Working digitally actually means working independently: with access to the latest version of documents, so that you always have complete and up-to-date information at hand, wherever you are. So working digitally goes much further than working from a laptop, smartphone or tablet. It's a way to increase productivity, collaboration and flexibility. In this blog we look at the link between working digitally and the digital workplace and how you can make a difference with both.
Although digitization has become indispensable, there are still many companies that are lagging behind in the field of digital working. Not only do they miss out on a lot of benefits, but it also reinforces their customers' perception that they are not ready for the future.
In short, digital working is a way of electronically storing, processing and sending data in digital form (as opposed to the older ways such as on paper). Once the information is digitized, it can be used (regardless of where it’s located) on electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets or computers. Digitization also includes the processing of this information through automated processes.
So the basis of digital working is the use of software, applications and digital equipment to carry out tasks and monitor processes. A digital workplace is crucial for this.
Creating a digital workplace means implementing an online work environment in which your employees can easily find all important files, tools and other information. By integrating communication tools (such as chat), employees can communicate with each other quickly and efficiently. Office 365, for example, consists of dozens of applications that can be used in the context of a digital workplace. This way, available for various target groups and in various subscription forms, the digital workplace can be personalized: everyone has the applications and data they need for their job.
A well thought-out strategy and implementation of digital working has many positive consequences, not only within the organization but also outside. An overview:
The corona crisis has pushed homeworking to the forefront and exposed pain points in organizations. With digital working, it doesn't matter where you are or when you are working. All the information you need is at your fingertips.
Preventing human error
With the right programming, machines (such as computers) do not make mistakes. In manual operations, an error creeps in more easily and any small mistake can have major consequences. Digitizing routine operations and automatic checks will prevent this problem.
Time and cost savings
Searching for that one document in that gigantic filing cabinet takes a lot of time. A lot of hours are also spent following up the approval process of invoices. Because time is becoming more and more valuable to people and companies, this is one of the most important arguments for digitization. By storing documents clearly and entering a simple search query, you save time, effort and costs.
Processing these documents in a web application, for instance, is also much more efficient. Making the documents available to other people in the company and automating the next steps (such as sending an invoice or order) leads to better service and higher productivity.
Working digitally makes it easier to exchange information/knowledge and work together. And this both internally (among colleagues or between different departments) and with third parties (customers, suppliers or partners). Being able to work simultaneously with different people in one document or from any location drastically reduces waiting times and frustrations (which version is the most recent, which changes have been made and by whom, ...).
Inside and outside your company, different parties need different information. Digitization allows you to filter information so that everyone only has access to relevant data. From a security standpoint, you can therefore protect data from unauthorized persons and in terms of relevance, you can prevent an overload of information.
Positive perception as a supplier and as an employer
By focusing on digital working, you create a professional impression for (potential) customers and employees. Certainly for the younger generation, digitization is a 'way of life' and an absolute added-value. You show that you are future-oriented, that you keep up with the times and that you pay attention to the well-being of your employees. Less loss of time, less stress, a better work-life balance, ... these are just a few advantages.
Digitization boosts sustainability. Reducing paper and ink consumption is not only a saving in terms of costs, but also in terms of trees coming down. The ecological footprint is thus reduced.
The implementation of digital working poses some challenges, especially if your company has not yet been able to take many initiatives. Firstly, there are always investments involved in digitization (for the implementation of external tools, apps, software, ...). However, just as a digital strategy is rolled out long-term, investments can be spread. The right partner will guide you step-by-step in making the best choices at the best time. Moreover, digitization brings with it a lot of (direct and indirect) cost savings. Just think of how much more work can be done within the same period of time, less time lost by printing, copying, searching for information, ... Not to mention incoming payments that arrive faster and the more efficient follow-up of internal processes.
Secondly, a switch to digital working also requires an effort on the part of the employees. Many people have to get used to a new way of working. It is therefore important to have a number of managers be role models and offer guidance to those who are struggling with change. Also set realistic expectations and take the time to clearly communicate why digitization is so important. Highlight the benefits for employees. The "What's in it for me?" question should have a clear answer for everyone.
Digital working makes the difference thanks to closer cooperation, more exchange of knowledge, increased productivity and - very importantly - happier employees. Taking the first step is always the most difficult but also crucial to a company’s future survival. Realize your ambition to become a modern, digital company by writing a strong digital story with the support of a specialist in the field, such as RecoMatics.