The digital workplace is an integral element of any digitalization strategy. The new working model provides a boost for businesses, who benefit from greater productivity and employee satisfaction, optimized business processes, cost savings, and a competitive advantage in the battle for talent.
The workplace of the future is an important, continually evolving process, especially for us as a technology management company. Before initiating this process, however, it is essential to properly prepare and integrate the digital workplace into the business, not just at the technical but also at the organizational level. Below, we present and explain the key elements and steps of our digital workplace strategy:
The foundation of any digital workplace strategy is the provision of the most suitable IT devices and software, thus providing the technical enablement. We made workplace equipment, in particular mobile devices, available to all employees based on the requirements of each user group. The range is continually updated and expanded. The software we use was also reviewed and optimized. The challenge was to make all necessary information available in a way that our employees could access it flexibly on whichever IT device they were using.
Integrating our employees is a key aspect of the digital workplace. Every employee can choose and order the right components for their digital workplace via the self-service portal. The chosen devices may also be used privately for the duration of their useful life. Employees can also purchase devices for purely personal use through our Employee PC Program. The tax benefits available mean our employees enjoy attractive deals.
A digital workplace can only reach its full potential if as many processes as possible are digitalized. That is why our document and contract management processes, such as approving invoices and storing and accessing contracts and data, have been digitalized and reorganized internally. Our employees are now no longer dependent on paper and are able to work digitally and flexibly.
Another important step was making changes to our working hours. By doing away with core working hours, we have given our employees the option to work flexibly, no matter where they are or what time it is.
Conventional IT procurement methods are complex, protracted, and take up a lot of resources. IT departments waste valuable time on installing new workplaces and maintaining the existing systems landscape – time that could be used to address important strategic matters. The complete digitalization of procurement processes and the involvement of users via a self-service portal frees up time and increases user satisfaction.
Technology by itself is not enough to make change a reality. Whether a digital workplace strategy can be successfully implemented is heavily dependent on how well it is accepted by the employees. The challenge lies in organizational aspects, i.e. in the way the change is managed.
The switch to a digital workplace calls for a certain amount of adjustment, and many employees fear this will increase their workload. We established a project group comprising members from a range of departments in order to allay these fears and communicate the advantages of the new work environment. The group was tasked with formulating a detailed process and action plan for the rollout of the digital workplace, with a focus on addressing each employee individually. Tech-savvy employees who like to use webinars or e-books to train obviously need something different to those who prefer to get their information in printed form – from manuals or training materials. With these differences in mind, the project team developed a comprehensive action list that included both online offerings and analog initiatives.
The project team came up with the idea of a digital workplace café in order to get employees on board in face-to-face discussions. Every week, our employees met in our cafeteria for an informal chat about the new working environment over a cup of tea or coffee. The project team developed a local mentor program to support the café, and further ‘experts’ were called upon at our sites around the world to serve as regional points of contact and to provide local support.
The marketing department supported the project with a comprehensive promotional campaign to inspire enthusiasm for the digital workplace among our workforce. This included a digital workplace logo and a color concept designed specifically for this purpose, as well as a catchy slogan and communication material such as flyers and roller banners.
We also developed an interactive online platform all about the digital workplace. It provided tips and advice for everyday situations in the digital workplace through online training, FAQs, and support forums. Our experts act as moderators and provide advice through live chats. The necessary enthusiasm for the digital workplace was generated by using the right mix of online content such as chat help and live formats incorporating social interaction.
By using our own company as an example for the successful integration of the digital workplace, the CHG-MERIDIAN Group is not only helping its customers to embrace the future but is also taking a big step in this direction itself.