A smart workplace that works for you: four key factors

Many organizations are currently laying the foundations for the switch to a new digital workplace, or have recently made the transition. The overwhelming majority of these workplace environments are based on the cloud-first mentality (SaaS). Due to organizations’ existing (legacy) application landscape, this often results in a hybrid environment – at least for the time being. One of the common features of this digital workplace environment is the use of Office 365 as a productivity and collaboration suite. The raison d’être of this environment is to provide secure access to applications and data, but it also provides employees with the tools they need to carry out their daily activities and to cooperate with colleagues or other organizations.

How great would it be if we could transform this digital workplace into a smart digital workplace by implementing available innovations? So that you have a workplace that actually works for you. In this blog, Christiaan de Vin, Business Development Manager at Login Consultants, guides you through the four key factors of the intelligent workspace.

1 Microapps: applications that focus on a single task, thereby simplifying day-to-day activities

A huge amount of time is wasted by constantly switching between applications and as a result of the often complex routing within applications. According to a study carried out by McKinsey, employees spend a full working day every week switching between systems in order to find the right information. But thanks to microapps – small, task-specific applications that deliver highly targeted functionality – that’s a thing of the past. Ultimately, this means that your employees only get the apps and functionalities they need, without all the other unnecessary stuff. Users can use these apps to carry out single-purpose tasks quickly and easily. And thanks to useful forms, employees can get started with microapps in no time. The information entered is written back to the source system. For example, Citrix has gone all in on microapps in its Citrix Workspace Suite in order to enhance the employee experience, simplify tasks, and increase overall productivity.

2 Automation: automating manual actions and processes

Research shows that people today are working longer hours and are under more stress than ever before. Yet productivity – output per hour worked – is on the decline. Smart automation can increase the efficiency and flexibility of your workforce and enable you to respond quickly to changing business needs. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is playing an ever larger role in automating processes that were previously done manually. According to a recent report, 88% of IT leaders claim that IT automation is being developed and implemented within their own departments, and 94% expect the focus on implementing automation to grow within the next three years. Of those companies that are actively using automation today, 74% say they are using AI to gain insights into infrastructure performance, and 93% believe AI can play a major role in automating previously time-consuming manual processes. By orchestrating and automating IT-related tasks by defining rules based on which action is taken, and automating workflows by using REST APIs, your staff can focus on more strategic tasks.

3 Virtual Assistant: improve the user experience with AI

Artificial Intelligence is going from strength to strength. For example, Microsoft uses AI in MyAnalytics for Office 365 to give employees an insight into their work habits, which in turn helps them to learn how to work more efficiently. But it can also provide other valuable information, such as on how you spend your time between meetings or on your work behaviour outside office hours. The dedicated MyAnalytics Leadership dashboard is based on leadership research. It alerts managers when they spend too much time on one-on-one meetings and detects other trends in communication with people on your team. But it also analyses how effectively you carry out follow-up tasks arising from meetings. According to Gartner, AI-powered virtual assistants and chatbots will be able to reduce managers’ workloads by 70% by 2024.This kind of virtual assistant also features in other Office tools; PowerPoint, for example, suggests beautiful designs that match your presentation, and you can do a dry-run of a presentation to see where you can make improvements. So, there are all kinds of smart applications designed to enhance the user experience and simplify repetitive tasks. Another example of a virtual assistant is the Hub Virtual Assistant integrated in VMware Workspace One. This AI-powered hub assistant is linked to IBM Watson for natural language processing (NLP) and assists employees with, for example, onboarding within your organization, answering frequently asked questions, and performing self-service tasks via an intelligent chatbot integrated into the digital workplace.

4 Employee Experience Platforms: Smarter and more efficient cooperation

Employee experience is a hot topic at the moment. Not only is it about creating the right onboarding experience and a pleasant and efficient way of working together, but also about providing opportunities for continuous learning and development. Especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic, providing your employees with the best possible employee experience has proven to be quite a challenge. But it can be done – by using the right tools to help you work smarter and more efficiently. Microsoft has responded to this development with the launch of Microsoft Viva, an employee well-being and development platform, also known as EXP (Employee Experience Platform).Microsoft Viva combines communication, knowledge sharing, learning, well-being, and employee engagement in a single smart digital platform. It takes the capabilities of Microsoft 365 a step further and is easy to integrate with the systems and tools that your organization already uses.

Tools are not the only solution

You can introduce as many tools as you want, but ultimately it’s your people who have to work with them. So make sure you offer your employees the support they need and incorporate that in your digital transformation strategy. This will help to increase the chance of acceptance and, by extension, the chance of success.

CURIOUS TO FIND OUT MORE?

When it comes to setting up a smart, future-proof digital workplace, there are lots of decisions to be made. Luckily, we are here to help. So make an appointment to chat to our innovation coach or simply get in touch. We’d be delighted to help you in person or digitally.