Blog May 2021

Workplace digitization: where you stand and how to move forward

The path to a modern digital work environment is a process which usually takes place at different stages and never really ends. In terms of a comprehensive upgrade and better employee experience, it is important that the digital transformation takes place gradually and in line with the company’s level of digital maturity.

Process digitization has proven instrumental in achieving company objectives and success. A digital work environment, among other things, plays a crucial role in this, as it makes it easier for employees to work more efficiently.

If digital transformation is expedited too quickly, employees may develop an aversion to new solutions or tools for work, and the project itself may come to a halt. It is therefore crucial that we know at what stage or level of digital maturity your company is before setting out on the journey of upgrading your work environment through Microsoft 365 or any tools of a similar provider.

1. Setting up a digital work environment

In order to digitize your employees’ work, proper tools must be selected and introduced to their work environment. For example, the exchange of information and cooperation can be simplified and enhanced with Microsoft Teams. The IT department plays a big part in this as it takes care of the technical aspect – purchasing necessary licenses and installing selected tools so that every employee is able to use them.

2. Getting to know modern tools for work

The digital work environment is set up and employees are becoming familiar with their new tools for work – discovering how to call a meeting in Outlook, how to create channels within Teams, what information is accessible on the intranet portal, and so on. Their exploration stops at a certain point if it is not stimulated by training or another approach. This means that the degree of digital literacy varies within the company, and more importantly, employees in most cases continue to use tools at a basic level, not taking full advantage of the tools’ potential.

3. Defining a policy on the use of tools and increasing digital competencies

The biggest shift in taking full advantage of the possibilities provided by a digital workplace takes place at precisely this stage. The previously “disorganized” use of tools is put into order by setting guidelines for use. This way, the means of document exchange are specified this way, for example, now either via Teams or SharePoint Online, which also allow group work on content. This stage is also characterized by an increase in the employees’ digital competencies. It often turns out that users in companies need to be properly trained in order to use tools more efficiently.

4. Upgrading work processes

Once employees have become familiar enough with Microsoft 365 tools or tools of a similar provider, process streamlining can begin. The tools’ advanced features, among other things, allow the automation of repetitive tasks, such as the preparation of monthly reports, simplification of time-consuming processes, i.e. reviewing and approving sales offers, contracts or other documents, as well as the development of new, simpler processes, and their introduction into practice.

5. Ongoing monitoring and introducing improvements

As a living organism, a company is constantly changing. The key is to monitor process development and the needs of employees, and to upgrade their work environment accordingly on an ongoing basis. For example, the option to book a preferred workstation in the office online can be introduced for hybrid work, or an internal online social network.
The process of upgrading a digital work environment needs to be carefully planned, but most importantly, it must be set out from the stage the company is actually at. By setting a realistic path and objectives, it is in turn easier to introduce novelties and to benefit from the full potential of modern tools sooner.

Niko Dolenc
Niko Dolenc
Microsoft 365 Consultant
Niko has more than 25 years of experience in IT. He started out as a technical engineer and now works as a support specialist for business customers, responsible for cloud solutions and services. He advises small and medium-sized businesses that are starting to deploy Microsoft 365. He also trains subscribers and end users on the use of Microsoft 365 tools.
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