Digital workplace resilience – key practices in a (post) pandemic world

9 May 2022 by

Learning from the pandemic period to improve digital workplace resilience for future adverse events , whatever they may be, should be a key focus for digital workplace teams.

Teams need to look at what was rapidly put in place, to decide what worked, what could or should be adjusted or adapted, and what can be learnt from any challenges or mistakes.

In this DWG member research report, the main areas of focus established by lead consultant Nicole Carter include re-evaluation of strategic plans, employee and team skills, and changing user needs. A case study from global energy company AES highlights many of the elements needed to progress the digital workplace experience in 2021 and beyond.

Through three stages, the areas detailed are:

1. Pausing to reflect

Investing time to re-evaluate plans in place for the digital workplace, as well as the skill set and resourcing of the teams responsible for them. This should include consideration of governance processes and what support employees might need to leverage available technology in any new ‘hybrid’ workplace.

Topics covered in this section of the report are:

Digital workplace plans and teams
Plans may need adjustment, or complete review, considering changes to where people are going to work physically, or any modifications in business needs.

Technology governance and consolidation
With the technological infrastructure of organizations tested during the pandemic, teams are now looking at what is being used, any opportunities that are being missed and how to shore up any gaps in governance.

Supporting employees through change
The pivot to working from home during the pandemic has shown that remote work using digital technology is practical for many jobs and employees, and now is a good time to check in on the digital literacy of employees.

2. Evaluating changing user needs

The companies most advanced on their digital journeys were already evaluating the needs of their employees and acting on the results – now all organizations should do this. Employees that may specifically benefit from this analysis are: new employees; frontline workers; and learners. Topics covered in this section of the report are:

Onboarding
An essential part of the employee experience with the potential to increase business value, especially when many organizations are competing for the best employees. Onboarding digitally requires extra consideration, as well as strong collaboration with HR, to make sure it works well.

Frontline and mobile employees
Organizations need to work with their frontline and mobile employees to gain an understanding of their needs before making improvements to the digital employee experience for this user group.

Continual learning
Organizations are looking to build learning into an employee’s day-to-day interaction with the digital workplace rather than offering infrequent learning experiences.

3. Moving forward

Digital workplace teams should consider key baseline requirements to provide a strong foundation for any wider refinements they then decide to make. Topics outlined in the report are:

Accessibility and inclusivity
Consideration should be given to greater inclusivity and equality in the digital workplace; while alternative working options are opening to office-based workers, frontline workers or those who cannot adopt these models may be excluded.

Leading remote teams
Remote work encourages the need for demonstrable output-based work goals rather than time sitting at a desk, and managers will need to adapt their skill sets and performance management systems to encourage and evaluate this.

Ergonomics and wellbeing
Forward-thinking organizations should consider how they can use the digital workplace to protect the physical and mental health of their employees through interventions, governance and leadership.

Planning based on evidence
Digital workplace and cross-functional teams should use the learning from the past 18 months to reorient their digital workplace plans to emerging ways of work whilst ensuring senior management buy-in through the supply of evidence and best practice.

Download the free report excerpt

Digital workplace resilience:

key practices in a (post) pandemic world

Download the free report excerpt


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Nicole Carter

Leading on consultancy projects focusing on intranet governance and strategy for DWG, Nicole Carter is a freelance consultant, researcher and editor specializing in intranets and digital workplaces, employee adoption of new corporate systems, smart working and business change. She has a track record of delivering user-focused intranets and systems which make it easier for people to do their jobs. After leading on the successful delivery of the new Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s intranet, she helped the Scottish Government rationalize its 50,000 pages of verbose content into something useful. This new digital workplace core led to supporting the business and cultural change behind the rollout of a case management system to over 14,000 employees. With a background in smart working, project management, business change, stakeholder engagement and product design, Nicole enjoys the challenge of helping people to actually do something rather than just talk about it.

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