4_key_areas_of_the_digital_workplace

4 key areas of the digital workplace that leaders must pay more attention to - or face the consequences

The remote vs. office debate is over. Today, hybrid working is almost a done deal. But it would be impossible without the 'digital workplace' - the unsung hero of hybrid working.

Slack, Google Workspace and Microsoft Outlook have collectively become your digital workplace. It is where employees connect, communicate and get work done, wherever they are physically located and whenever they work. Yet despite their importance to almost every part of modern working lives, companies have not given enough attention to these critical systems. It’s time to start.

Here are 4 key areas that leaders must pay more attention to - or face the consequences.

Meeting productivity

According to the Microsoft Work Trends report released in Spring 2022, the number of meetings per week had increased by 153% globally for the average Microsoft Teams user since the start of the pandemic.

And there is no indication that this trend has been reversed – rather, that this peak in meetings could become a new reality for digital working.

On top of an already high meeting load, overlapping meetings increased by 46% per person in the past year. And users are increasingly flooded with meeting invites.

This is a problem. 71% of employees feel like they waste time on unnecessary or cancelled meetings. According to Booqed, for every single one of your employees, a whole day every month is lost to unproductive meetings. And there’s a huge monetary cost to this.

Key metrics to pay attention to:

  • Amount of time in meetings
  • Number of meetings accepted, rejected, attended etc.
  • Meeting length
  • Meeting size
how long do employee spend in meetings

Tooling efficiency

Earlier this month, Bloomberg reported that companies deployed 89 different apps on average in 2021, up from 58 in 2015.

At large employers, that figure shoots to 187 different apps.

But more tech does not equal more efficient work – in fact, that’s very far from the reality of a modern digital workplace where of those apps, close to 30% are duplicative or add no value.

Now, imagine being able to reduce 30% of your software licensing cost. And imagine the impact that would have on your employee’s experience, how much freer information could flow around your organisation and efficiently the digital workplace could operate.

Key metrics to pay attention to:

  • Adoption across regions
  • Participation rate in channels
  • Number of active channels

Context switching

We know that companies have adopted tens, maybe hundreds, of new apps to support their digital workplace strategy. Yet a third are duplicative or add no value to the organisation.

Beyond not adding any additional value, a swelling tech stack causes information silos and according to Gartner, 50% of an employee’s time is sunk into simply finding information and relevant documents.

As a result, employees switch apps and websites an average of 1200 times a day.

Yes, you read that right. 1200 times a day.

And according to the Harvard Business Review study, just under four hours each week is spent on “reorienting themselves after toggling” — that’s almost 10% of their time at work just on getting back to a task.

The time wasted and financial cost of this chaotic, bloated digital environment is huge. And the human cost of disengagement, poor employee experience and eventually, unwanted attrtion, is on the rise.

Can you afford for people to leave your company because of the way your digital workplace has grown out of control?

Key metrics to pay attention to:

  • Disengagement by demographic
  • Crash in messages sent
  • Channel sentiment over time

The connection paradox

We’ve been sold our digital workplace tools on the promise of greater collaboration, better communication and a stronger sense of connection.

But these tools that are supposed to make us closer, may actually be the things pushing us apart. This is the connection paradox.

It’s not something to be overlooked or dismissed as emotional fluff, connection and your organisation’s social capital is one of the biggest factors in your productivity. According to IDC’s Getting Ahead, Staying Ahead report from October last year, “it’s not enough only to be fast and disruptive; companies must also be tightly connected to succeed.”

Today, 65% of employees feel disconnected.

Much of this disconnection stems from poor or uninformed decision-making from leadership teams that have neither an understanding of connection inside their organisation nor employee input – the employee-executive disconnect.

In a recent Future Forum survey, 60% of executives said they’re designing their companies’ policies with little to no direct input from employees.

Future Forum explains that this means they’re deciding policies based almost solely on the perspectives of people who share the same experiences and external stressors as them – therefore discounting the multi-facted challenges faced by different demographics across the organisation and relative needs.

Key metrics to pay attention to:

  • Organisational network patterns
  • Relationship strength over time
  • Utilisation of digital workplace tools by seniority

Want to learn more about the digital workplace and how you can get more from it? We’ll be covering these 4 areas and more in the digital workplace webinar series.

The first event starts on Wednesday 2nd November | 13:00 – 13:45 GMT followed by a series of key topics.

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