HR: The concept of a digital workplace
The global pandemic has changed the nature and makeup of the global workforce and has also supercharged the move over to digital workplace practices.
Before the pandemic came along, a lot of organizations were slow to take up digital transformation in traditional departments across the organization. But the pandemic created an urgent need for remote access to files and documents as well as digital tools for the remote delivery of services and collaboration with colleagues in a non-face-to-face environment.
All of this is now moving on to the next level and concept with the creation of a digital workplace, a workplace environment where digitized processes and tools drive the workloads and efficiencies.
Human resources professionals, leaders and managers are being tasked at many organizations now to help visualize, create, and establish some form of digital workplace, especially as part of significant recruitment drives as they could potentially be a differentiator in the war for talent. In this article we will take a look at how the concept of a digital workplace might play out.
While many leadership teams at organizations do not support the concept of a fully remote organization, as they believe it hinders creativity and collaboration, they are open to certain sectors of the business being fully remote.
For example, digital developers working on coding for a digital platform may only need to be present in an office or off-site location for face-to-face meetings once every six months. Meetings, workloads, and progress assessment can happen online. The employee personality types who work in these roles are also well used to working with digital video technology, so are unlikely to object to a digital workplace that is permanent in nature. In many cases, it even tends to suit their lifestyle and preferred choice of employer. By offering these kinds of employees the option to work remotely and by ensuring that they have everything they need to do this successfully, could contribute to their employee experience and boost employee retention. Furthermore, offering such employees the opportunity to work remotely could help attract other potential candidates or new hires for these roles, if they know that they are applying to a company that is supportive of modern digital work environments.
But it is not for everybody, so human resource teams need to communicate and listen to various parts of the business to establish their views on hybrid and remote working and the introduction of digital collaboration tools to get things done. There may be personality clashes and differences of opinions, but human resources will have a leading role in the development of globally remote teams inside an organization, from candidate hiring and remote onboarding, right through to the analytics and reporting that reflect the relative success or failure of using globally remote teams.
Personnel management software
This aspect of a potential digital workplace is directly related to human resources processes. This is HR professionals embracing HR technology to find better ways to manage a growing and now globally dispersed workforce.
The HR technology sector is absolutely booming with billions of dollars of investment over the last few years. There is now a clear recognition that a globally dispersed workforce is made up of several different employee types. Employees, contractors and EOR workers require a far more digitally advanced technology infrastructure to monitor and manage it all with control and visibility.
Personnel management software enables HR professionals and leaders to deliver human resources services as well as facilitate employees with self-service access to their HR, payroll and personal data. This can really serve to cut down on the administration faced by HR administrators as well as boost the employee experience. This is particularly relevant for new candidates coming from a strongly digital background, who have an inbuilt level of expectation around what a digitally advanced organization should look like and also have a clear preference to work in a digital workplace.
This type of software can really help HR professionals that are located in several different countries to share data, documents and information while also communicating, interacting, and collaborating in a more efficient manner. It can be particularly useful in extracting HR data for analysis and comparison, requests for this level of analysis and comparative reporting are on the rise as the leadership teams at executive level are looking to get a stronger understanding of the nature and makeup of the global workforce, especially to how it pertains to company performance and growth as well as future scaling plans. Having access to valuable HR data that can be digested through real-time reporting can be hugely useful when it comes to facilitating an organization’s strategic plans and is something that leadership teams are going to be very interested in obtaining.
Remote worker engagement
In a post pandemic world, remote and hybrid working has become the new normal -which has created a need among HR professionals and leaders to ensure engagement and productivity levels remain high. This can be challenging to do if for example, a team of ten people has eight located in Europe but two in South America. Time zones and cultural differences come into play here and there may be a stronger need to focus on the workers who are 100% fully remote and see how digital technology in a digital workplace can serve to help with engagement and employee satisfaction levels.
Examples of this could be providing employees with a self-serve portal where they can access their payslips or manage important personal documents such as their employee contracts and identification documents. Having easy digital access to this information could help with employee engagement as it could give them more control over their own personal employee information and even help them feel more supported in their work environment.
It is a concern for managers who are speaking to leadership teams about the best way to generate engagement levels, they know very well that engagement is fully related to productivity and producing successful outcomes which are particularly important when it comes to long-term projects with significant deadlines and milestones. They need to develop a culture of productivity, engagement and ongoing enthusiasm which can be difficult to achieve in a non-face-to-face environment. Therefore, any digital tools that help with this are to be welcomed and made part of a digital workplace.
With remote and hybrid work being the new reality in the majority of organizations today, thinking and developing the concept of a digital workplace is now crucial for HR professionals. Personnel management software can help deliver human resource services and implementing digital tools and digital initiatives in the workplace can help with successful remote employee engagement.
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