Skip to main content

Beyond Productivity: The Human Side of the Digital Workplace Quantified

Employees who work in digital workplaces are not only more productive but also more motivated, have higher job satisfaction, and report an overall better sense of well-being, according to a new global study from Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company.
The study, The Right Technologies Unlock the Potential of the Digital Workplace, reveals both the business and human benefits of more digitally-driven workplaces, and how companies that are less technologically advanced are at risk of falling behind the competition and not attracting top talent. It also notes that companies must be vigilant as more digital-savvy employees are taking greater risks with data and information security.
Key Themes and Findings
The study of 7,000 employees across 15 countries, including the United Arab Emirates (UAE), revealed a clear chasm in employee performance and sentiment between more advanced digital workplaces and those that employ digital technology to a lesser degree. A number of key themes emerged:
  •  Beyond productivity, digital tools unlock human benefits: “Digital Revolutionaries” - employees identified as those who work in fully-enabled digital workplaces where new workplace technologies are in widespread use - were 51% more likely to have strong job satisfaction, and 43% more likely to be positive about their work-life balance than “Digital Laggards” - those who have less access to workplace technology. The Revolutionary employees were also 60% more likely to say they are motivated at work, and 91% more likely to praise their company’s vision.
  •  Digital working also supports professional development: 65% of Revolutionaries reported they had seen professional development and growth through the use of digital technology, compared to just 31% of Laggards. With a digital workplace, 72% of Revolutionaries reported a higher ability to adopt new work skills as compared to 58% of Laggards.
  •  Productivity gains from digital technology quantified: 73% of Digital Revolutionaries reported a positive impact to their productivity and 70% cited improved collaboration thanks to digital technologies, vs. 55% of laggards.
  •  Continued advancements in digital technology and automation pave the way for better workplace experiences: While automation can be perceived as a threat to job security, our research found that there was widespread enthusiasm for it. 71% of respondents said they would welcome a fully automated workplace in the future, allowing organizations to build smarter, more effective working environments.
Emerging risks
The study also found that employees are enthusiastic about new technology and have a desire for their employers to provide more. Almost all respondents (93%) thought their workplace would be improved through greater use of technology, while 64% said their company will fall behind the competition if new technology isn’t implemented. The same portion (64%) believe the traditional office will become obsolete due to advances in technology.
  •  Globally, 69% of respondents said their companies have invested in digital workplace tools in the past year, and interest is growing in a new generation of technologies including smart building tools that automate temperature controls and lighting (24%), voice-activated and wireless AV technology (23%), and custom corporate mobile apps (23%).
  •  Most respondents thought digital technology would result in a more efficient (56%), more collaborative (52%) and more appealing (47%) work environment.
While the benefits of digital workplaces are wide-ranging, the study also revealed that cybersecurity is a challenge for employers.
  •  Although employees reported higher levels of cybersecurity awareness (52% think about security often or daily), they also admitted to taking more risks with company data and devices, with 70% admitting to risky behaviors such as sharing passwords and devices.
  •  A quarter (25%) of employees have connected to potentially unsafe open Wi-Fi in the past twelve months, 20% said they use the same password across multiple applications and accounts, and 17% admitted to writing down passwords in order to remember them.
Gamal Emara, Country Manager, UAE at Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company says, “Our research shows that digital workplace trends in UAE are in line with global trends. Organizations in the country and the larger Middle East region need to understand that more digitally-driven workplaces not only foster productivity, but employee wellbeing, motivation and job satisfaction. The organizations that capitalize on implementing a digitally-enabled workplace will gain a competitive edge, by helping employees fnish tasks quicker as well as making the process more collaborative and enjoyable.”
“Simultaneously, companies need to be aware of the growing information security threats that are now a routine problem for increasingly connected organizations. Our fndings suggest that the problem is as much about human failures as it is digital workplace design.”
The Road Forward
These findings indicate that companies must adapt to leverage the benefits of new digital workplace technology while simultaneously minimizing security risks. Aruba recommends that organizations take the following actions:
  •  Adopt a digital workplace strategy: IT departments need to work with business managers, end-users and other stakeholders to define a roadmap for their digital workplace evolution. This includes moving beyond established technologies to deploying new tools such as smart sensors and customized mobile apps that will create increasingly personalized workplace experiences.
  •  Build collaborative digital workspaces: Companies need to think about how the digital workplace extends beyond their head office to support remote workers, partners, and customers. IT leaders need to plan for, and invest in, a working environment without borders.
  •  Incorporate security from the ground up: Companies must architect the digital workplace with security as an integral part of the design, taking into account the role of human error as well as bad actors. To achieve optimum security that can adapt to change and unknowns, IT must look to emerging technologies in networking, cloud computing, AI and machine-learning. 
“The consumerization of the workplace is a very real movement. Employees are consumers and we bring consumer expectations with us to work,” said Janice Le, Chief Marketer for Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company. "The workplace is getting smarter and therefore, employees are working smarter.”
A new paradigm has started to emerge where smart building technologies are intersecting with the digital workplace to form the Smart Digital Workplace. This is where human-centered design meets IoT and building automation. The Smart Digital Workplacecan enable personalized experiences such as connected furniture and smart lighting that adapts to the user. Buildings can go greener by dynamically optimizing energy utilization based on employee patterns. These new use cases not only foster employee productivity but also improve efficiency while putting people at the center.
Le concluded, “This global study indicates that choice, personalization, ease and automation are improving the top line and the bottom line for organizations who are defining the future of work. Our own place of work is a living lab for the Smart Digital Workplace and we are seeing results such as faster hiring and higher offer acceptances. The benefits are tangible and go beyond productivity.”

