By Miguel Ángel Nicolao, Director of Systems and Innovation
In recent years, mainly due to the pandemic we have suffered, the acceptance of new relationship models and digital collaboration with workers such as teleworking or hybrid work has been unlocked in organizations.
Seeking to make our activity independent of our location, we have discovered “the power of collaboration in real time”. At the same time, we are digitizing our internal processes, incorporating new technologies and remote collaboration platforms, and investing in software and digital tools. We already have our “Digital Workspace” up and running.
But this new scenario implies not only the adoption and standardization of these technologies, but above all an important cultural change in which people must assume new ways of working and interacting. And this is assuming an important challenge in Spanish companies, as other needs inevitably arise, such as improving the management of the productivity, performance of the teams and the organization, the transparency and visibility information at all levels, the implementation of good practice at work, and optimization at workspace management.
The new challenges of the Digital Workspace
One of the main lessons we have learned during the pandemic is that caring for the climate and well-being of employees is one of the fundamental pillars that support employment and stability in companies.
The digitization of the work environment allows us to enhance internal communication more than ever and take much better care of personal productivity. The most important challenges in the digital transformation of companies are in people, therefore the improvement of the digital environment must be carried out under a strategic change plan in the organization, led by all units: human resources, IT, facility management, business units, etc.
The cultural impact that this new relationship and collaboration model is going to have on the organization must be analysed, how the necessary changes in the processes are going to be addressed and with what technologies they are going to be implemented. But always, without losing focus improve the overall experience of employees, both remotely and in the offices themselves.
In addition, it is necessary to establish a good communication and training strategy, and measures for progress and continuous improvement, to facilitate deployment to other areas of the organization, and turn these changes into an innovative and transformative icon within the company.
Hybrid working models and digitization
But how do you live digitization of the workplace with hybrid or flexible work models, in which part of the work is carried out in person? What happens in those organizations that are not well sized for employees to work remotely?
The truth is that there are already numerous studies that indicate that the hybrid work or flexible work models, which were implemented during 2021, will be fully established in 2022 in most companies.
In addition, it is known that changes in the Culture of a company produce more effective advances than changes only in processes or tools. Since these new work models have already been normalized in most companies, it is up to us to provide an enabling environment to consolidate them.
On the one hand, we need to ensure that people who work from home have both the proper health and safety setup, as well as access to the best technology and tools. It is necessary to invest in those technologies that promote remote collaborative work and that provide visibility on the workflow between people. For example, communication and instant messaging tools, content dissemination, document management tools in the cloud, as well as service governance, orchestration and workflow tools, among others.
On the other hand, we must ensure that the people who work in the office also have a safe space, with greater possibilities for privacy and concentration, and in turn for collaboration with those who are remote. These new needs have caused many companies to modify and adapt physical spaces, in order to be able to manage the use of offices in a flexible way. Especially in hybrid models, where there are employees who work some days in the office and others from home, it is crucial to be able to optimize the capacity, degree of occupancy and availability of the different spaces, organize the workstations and also protect the health of employees applying the relevant security protocols.
For this the spaces must be flexible, should favor the collaboration between different teams, and must also be adapted to improve the employee experience and your well-being in the workplace. It is essential to have the help of tools such as Kalena spaces, that offer us an excellent user experience and that allow us to monitor the performance of the office, adapting the physical spaces according to the trends of use and the changing needs of the workers. On the fly, in real time, with full control of space managers.
The role of new technologies
Depending on the sector, there are companies that have a more advanced digital infrastructure than others to support the shift to remote work. But all of us, to a greater or lesser extent, have been forced to modernize and update it, which has involved more or less significant investments in the IT area.
In this context of the new digital environment, what is the role played by new technologies such as cloud, big data or IoT in the management of the Digital Workspace?
Cloud Computing technologies allow us to virtualize the company’s resources, applications, and specialized software, and thus separate the workplace from face-to-face dependence and physical means. In this way we streamline and optimize both human and economic efforts, and provide mobility and high availability to work teams.
In addition, these technologies allow us to store and exploit all Big Data information efficiently. Data analysis is essential for improving the management of teams and projects, and for measuring profitability indicators. Applying business intelligence to data allows us to convert complex data into key information to ensure decision making.
Taking full advantage of the digital workspace entails being prepared to adapt workspaces, taking into account aspects such as making spaces more flexible based on employee needs. Achieving it is easier with technological solutions such as kalena, because in addition to being able to integrate with IoT technologies, they allow us to modernize and optimize the company’s spaces and resources, and are essential to enable the digital experience of the employee in the workplace.
Finally, it is important not to lose sight of the processes and tools that the organization already has corporately to promote an integrated experience with these new technologies.
The evolution of the Digital Workspace
We are living in a time of constant change. Organizations have not only had to adapt in recent years to compete in an increasingly digitized world, but we have also realized that our own way of working can change abruptly from one moment to another.
What will undoubtedly be inevitable is that the digital workspace will have to favor more than ever the flexibility, mobility and resilience of companies, in order to be able to respond quickly and agilely to changing situations in the future.
In addition, the speed of the digital evolution of companies is such that it is easy to point out where the workplace will evolve in the future but, at the same time, it is very difficult to anticipate when it will happen, although it will surely be much sooner than we think. With regard to advances in technology, probably the field of automation of repetitive processes, enrichment of information through advanced analytics models and assistance in decision-making through artificial intelligence, will take off strongly in companies, allowing further progress. quickly and spend time on more productive tasks. The management of cybersecurity in the workplace, due to the unstoppable digitization of activity, is also and will be a major challenge for companies.
In short, we must continue to transform the way we manage teams and the organization itself. We must continue promoting the cultural change towards digital, but at the same time facilitating work spaces and environments that allow us to adapt the activity of the organization to the new hybrid and flexible work models.