Most employers already know that proper workplace technology is a critical driver of organizational success.
According to research, investments in digital transformation will reach $2.8 trillion by 2025, and over 50% of people think technology will determine workplace changes in the next few years.
The biggest challenge for organizations is choosing the right solutions and integrating them into a true digital workplace where employees can strive and achieve their best.
In this blog, we will discuss the importance of workplace technology, name some of the must-have tools for your organization, and go over a short buyer’s guide for choosing the right solutions.
Workplace Tech: The New Employee Experience Imperative
Digital transformation in the workplace is not an option anymore. It’s a must. With the emergence of remote and hybrid work, many companies that were lagging in DX had to adjust to the market in order to ensure business continuity.
In the past few years, most businesses discovered that they could not function while their employees worked from home. Consequently, they have increased investment in digital software that facilitates virtual communication and collaboration.
According to a study by Ultimate Software, 92% of workers said having technology that makes their jobs easier impacts their happiness with their jobs.
Because how employees communicate, collaborate, and connect are fundamental qualities of the employee experience, and it’s critical that employers facilitate these interactions with technology.
As nicely put in an article by Harvard Business Review:
“As this trend persists, the technology experiences that employers provide will more or less define the employee experience — technology and workplace tools are, for all intents and purposes, the new workplace. As such, they’re becoming central in attracting and retaining new talent, fostering workplace culture, creating productivity, and more.”
Companies also need to understand that we are just entering a new era of technology in the workplace.
For example, many companies are now starting to shift toward everything as a service (XaaS) — meaning all their offerings are available as cloud-based subscription services.
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How Workplace Technology Impacts Your Business’ Success
Based on research, 90% of C-suite executives believe their company pays attention to people’s needs when introducing new technology, but only about half (53%) of staff say the same.
This is a big problem because if you exclude your employees from the process, your new project is much more likely to fail. And you won’t see the true impact of workplace technology on:
1. Employee experience and engagement
In Qualtrics research only 30% of employees said their experience with their company’s technology exceeds their expectations.
The same research showed that when employees are satisfied with their IT services and technology experience they are 158% more engaged at work.
Focusing on digital employee experience is critical for driving technology usage and employee efficiency. So companies need to pay closer attention to which solutions are most likely to provide higher ROIs.
2. Productivity and efficiency
Higher employee engagement almost always results in higher employee productivity. Moreover, some workplace technology directly impacts employee efficiency. These tools are designed to eliminate manual processes and allow employees to devote more time to critical thinking and innovation.
According to research, employees working for companies that make the necessary business apps readily available and accessible report 17% less time spent on manual processes and a 16% faster decision-making.
Furthermore, workplace software can go a long way in improving accuracy as it reduces the likelihood of human error and provides real-time data and analytics through insightful dashboards and reporting.
3. Employee retention
Proper workplace technology can also have a positive impact on employee retention. Some research suggests that employees who are happy with the technology they use at work are more likely to stay longer.
To be more precise, employees have a 61% higher intent to stay with their employers if they feel they have the technology that supports them at work.
4. Communication and team collaboration
With the emergence of remote and hybrid work, many organizations have started investing in workplace solutions that improve virtual communication and team collaboration.
Asynchronous communication has become a new normal, but it takes the right technology to make it efficient. Based on the previously mentioned research, employees working for companies that provide the necessary business apps report 16% increase in team collaboration.
The two must-have categories in this space are social employee intranets and instant messaging platforms.
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Remote work has also raised new security concerns for most companies. When employees work remotely, they use a range of various devices and tools, which can result in significant security risks for employers.
One research found that as many as 42% of workers use business-related mobile applications and employee apps daily, and that number is expected to increase. Conversely, 83% of CIOs think mobile security threats are a major problem. It is important that companies implement workplace tech that enables them to verify the devices, applications, users and networks before allowing access.
On the bright side, one of the primary positive effects of technology in the workplace is that data privacy laws will protect 65% of the world by 2023.
6 Must-Have Workplace Technologies
Today, there are dozens of different workplace tools for organizations to consider. However, some of them should be on top of your list of priorities. Here is the list.
1. Modern intranet
80% of workers report feeling stressed out due to poor company communication. And given that it rose by 30% between 2018 and 2019, it is not surprising that the demand for employee communication software has been rising exponentially.
Social intranets should be a part of every organization’s tech stack. These platforms serve as a digital home for employees because they can consolidate all the important company information in one place, significantly reducing the time employees spend searching for information.
Modern intranets have a social-media-like look and feel which most people are familiar with. Their personalized news feed can significantly increase employee readership and engagement in the workplace.
2. Instant messaging software
Most companies have already implemented business instant messaging platforms such as Slack and Microsoft Teams.
These solutions usually serve as a main channel for synchronous employee communication. Furthermore, they can be integrated with other workplace technology, and that’s when they become powerful productivity tools as well.
3. Workplace productivity and project management tools
According to research, from 2021 to 2028, the market for productivity management software is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 14.2%.
