The digital workspace is set to be one of the most popular IT trends of the coming year. Enabling your employees to work where, when and how they like will play a major role in attracting and retaining the best talent in a highly competitive jobs market, while there are also a range of productivity benefits to be seen.
The core benefits of a digital workspace
One of the main advantages of a digital workspace is that it lets your workers be much more flexible in their jobs. In turn, this boosts morale, improves productivity and saves businesses money.
For instance, one study by the Digital Workplace Group estimates that enterprises that have adopted digital workspaces experience a 25% lower staff turnover rate. It also noted that talented workers are not only more likely to stay with a job that offers a flexible working environment, but two-thirds of people (64%) will even opt for a lower-paying role if they can work away from the office.
However, the benefits don’t stop there. The use of digital workspaces can also lead directly to improved revenue. For instance, one study by Markets and Markets estimated that firms with these capabilities enjoyed a 43% increase in revenue, as well as a 67% rise in productivity.
With this in mind, it's no wonder that so many businesses are looking to increase their investments in this technology. The same study found the global market for these tools is estimated to reach £72.2 billion by 2026, so if you're not looking at what this technology can do for you, the chances are you'll quickly fall behind more advanced competitors.
8 digital workspace tools you need in your business
However, to make digital workspaces a reality, you need the right tools. And this can be a challenge, as there are hundreds of free and paid-for software solutions out there that offer everything from easy collaboration on files to videoconferencing and project management.
Therefore, here are a few of the most powerful and popular digital collaboration tools to help you make your digital workspace a success.
Probably the most popular business instant messaging (IM) app in use today, Slack is used by some of the world's largest businesses to keep in touch, including Twitter, Target and IBM. As well as a clean, easy-to-use interface for instant messaging, it lets users share files, connect with third-party apps and even make video calls, and conversations can be easily organized into different channels for each project, as well as private chats.
If you need to keep track of a wide range of documents for a specific project in one place, Bit.ai may be the solution for you The tool allows you to create and share interactive documents with over 100 integrations with other services, as well as build multiple public and private workspaces that are all customizable to the exact news of a project, each with its own hub and content libraries.
3. Google Workspace
Google's range of digital productivity tools include everything you need to run a remote business effectively, from cloud storage and file sharing in Google Drive to videoconferencing in Meet and IM services in Chat. Its powerful search tools make it easy to find what you're looking for and share it easily, while a wide range of management control ensures everything is kept secure.
4. Microsoft 365
Often viewed as an alternative to Google's offerings, Microsoft 365's cloud-based version of its classic Office tools provide access to some of the industry's most powerful and familiar software, wherever users need them. As well as the usual products, such as Word, Excel and Powerpoint, close integrations with Teams and SharePoint make keeping in touch and collaborating on documents easy, extending the office employee experience to wherever a user happens to be.
Wurkr promises to boost efficiency for hybrid workspaces while still maintaining a strong focus on company culture and employee wellbeing. The app simulates the traditional office environment, splitting its groups into familiar virtual collaboration spaces, from the boardroom to the break room. This makes it easy to drop in on colleagues and host impromptu meetings without having to check everyone's calendar first.
Miro provides an online whiteboard that any member of your team can contribute to. Whether you're looking to conduct a remote brainstorming session in real-time or work independently before coming together to discuss, Miro lets you workshop ideas, create storyboards and map out workflows, to name just a few features.
If security matters to you, Bluescape promises some of the strongest protections available, while still enabling easy collaboration among employees. It provides a range of useful features, including online whiteboards, content sharing, video conferencing, and presentation tools and is trusted by big names such as Google, Netflix and Ford to facilitate safe remote working.
Sococo offers a virtual environment that lets people work via voice, video, chat, and screen sharing as if they were side by side. It creates a virtual office space featuring distinct rooms, letting users choose whichever would be most appropriate for certain tasks, whether this is a chilled-out brainstorming session or a deep dive into a project where focus is required from everyone.
How to implement a successful digital workspace
However, having the right tools is only the first step in the journey to a fully digitized workspace. In order to see the best chance of success, you'll have to make sure you're following the right steps to get them working properly and ensure they're embraced by users.
Some key things to keep in mind include:
- Understand your environment: Don't just buy tools and assume they'll meet your needs. Make sure you identify exactly what issues you need to solve and which tools have the right capabilities to achieve this.
- Have a clear roadmap: A clear vision for how new tools will be rolled out is vital. This allows you to start small, iron out any kinks, and roll out the tools gradually, starting with the most relevant employees and those who are especially enthusiastic adopters.
- Get leadership buy-in: If senior staff aren't seen to have confidence in the tools, this will filter down to other employees. Make sure management and executives are using the tools and
- Have the right training: Everybody learns differently, and for many, a one-off lecture on how to use new tools won't be effective. Plan a comprehensive training program that includes interactive elements and multiple ways of learning to ensure everyone is comfortable with the technology.
- Have a clear governance framework: Ensuring everyone knows who to turn to if they have any questions or issues, and who is ultimately responsible for the rollout of new technology, is vital. This includes formulating guidelines for the use of the tools, establishing best practices and having a clear support structure.
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