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CEO’s Digital Workplace – a blog by Paul Miller.

Paul Miller pictureWork is shifting from a place you go – to something you do. Work is moving from physical to digital environments. Offices and factories are shrinking and being re-shaped for new ways of working. Work is becoming increasingly portable, mobile and adaptable – whether in manufacturing and heavy industry, retail or service sectors.

But as the physical space of work is re-configured, so the digital space is being strengthened, enriched and made more powerful and present. We can “see” the physical changes but the digital changes are both unseen yet still experienced moment to moment. Organizations will invest in offices, factories, warehouses and shops because they can see what the money produces but the digital workplaces are invisible and so far lack a clear proven business case.

If we invest tens/hundreds of millions of dollars in our digital work world, what will we get back in return? Show me the money!

With that back-drop on 2 October the Digital Workplace Forum (DWF) is heading to Microsoft’s HQ at Redmond to walk inside and experience the digital workplace of the future (as envisioned by its Executive Director Harald Becker and his team) and it will take our breath away. Forbes magazine cited IBM and Microsoft as the two organisations doing the best job in actually demonstrating the new digital worlds of work that we can expect to work in 15 – 20 years from now.

But this field trip begs the question: what is the pay-back from making the huge investments needed to deliver a potent digital workplace across the company? In the new edition of the DWF ‘Digital Workplace Business Case‘ the financial returns are specified, detailed and supported by concrete examples under six main headings. Here is a taster…

Real estate reductions

  • About 60% of a company’s desks are vacant at any one time.
  • The average business could save up to $5K a year in real estate reductions if the digital workplace can enable work flexibility.
  • Cisco saved $1.1 billion, IBM $450m and GSK $50m just on the real estate side.

Productivity improvements

  • Enabling modest amounts of work portability through digital working raises annual productivity by up to $16K per employee.
  • BT experienced productivity improvements of 20%, UPS 17% and part of the US Air Force had a 55% uplift in efficiency.

Absenteeism declines

  • Absenteeism costs US businesses $153 billion a year – 35% of the payroll.
  • 70% of HR managers see flexibility in work enabled through technology as powerful in reducing absenteeism.
  • Absenteeism falls by around a third through the use of the digital workplace – saving at least £1,900 a year for staff on basic pay levels.
  • Did you know that in addition to promoting a safer, more productive workplace, regular workplace drug testing can help to decrease employee turnover and absenteeism? For more information on workplace drug testing go to the Test Country Website.

Staff turnover falls

  • All research shows new digital ways of working reduce staff turnover.
  • Value or reduced turnover is estimated at £3,350 per employee or $79K per retained employee.
  • In business where a quarter of staff leave each year, the cost for a 1,000 person company is between $4m – $10m in replacement costs.

Operations continuity

  • Work is increasingly disrupted by transport strikes, weather conditions, health concerns, terrorism – and the numbers of days a year when staff can’t “get to work” each year are increasing.
  • Accessing key systems and applications from anywhere is increasingly business critical but also essential in emergencies.
  • Lost productivity in snow-related closures in 2010 was $71m a day – but that was down from $100m a day due to investment into the digital workplace.

Environmental gains

  • Persian Gulf oil imports would fall 47% if half the US workforce chose to work remotely half the time.
  • Carbon emissions fall dramatically when travel is reduced so not only do organizations like Ernst & Young save $4m a year and Cisco $10.3m a year in lower travel costs but the environmental gains follow naturally.

Learn more…

Download your copy of the Digital Workplace Business Case

Find out about DWF’s Microsoft visit on 2-3 October

About the author

Paul Miller is CEO and Founder of the Digital Workplace Group (DWG). He is a business and social entrepreneur. His latest book, The Digital Renaissance of Work: Delivering digital workplaces fit for the future (co-authored with Elizabeth Marsh), was shortlisted for the Management Book of the Year 2016 Award. Paul’s previous book, The Digital Workplace: How technology is liberating work, helped to popularize and explain the term “digital workplace”. Paul has given many inspirational talks on the digital future of work, for audiences at Microsoft, IKEA, Google, Accenture, Harvard Business Review, Cisco, European Commission, IMF, Adobe and Oxford University. He hosts the Digital Workplace Impact podcast.

Paul was ranked one of the world’s Top 50 Social Employee Advocacy Leaders in 2015. For many years he hosted the pioneering internet radio show Digital Workplace Live and is Executive Producer of the 24-hour global digital experience Digital Workplace 24. Prior to founding DWG, Paul was Founder and CEO of communications company The Empowerment Group; Publisher and Editor of social and digital innovation magazine “Wave”; and, in pre-internet days, co-founder of the Ideas Café salon. He lives in the Cotswolds in the UK.

See more about Paul Miller on Wikipedia

Connect with Paul on Twitter: @paulmillersays

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