Author : Rajendra Rawat
Director - Microsoft Services & Emerging Technologies
18/Sep/2020

Raj heads the Microsoft Practice. He leads initiatives for capability building within our Microsoft Practice and, facilitates knowledge sharing between various internal functions. He is responsible for bringing innovation in Microsoft based solutions from Espire.


The Changing Landscape of Digital Workplace trends in the Covid19 Era

In today's evolving and changing market scenario, companies are forced to transform their frontiers by innovating rapidly and leveraging modern tools. The recent advancement in the digital workplace landscape promises companies increased collaboration and streamlined workflows to reshape the way they operate, offer satisfactory employee experience, boost business productivity, meet customer expectations and deliver impressive customer experiences.

In the third annual State of the Digital Workplace report, CMSWIRE finds that over 77 percent of organizations consider digital workplace as a critical organization priority.

The importance of digital workplaces and their role in delivering consistent employee experience for higher business returns will continue to grow at a much faster rate as employees continue to work remotely in the COVID-19 era and increased likelihood of more mobile workforce in the post COVID-19 era. We will discuss in this blog the latest digital workplace trends that continue to boost productivity and offer satisfying employee experience amidst an overwhelming availability of new tools and fragmented digital workplace landscape.

1. Intelligent Assistants

As technology evolves and matures, human efforts and burden of task is shared by smart devices and intelligent assistants. Intelligent Assistants can perform a range of tasks from scheduling meetings to booking your travels to making your reservations or even paying your bills. These Intelligent Assistants can drastically reduce the time spent on basic mundane work and free you to focus on more critical tasks. These IAs learn from your patterns and behavior and can perform task based on user-input, awareness of location and access to online resources. Although, these IAs are presently more popular in the consumer space but have a great potential in the digital workplace as well. For example, www.x.ai and Scheduler by Microsoft (Calendar.help) offers email scheduling services powered by IAs to schedule meetings and setting reminders across different time zones. The use of Intelligent Assistants for digital workplace is in its early stage of adoption but the rate of digital adoption and growth of technology will certainly usher in a trend towards their deployment in digital workplace landscape.

Read about AVA bot created by Espire here: (https://news.microsoft.com/en-au/features/australian-catholic-university-harnesses-cloud-data-and-ai-to-spur-staff-and-student-success/ ) OR here (https://www.itnews.com.au/news/australian-catholic-uni-turns-analytics-onto-student-wellbeing-550013 )

2. Artificial Intelligence

Deploying Artificial Intelligence to modern digital workplace will act as the key enabler in times to come, making employees more capable and independent of the physical spaces. It offers businesses the ability to automate work processes and workflows that required physical presence of employees. AI will foster this transformation as more and more companies shift towards remote work from traditional office infrastructure. For instance, an AI powered chatbot can be leveraged to address basic queries of employees pertaining to internal business application, enhance their learning and improve employee experience. An increasing number of organizations across the globe are thus leveraging AI to streamline their internal applications, minimize the learning curve and improve the user experience.

3. Voice Assisted Search

The need for ease and growth of new smart speakers and displays (like Google Nest and Amazon Echo) have shifted the focus towards voice assisted search in recent times and this is poised to be the new trend in the digital workplace as well. Employees can use their voice commands to search for data and to interact with their internal business applications. The deployment of smart capabilities based on voice commands is poised to reduce the load of manual work on employees in the new digital workplace landscape. A voice assisted search is expected to be the new trend in times to come as they will not only enhance the experience of employees by making their tasks simpler and easier but can also help organizations to extend the same to their customers.

4. Adoption of A Secure and Scalable Digital Workplace

Setting up a digital workplace and meeting the associated challenges no more remains an option but has become a necessity as the current pandemic is pushing businesses to their frontiers for contactless, remote and digital workplace. Organizations are thus forces to scale their digital workplace infrastructure to meet the rising demand and bring in a sense of normalcy for business continuity in the new normal. However, the new normal in digital workplace need to cope up with associated demands for robust security controls, cyber security measures and experience of employees and customers.

The new digital workplace trends would be towards scaling a cloud-based robust digital infrastructure along with carefully designed security protocol with respect to access to external websites, downloading of third party applications and software, safeguarding of business critical data and systems and alignment of IT with security policies.

5. Managing a Hybrid Workforce

As the world embraces the new reality of working from home and the conspicuous need for a mobile workforce, the next biggest challenge is to bridge the gap between hybrid workforce as they work from different geographies. Digital workplace offers a great support to organizations in the present circumstances by minimizing the need for employees to be physically available in office for work fulfilment by providing a platform equipped with all necessary tools to support, work, collaborate, share and exchange ideas. Providing equal access to these tools and ensuring minimal friction will be a continued trend in the digital workplace landscape as the world reels through the pandemic and awaits the next normal.

Towards a Digitally Connected Workforce

As the new normal unfolds, the need for a more connected workforce continues to rise, technologies continue to evolve and digital transformation usher in, these digital workplace trends will continue to be on a rise in times to come. As an organization battling the current crisis with an eye on the future, your digital priorities will shape your digital workplace practices. Depending on your digital journey and maturity, you will continue to address your workplace challenges by being upbeat with the latest developments and trends around the changing digital workplace landscape and recalibrate your strategies by fulfilling all your requirement and closing digital gaps if any.

Are you enabled to operate your business remotely or still thinking on how to increase collaboration & productivity for workforce who are WFH? Global partnerships with over 20 leading brands such as Microsoft, Kofax, Quadient, Sitecore, Messagepoint, and others - enables Espire to be your one-stop destination for business on the go, thereby redefining customer experience with quick business gains.

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