There have been dramatic changes in digital workplace trends since the pandemic hit – most notably a shift to hybrid and remote working. In fact, a recent poll by Forrester found that 50 percent of organizations are expecting to have a significant number of permanent hybrid workers post-pandemic. So, it has never been more important to have the right tech in place to facilitate flexible working, where employees have the choice and freedom to work where they want to.
In the last 18 months employee experience (EX) has risen to the top of the agenda. Organizations are now increasingly looking to give their employees a voice and an employee comms platform that enables two-way engagement. Little wonder then that Microsoft Teams has become the platform of choice, more than doubling its daily active users to 250 million .
Digital workplace trends
As we all embrace the new ways of working, we take a look at the digital workplace trends that will dominate in 2022.
1. Intranets are back
Rapid development in the intranet space enabling integration into Microsoft Teams means that intranets are more relevant than ever. The on-premises link-farms of yesteryear have made way for a cloud-based, personalized two-way employee comms channel and a place for tailored, trusted content within Teams.
2. Frontline staff to be included
There’s a real desire to establish a parity of experience for all employees – with an emphasis on delivering content and comms to traditionally hard to reach frontline workers. Intranets of the past were heavily focused on desk-based information workers. However, with modern digital workplace apps intranets and employee comms can now be delivered on mobile.
3. Access to self-service portals anytime, anywhere
Self-service portals are becoming increasingly popular – especially for HR functions where employees can access online payslips, ability to swap shifts or book holidays on the go. Not only does this improve efficiency by reducing manual paper-based processes, it frees up time and improves the workflow for HR teams.
4. Personalized work-day experiences to become the norm
Tailoring the right information to the right roles or personas is invaluable. By using personalization, internal comms teams can separate signal to noise ratio and be very clear and crisp with what they’re sharing with employees.
In addition, employees can use digital workplace tools to create their own personalized environments within Teams and their intranet. In a single view they can see appointments, To Dos, Lists, documents, people and even company updates in one place, helping reduce context switching.
5. Third-party app integration within Microsoft Teams as standard
Employees want to log on to one place to access all their productivity tools. Digital workplaces of 2022 will include proprietary apps as well as third party tools such as ServiceNow and Xero and many more all within Microsoft Teams.
6. Analytics to improve comms & productivity
Biggest area for growth in digital workplaces is analytics. As more companies embrace hybrid working, the internal comms role has become more important. With less face-to-face townhalls, internal comms are now the ones pushing out announcements on the intranet, sometimes daily. They’re increasingly relying on data to act as a feedback mechanism to identify whether employees received the comms, read it, and how they felt about it.
Analytics will also play a big role in identifying site usage, drilling down to individual personas – seeing who is using what and which features are popular. In addition, data will be used to track the performance of employee comms campaigns.
In terms of employee productivity, metrics will be able to help identify blockers and bottle necks across the organization, for example the employee onboarding process or user adoption.
7. Collaborating with external users easier (& safer) than ever
Collaboration with external parties within Teams will become more common. New tech being introduced by Microsoft in early 2022 means Teams users will be able to schedule a meeting, collaborate in real-time on apps, and share channels with up to 50 teams and as many organizations as needed.
Rather than being a cause for concern for IT admins, there will be a range of new security controls and tools. Valo customers will also be able to automate the creation of shared channels using Valo Teamwork.
8. The future is remote, hybrid and in-person
2022 will see a solidifying of the same patterns that emerged in the last 18 months. This means digital workplaces will build communities that accommodate all employees’ working preferences and styles.
The digital workplace will be integral for building a strong and unifying culture – providing everyone with the same great onboarding experience through to the promoting the company’s shared values. It will represent the entire company – where field workers, and those based in the headquarters or branch are treated equally.
Digital workplaces will bring people with shared interests together – whether they’re working on the same research topic at work or enjoy the same pursuits out of work. Digital workplaces will be the glue that binds the employees together.
Read our recent blog for top tips on how to make hybrid working a success!
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