyone connected all the time, email flows in and out at all hours. Who hasn’t been out at the grocery store, soccer game, or home improvement store when an email notification arrives? The recipient may not reply instantly, but it can be something the employee thinks about and then replies to prior to the next business day. In the morning, rather than pick up the morning newspaper from the driveway, people look at their phone or tablet — and answer email.
When employees go on vacation, they set up their vacation responder, or create an out of office message. Unlike the past 20 years, employees are not thinking about how much work is sitting on their desk, and they dread the first day back, dealing with hundreds of emails. The fear of wasting a day trying to sort out a week or 10 days’ worth of email produces great anguish for some. So instead, employees tend to check email once a day or more, and reply while away from the office.
As they embrace the digital age, employers are realizing greater productivity during and after business hours. The key for the employer is to make sure that employees have the tools to be successful. These can be a tablet with data for field work, a stipend to purchase a mobile device, or just a laptop. The goal is to have access at anytime, from anyplace or any device.