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As a new year draws close, we tend to reflect on the past 12 months, as well as look forward to the coming year. Here at DWG we’ve had a really action-packed 2018 with our ever-popular member meetings, ground-breaking research programme, increasingly popular Digital Workplace Impact podcast, highly successful Digital Workplace Experience conference, 30 or so editions of Digital Workplace Live and Knowledge Exchanges, plus all our normal benchmarking and consulting activity!

In 2018 we’ve also produced a lot of blog posts and articles reflecting the latest thinking and issues that matter in the digital workplace and intranet worlds. As we do each year, we’ve put together a summary of 10 of the posts that really stood out for us and have proved particularly popular with visitors to this site. Happy reading and a Happy New Year too!

Paul Miller’s 10 digital workplace predictions for 2019

Every year DWG’s CEO and Founder Paul Miller dusts down his crystal ball and predicts which trends and topics we’re likely to see in the digital workplace of 2019. This post covers all 10 of this year’s predictions, looks at how last year’s predictions fared (he did pretty well!) and also makes one overarching grand prediction for 2019 about the importance of flexible ways of working. This is a great post to help get you thinking about your digital workplace and planning for the new year.

Applying the scientific method to the digital workplace and employee experience

Way back in January, Ephraim Freed posted this great article about taking a more “scientific” approach to testing the digital workplace and improving the employee experience. Taking inspiration from “The Lean Start-Up” (and also how children test their parents’ patience!), Ephraim explains why companies need to take a less short-term view of the digital workplace, instead adopting a more product management view, with “regular hypothesizing, user testing and measurement”. The article explores both the mindset required and some of the steps teams can take.

Introducing the four dimensions of the Digital Workplace 2030

One of our most popular research reports of 2018 has been “Digital Workplace 2030”,  a ground-breaking look into the future digital worlds of work. While this report concerns the future, it also provides a very pragmatic framework for digital workplace teams to use today, helping them to think about what they need to do to prepare for the future digital workplace. The framework has four dimensions – Space, Capability, Intelligence and Beauty – each of which is explored in this blog post penned by Elizabeth Marsh, one of the report’s co-authors. Digital Workplace 2030: Preparing now for the digital worlds of work to come is free to download!

Why we need to take a level-headed view of artificial intelligence (AI)

This year, Artificial Intelligence (AI) seems to have been everywhere. It’s been a focus for both the popular and business media, appeared as a “feature” in products and been trending inside organizations. This article reminds us not to let the hype put us off. AI is an exciting development which is too important not to be carefully considered; this article argues why we need to take a level-headed view of AI, and also examines some of the related issues organizations need to be thinking about.

Has gamification become normalized in the digital workplace?

Gamification is a long-term trend in the digital workplace, which we first blogged about in 2011. In this post we considered the original questions we asked way back then, including whether gamification in 2018 is now a normal ingredient of digital workplaces? The article covers various aspects of gamification that we see today: its influence on interface design; its appearance in key organizational processes such as recruitment; and its use as a general “nudge” or engagement tactic.

Digital workplace initiatives – if they build, it will they come?

Adoption is a perennial preoccupation for intranet and digital workplace teams – how do you get more people to visit and use your digital workplace? “Digital workplace adoption strategies” was the topic of one of our best-received member research reports of the year. Authored by Kevin Olp, this thoughtful post explored some themes from the research, including what makes a digital workplace indispensable and how teams can make this happen (and, if you’re interested in this topic, also check out the related episode of Digital Workplace Impact, our excellent podcast).

Winner of the Digital Workplace of the Year 2018 – Liberty Mutual Insurance

One of the highlights of the DWG calendar is our annual Digital Workplace of the Year Awards, which celebrate organizations that have produced high-performing digital workplace environments. This post explores the 2018 winner, Liberty Mutual Insurance, a DWG member which has excelled in executing a well-thought-out strategy and robust approach to governance. The result of this foundational work is some fantastic digital workplace features, including a digital assistant that features a personalized hub and chatbot, and a comprehensive approach to mobile. Congratulations to the team!

Winner of the Digital Leader of the Year 2018 – Aaron Kim, RBC Royal Bank of Canada

As well as the award for the overall best digital workplace, we also recognize the digital workplace leader who has made an outstanding personal contribution in their field. This post celebrates the 2018 winner, Aaron Kim, Senior Director and Head, Enterprise Collaboration at RBC, who has not only done some incredible work in his own organization – driving forward an enterprise collaboration platform with excellent levels of adoption – but also given back to the global digital workplace community through extensive blogging and conference speaking. Our congratulations to Aaron!

From caterpillar to butterfly- how Nationwide made the case for intranet transformation

This post is the first part of a detailed and fascinating case study looking at how UK financial services company Nationwide, as a DWG member, went from having a not-that-great intranet, which performed badly in our benchmarking, to one that nearly topped the league tables. This post is dedicated to how the team made the business case for transforming the intranet using data, and some of the associated lessons learned along the way. You can also read the second and third parts of the story!

Your “tragic” digital workplace means the best young people just don’t want to work for you

This provocative post from Paul Miller argues that any company with a poor digital workplace will struggle to successfully recruit and keep younger staff, who expect to have a rich set of digital tools, all of which will work seamlessly, at their fingertips! Of course, often our experience of workplace technology is not quite so rosy. Paul advises that solving this issue must be a strategic priority, arguing that if “you can’t offer a digital workplace of which you can be proud, all the HR efforts around recruitment and retention are just wasted time and money, because even if [younger employees] do come on board, the best ones will leave.”

You can also look at our round-up of favourite posts from previous years:

10 favourite digital workplace andi intranet blogs from 2017

DWG’s top 10 articles of 2016

Top 15 digital workplace and intranet blogs posts from 2015

And, of course, there’ll be plenty more expert articles throughout 2019, so do make sure to check in regularly to keep up with the latest digital workplace insights in our blog!

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About the author

Steve-BynghallSteve Bynghall is a research associate, benchmark evaluator and knowledge manager for DWG. He is also a freelance consultant, researcher and writer specializing in knowledge management, collaboration, intranet and social business. Steve previously worked at accountancy firm BDO in a variety of knowledge roles, including managing its global extranet programme. He recently co-wrote a book on crowdsourcing with Ross Dawson.

Steve is passionate about being able to work from anywhere, and is occasionally seen in local coffee shops with his trusty laptop. When not working, Steve can be found exploring London with his family.

Connect with Steve on Twitter: @bynghall or on Google +.

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