There are many different productivity tools available on the market. From project management solutions Such as Asana and Jira to CRMs such as HubSpot and Salesforce, productivity solutions fall under one of the most popular software categories on the market.
4. Survey solutions
Consistently measuring the pulse of your workforce can go a long way in improving employee engagement, productivity, and retention.
Employee surveys are the easiest and most efficient way to get insights about the current state of your workplace and get valuable recommendations for improvement.
They can also enable managers to become better leaders by regularly getting bottom-up feedback from their teams.
5. Document management system
A document management system (DMS) is a system or process used to capture, track and store electronic documents such as PDFs, word processing files, and digital images.
Some of the most popular solutions include Google Drive and Dropbox. When choosing a document management software, it is important to evaluate its integration capabilities. For example, it is of utmost importance that your DMS can be integrated with your social intranet.
6. HR software
Human resources departments have been undergoing significant digitalization aiming to improve various people-related processes and procedures.
Consequently, the HR tech market has been skyrocketing. Under this category, we can find solutions for compensation and benefits, talent acquisition, leave and time off management, employee scheduling, and many more.
How to Choose and Implement the Right Workplace Technology
When choosing and implementing a new workplace tech, make sure to evaluate the following:
When introducing a new workplace technology, one of the biggest challenges organizations face is low user adoption. This is very common among outdated, unintuitive software solutions, which tend to become productivity killers, not boosters.
According to research, nearly half of the employers in a supervisory role (46%) say they feel overwhelmed by technology at work, while 61% say they spend more time getting technology to work than they’d like.
So whichever workplace tech you decide to implement, make sure that you evaluate its user-friendliness.
Ideally, the vendor allows you to test the solution before you commit to a long-term contract.
2. Ease of implementation
Implementation of your workplace technology shouldn’t take months. If this is the case, the software may be too complicated. Look for a sophisticated solution that is scalable and can grow together with your company.
In cases where you need multiple customizations to meet your company’s specific needs, the implementation may take a little longer than usual.
Now that we are at the peak of the DX era, some experts believe that we are entering the era of digital integrations.
U.S. employees change through an average of 13 apps 30 times per day, according to Asana’s Anatomy of Work Index 2021 report. And 26% of surveyed employees say app overload makes them less efficient at work. Furthermore, with more of their daily workflows happening on digital platforms, employees who switch between apps find they’re also more likely to need help with prioritizing tasks.
So make sure that your workplace tech is well integrated so that you eliminate the downsides of app-switching.
4. White labeling
Many organizations want their workplace tech to have the same look and feel as their company’s brand.
If this is important to you, make sure that the vendor offers white-labeling options with which you can implement branded employee apps.
When evaluating new software for your company, security should never be overlooked. Make sure that you look for a platform with ISO certifications, and validate whether it complies with privacy regulations such as GDPR, HIPAA, and others.
Even though some organizations may still prefer (or are required to use) software hosted on-premises, cloud solutions are becoming increasingly popular.
Providing real-time access to systems and data from a variety of devices regardless of location and with guaranteed up-time of 99%, the cloud software providers are becoming the number one choice for many businesses.
Whichever workplace tool you are implementing, make sure that it offers powerful analytics. You can only make the best use of your workplace technology when you know how your employees use it.
Don’t settle just for raw data, but insights. Many vendors today use AI to make their analytics and reporting more valuable to the buyer. So choose a platform that gives you valuable and actionable recommendations for improvement, engaging dashboards and reports.
More Interesting Facts About Technology In the Workplace
Technology in the workplace plays a critcal role in ebaling employees for success and driving higher employee productivity. Because of that, employeers have been investing more and more resources in workplace tech over the past decade.
Here are some aditional interesting facts about technology in the workplace.
- About 70% of people are optimistic about increasing automation in the workplace.
- Workplace productivity and satisfaction increase by 8.5% and 3.5% thanks to wearable tech.
- Over 50% of people think technology will determine workplace changes in the next five to 10 years.
- White-collar employees spend about 4.1 hours checking work email daily.
- According to the annual State of the Digital Workplace Report from SMG, 72% regard the digital workplace as an “extremely important” or “very important” priority. Only 8% regard it as “slightly important” or “not important”.
- Only 26% regard their digital workplace as “mature” with a further 45% regarding it as “about mid-way”.
- According to Otka’s annual “Business at Work” report, in 2021 on average a company with more than 2,000 employees had 187 apps across the enterprise.
- A 2022 survey of IT decision-makers and knowledge workers in the US and UK found that 67% of them had a better digital experience outside work than inside work.
- Analyst firm Market Research Future (MFPR) estimates that the digital workplace “market” will be worth $USD 76.6 billion by 2027, representing a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 21.8% from 2021 to 2027.
- A total of 17.5 hours a week are spent solving miscommunication issues.
- 80% of leaders hurried up the implementation of new technologies during the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Around 53% of employees say mobile apps improve business processes and productivity.