As our digital progression continues to move forwards in all industries, workplaces are seeing the effects. From the technologies used to the way employees work, digital is having a huge impact on employees, employers and customers. And it’s no surprise that the ‘digital’ workplace is something which has gained traction in recent years.

But what is the digital workplace, does your work environment fit in with the description and is it really benefiting companies as much as it should? In this blog post, mobile-first employee engagement and communication platform, StaffConnect answer these questions.

The digital workplace: what is it?

The digital workplace, also known as the virtual workplace, is one which isn’t limited to a single physical space. Unlike the conventional workplace, digital ones aren’t tied down by geographical boundaries, and are instead connected via technology and the internet. Done successfully, a digital workplace will allow employees to be part of a collaborative working environment in the same way as an in-office team, without physically being connected.

What qualifies as a digital workplace?

But what counts as a digital workplace? A digital workplace can thrive in almost any industry. To qualify as a virtual workplace, essentially you just need to be a team which is dispersed over a variety of locations and communicates using digital means.

Some common examples of digital working are:

  • Telecommuting – Rather than getting in your car and commuting to a place of work, you communicate with the rest of your team via technology, such as comms platforms and project management softwares.
  • Hot desking – Rather than working in the same office every day, hot desking is the activity of using a different desk each day, depending on your location.
  • Virtual teams – Teams who are dispersed across the country, or even the world, can’t work in one place. Instead, they work from multiple locations and rely on communication technology such as email, Skype and voice conferencing systems.

With what is the digital workplace and what qualifies as one covered, you’re probably wondering if they’re good for business. The answer to this isn’t a balck and white ‘yes’ or ‘no’. The success of a digital workplace can vary due to a number of factors, including team size, digital communication platforms used and nature of work carried out by the digital team.

The pros of the digital workplace

  • Office space – if you opt for a digital workplace, one thing you can cut back on is office space. A big outgoing for companies, removing the need for office spaces can save you money better spent elsewhere.
  • Modern working – the demand for modern working is on the rise. From more laid-back workspaces to flexible hours, the working environment is a big factor for employees. Digital workplaces are a forward-thinking approach to work that goes a long way with those looking to perfect the work-life balance.
  • Commuting costs – Once upon a time, if you wanted a successful career you had to move to the high-cost city or face long and expensive commutes. The digital workplace solves this issues, connecting workers without the need for a central location.

The digital workplace has the potential to elevate your business in a number of ways, from the reduction of office running costs to the happiness of employees, but it’s not without its possible pitfalls.

The cons of the digital workplace

  • Decreased productivity – Monitoring a team in a physical workplace is hard, doing so for a digital workplace is even harder. And with a team dispersed in numerous locations, picking up on reduced productivity can be difficult.
  • Lack of team spirit – When your team are working remotely and away from the rest of the workforce, it’s easy to feel cut off and excluded from the rest of the team.
  • Reduced engagement – If these signs go unnoticed, employees in a digital workplace risk becoming disengaged. This can have detrimental effects on your business, including staff turnover, absenteeism and profit.

Making the most of your digital workplace

But this shouldn’t put you off the digital workplace. In fact, digital working is something which is only set to grow in popularity. And, done right, it can greatly benefit your company.

To ensure you get the most from your digital workplaces, it’s critical that you invest in a suitable communication platform. Doing so will allow you to keep track of the potential risks of the digital workplace to ensure you don’t fall victim to things like employee disengagement.

StaffConnect is a cutting-edge mobile staff engagement solution designed to streamline internal communication and benefit your digital workforce. To find out more about how StaffConnect can help you create the best digital workplace possible, read through our case studies, get in touch or book a demo with a software expert now. Meanwhile you can read more about how to create a compelling DEX (Digital Employee Experience) here.

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