Four Challenges to Enabling the Digital Workplace

Technological advancements have revolutionized workplace operations and employee communication, leading to a shift from manual processes to today’s increasingly digital business. Organizations undergoing this transformation understand that employees seek collaboration and communication tools that enable productivity from any location or device. Such thinking has led to the development of digital workplaces.

The basic tenets of the evolving digital workplace recognize that employees are not bound to a desk or cubicle, and the need for mobile-centric collaboration tools and technologies that allow them to remain productive and engaged while “untethered.” For organizations seeking to enable a thriving digital workplace, there are a set of key challenges that must be solved.

Keeping employees engaged

In a  recent survey of more than 250 communications professionals, nearly half said the extent that employee engagement is important to their organizations, their companies must rethink their digital workplace communications. Disengaged employees lead to lost productivity and a higher propensity for employee churn and dissatisfaction.

The days of handing remote workers and teleworkers a laptop and VPN access and expecting the same level of productivity possible in a traditional office setting are gone. Digital workplace tools must include features and functionality that foster engagement, such as seamless integration of video conferencing, audio calling, screen sharing and real-time messaging.

Enabling communications quality over quantity

Many organizations still rely on  “tried and true” solutions like email, but shuffling through thousands of emails often creates more problems than it solves. Frustration with email has paved the way for standalone enterprise messaging applications, but the risk is that this will simply replace one problem with another.

The digital workplace depends on bringing intelligence and context to communications and collaboration solutions. For example, by providing each employee with only the files, tasks, conversations, notes, instant messaging dialogues and other processes most relevant to them for a project or meeting, the quantity of emails, messages and files becomes far more manageable.

Ensuring seamless integration and mobility

One of the most significant threats to a thriving digital workplace is saddling workers with an endless stream of disjointed, standalone applications and tools. The benefits of a digital business are quickly undermined if workers must spend considerable time toggling back and forth between applications, which means that communications and collaboration tools that facilitate easy integration are crucial to an effective digital workplace.

At the same time, mobility cannot be an afterthought when enabling the digital workplace. Organizations must assume a mobile-centric posture when considering how the workforce communicates, which means that employees must be able to use applications across their preferred mobile devices, as well as the ability to seamlessly move from device to device without interrupting a call, video chat, messaging session, etc.

Mitigating digital cyber security risks

As businesses become more digital, it opens them up to an expanded set of cybersecurity vulnerabilities and potential attacks. Organizations must ensure that cybersecurity measures are in place to protect its digital workplace from threats that could literally be coming from anywhere. Tactics hackers have used in the past will evolve with the technology and become more innovative and savvy, which means that cybersecurity measures also must be continually adapting to stay one step ahead of hackers.

CISOs should have a plan in place in case of a cybersecurity attack and put data classes in proper priority to determine what requires the highest protection. Organizations also must remain attuned to the potential of insider threats and get a handle on mobile devices by restricting access to critical information as a part of a BYOD policy, the proliferation of which will only increase in digital workplaces.

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Taher Behbehani

Taher Behbehani

is CMO at BroadSoft, a global unified communications software as a service (UCaaS) provider.