Digital Workplaces Future Proof Your Organisation

Digital Workplaces

As reported here, recent research by Microsoft, in association with London Business School, identified three major benefits of digital workplaces defined as organisations making full use of modern technologies combined with strong digital leadership and digital cultures – higher productivity; creativity and collaboration; talent recruitment and retention.

Our previous post reported study findings in relation to productivity improvements. Below, we present the main findings in relation to workforce creativity and collaboration.

Future Proof Your Organisation

The Microsoft report found that employees in strong digital culture organisations operate in an environment more conducive to creativity and collaboration; working effectively in teams to face the challenges presented by a turbulent and rapidly changing business landscape.

As shown in Figure 1 below, fewer than 17 percent of European employees feel highly innovative at work. This falls to a low of only 14 percent in businesses with a weak digital culture. By contrast, almost 40 percent of employees in organisations with strong digital cultures said they felt highly innovative.

Figure 1: Digital Cultures and Innovation

Digital Cultures and Innovation 

 Source: Digital Culture, Your Competitive Advantage

The importance of these findings is the strong link that exists between innovation, organisational survival and success in an era of digital disruption.

Innovation is a process requiring active collaboration and creativity involving people and teams from different backgrounds, strengths and experiences, working towards a common goal. Used effectively, digital workplace technologies can nurture the process of innovation creating collaborative digital spaces for people to build on each other’s ideas ensuring that the whole becomes more than the sum of its parts.

With employees working in more creative and collaborative ways, the digital organisation becomes more responsive to the dynamic changes taking place in the external business environment. Digital workplaces, the report concludes, help to future-proof your organisation.

It is an organisation’s most creative and collaborative employees who are best able to tackle key business challenges, opportunities and threats. Used effectively, digital workplace technologies can free employees from time-consuming routine work to focus on projects centered around creativity, critical thinking and adapting to change.

Five Key Questions to Address

The report lists five key questions to ask to encourage more innovation within your workforce:

  1. Does the senior leadership team clearly communicate the longer-term business strategy with all employees? Would any employee be able to see how they contribute to advancing the strategy?
  2. Is everyone, regardless of level, encouraged to ask questions and challenge assumptions of their managers and leaders?
  3. How do you encourage brainstorming and collaborative teamwork both in person and virtually?
  4. Is smart risk-taking rewarded? If yes, how? If not, why not?
  5. How do you build a sense of community in which knowledge and experiences are shared – across teams, divisions, geographies?

Please see here for previous blog posts in our series on Digital Workplaces.

In May of this year, we will be helping to deliver an interactive forum for public sector leaders around the theme of digital workplaces. Full details can be found here - Accelerating Digital: An Interactive Forum for Public Sector Leaders.