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Cloud Computing powering India’s priority of ‘Digital-first country’

By: Sunil Mahale, India MD and VP, Nutanix
Digital transformation has been recognized as being vital to the growth of our nation. This transformation has enjoyed the unanimous approval and contribution from all stake holders including enterprises, MSMEs, government bodies and citizens. But this level of adoption in a country with a population of over a billion people would need a robust technology base that is capable to collecting and distributing vital data seamlessly.
Digital India envisions creating high speed digital highways, that will impact commerce and create a digital footprint for every individual. Technologies based on mobility, analytics, Internet of things and most importantly, cloud technologies are the building blocks for the digital India missionThere is a growing need to manage huge volumes of data, and making them readily available to public through digital cloud services. Cloud has a pivotal role in enabling this change.
While Data centers have become crucial to th…

RevStart launches its RevItUp Incubation Programme

Underlining its vision of creating a nurturing ecosystem for start-ups to grow in, RevStart, a co-working and incubation centre, has announced the launch of its RevItUp Incubation Programme. The 12-week long programme will be held at RevStart Incubation Centre in Noida from July 1, 2018 onwards. As part of the programme, RevStart will select five high potential start-ups from the ed-tech sector, AI, Consumer Internet, Sustainability, as well as for-profit social impact companies to assist them with developing their business, along with connecting them to global mentors across industries and sectors. In addition, start-ups selected for the programme will receive INR 5 lakh to Rs. 25 lakhs worth of cash and benefits, while RevStart will get an equity stake in the ventures.
The RevItUp Incubation Programme has been created to enhance the founding team’s industry, product, and company building knowledge and capabilities through a world-class curriculum. The programme will focus on tailor…

The Workplace of the Future

By: Arnab Ghosh – Director, Synergy Property Development Services)
Workplaces are undergoing a major transformation today to stay relevant. Conventional space planning and design approach for office space are slowly but steadily changing across the globe. What was a trickle a decade back is snowballing into a movement as we speak? The nature of the work we do and the time we spend in our workplace is driving this change. 
The Social Workplace The original office in the west was originally based on the factory floor design. The Workers occupied the maximum space followed by Managers and the Senior Executives in their glass cabins. The term “productivity” also has industrial roots. There were well-defined tasks and targets for the employees to achieve in their working time. All these have changed drastically over the last few decades and going to change further in the future. The culture of organizations has to adapt to this change to stay ahead and retain talent. Productivity is no long…