Everything you need to know but were afraid to ask: The digital workplace

What is a digital workplace?

The term digital workplace was first coined long ago in a book called The Digital Workplace: Designing Groupware Platforms by Charles Grantham and Larry Nichols in 1993. Back then, digital was an imaginary future for most of us, where email – let alone mobile phones or the world wide web – was confined to a small coterie of academics and government-backed researchers. Today however, things couldn’t be more different. Digital connectivity is like electricity: it’s an integral part of how most businesses and organisations operate. Suffer a lack of connectivity, then pretty much everything a company does – including communicating to its customers – will quickly grind to halt. Thus the argument behind the Digital Workplace trend is that businesses would do well to bring together all of their internal and external digital operations into a single coherent strategy. Joining up functions, sharing data, processes and communications between functions and business units that are spread around different locations, will hopefully improve how everything operates, and also positively affect customer engagement and experience. The same is true for staff: by using better designed digital tools, networked devices and platforms, the hope is that they can operate more productively and efficiently too.

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