Is it? Isn’t technology enough to teach us how to change the way we work?

The intra.NET Reloaded conference I recently attended as a speaker brought together 100+ decision makers from corporate IT, communications and other areas to discuss some of the current challenges of the intranet and its future.

As the world is moving faster and becoming more global, more mobile and digitised, a digital workplace was the hot topic of these two insightful days. So what does ‘digital workplace’ actually mean? Naturally, individual companies’ needs vary but in principle, a digital workplace enables employees to work better and more efficiently, encourages collaboration and knowledge sharing, increases agility and flexibility, and empowers employees, making them more engaged and involved. For many, a digital workplace is a strategic approach, synonymous with new ways of working that take companies from good to great.

When it comes to a digital workplace, depending on where you are in the process and what type of company you are, there are a lot of challenges related to infrastructure, business applications, tools and others, as well as something absolutely paramount, security. And then there are users but - ‘when we build it, will they come?’

How do we ensure people embrace it? How do we ensure we are designing a digital workplace of and for the future? As in the case of any change, that is where our leaders come in – preparing employees for the journey, leading the way, building the trust and credibility that people will follow. It also helps make people part of the process so they can fully understand the benefits brought by new ways of working.

Bearing in mind that it is much more than just a virtual equivalent to the physical workplace, it was made clear at the event that to proactively develop a digital workplace means addressing it as a whole and coordinating technology, process and people.

Changing a company culture from ‘what you know’ to ‘what you share’, adopting a digital workplace and utilising it to its full advantage, while ensuring that company leaders and managers are enablers of such change, may be lengthy but it’s doable – the technology is already there. Now it simply depends on us.