Let’s face it; the pandemic was a learning curve for all of us. While it brought frustration, job insecurity, and more, it also forced organizations to rely on technology and learn new ways to communicate with one another. Essentially, the workforce became a “sink or swim” environment, pushing teams to adapt quickly while dealing with the uncertainty of the future. For those that did adopt, the acceleration of the digital workplace became apparent, and many of these changes are here to stay. As we navigate the post-pandemic environment, companies continue to invest in modern technology focused on automation and efficiency. Today, our team of enterprise logistics software specialists discusses how COVID-19 accelerated the digital workplace, some of the top digital workplace trends, and what we expect to see in the future.
How the Digital Workplace Came to Be
Before the pandemic, the digital workplace was known but not necessarily customary in the workplace. While startups and tech companies were investing in technology, other industries with the traditional office environment used it as a benefit, not a requirement. It seems as if everything changed in the blink of an eye. Companies began to scramble, adjusting their business operations for the safety of their employees and quickly utilizing communication tools such as Zoom, Slack, and more to collaborate with their co-workers.
It’s important to note that work areas with a higher physical proximity score are seeing some of the most drastic changes. Many of these industries rely on facilities managers and are the primary industries our software serves, including:
- Medical Care – Hospitals/Clinics (87/100)
- Indoor Production & Warehousing – Factories/Warehouses (70/100)
- Computer-based Office Work – Offices/Corporate Headquarters (68/100)
- Classroom & Training – Schools/Conference Centers (68/100)
As the pandemic spread, companies realized there was no choice but to adapt to a technology-based work environment. Although there may have been some road bumps along the way, these changes have now become integral to their daily workflows. While the digital workplace began a few decades ago, the definition of what it includes has been solidified during and post-pandemic. In a broad scope, the digital workplace utilizes technology such as software, cloud computing, AI, and machine learning to assist in the efficiency and revenue of the workplace. However, five components of a digital workplace have been developed: communication, security, storage, analytics, and management. When all of these are present, the digital workplace truly thrives.
What Impact Has COVID Had on the Digital Workplace?
Although the digital workplace expanded before the pandemic, the past few years have sparked exponential growth rates. While there are many benefits to growing the digital workplace, there is also a learning curve, especially for the older generation or trade workers who may not be deeply familiar with the technology. According to McKinsey, as many as 1 in 16 workers will need to find a different occupation by 2030 due to the scale of workforce transitions, growth in high-wage occupations, and decline in low-wage occupations, which is 12% higher than expected pre-pandemic.
Additionally, the pandemic has shifted how many organizations are considering leadership roles, employee experience, and collaboration tools. Currently, companies that embrace digital transformation are 26% more profitable than competitors, with up to a 12% increase in market valuation. At the end of the day, those who value innovation within the workplace can guide their company to success, and those in associate or management-level positions can reach new leadership roles as the digital workplace transformation occurs. Moreover, the employee experience and collaboration have turned from a benefit to a necessity within the workforce. As individuals return to the office, likely on a hybrid schedule, they have a newfound appreciation for work-life balance. They are unwilling to move back to the traditional corporate lifestyle. COVID-19 has essentially redefined what the workplace means, and there is no doubt that organizations must continue to adapt for success.
How Intra Plays a Crucial Role in the Logistics of the Digital Workplace
We’ve unpacked how the digital workplace has shifted since the pandemic, but what tools can you implement for growth? While logistics software may not be at the forefront of your digital transformation plan, it should be. Intra was created as a central hub for facilities managers to expedite tasks, automate workflows, and solve your team’s most frustrating pain points. During the pandemic, who ensured that your building was safe, that office spaces were distanced correctly, and that air quality and visitor tracking were monitored? Facilities managers. FMs are the backbone of almost every building, ensuring every tenant is taken care of while fostering a collaborative environment.
Now that we are post-pandemic, the role of facilities managers takes on a brand-new meaning. Automation has become a key player, and the use of AI and machine learning are becoming an integral part of the workforce. To make it easy, we will explain how Intra can assist with each pillar of the digital workplace.
One continuous problem facilities managers face is the inability to communicate adequately with their team. Using our Workplace Services Workgroup, FMs can manage conference room services, workplace requests, and visitor tracking. Additionally, configurable forms can be created to ensure that all notes specific to your facility or team are delivered to the appropriate parties, with task management tracking and notifications to monitor completion and turnaround times.
Security, especially cybersecurity, has been a top priority for our team for decades. However, with the recent growth in cybersecurity attacks, investing in safe technology is more critical than ever. The U.S. was the target of 46% of cyberattacks in 2020, more than double any other country, and this has only grown. Additionally, 60% of small businesses go out of business within six months of a cyberattack, so the repercussions are severe unless you are a large conglomerate. With Intra, we have security at the forefront, with strict security standards, including Microsoft Guidelines for Secure Coding, .NET Framework Security, and the use of an Agile Development Model for our software.
For businesses that did not have a heavy hand in technology before the pandemic, physical and digital storage sparked significant changes. Wherever your documents are stored, our Document Services Workgroup provides the solutions to ensure complete tracking and organization. You can track the activity of all jobs, automate overdue notices for those who need to review scanned files or records, and improve document oversight by managing file locations and status (stored, archived, destroyed) through Intra.
One of the most critical aspects of the digital workplace is that analytics have become central to understanding your business processes and strategizing for the future. Before the inclusion of analytics tools, businesses could only utilize short-term strategy, essentially playing a guessing game of which techniques would work. With Intra, we offer a configurable analytics dashboard to help you identify gaps and inefficiencies with team members, partners, and more and monitor KPIs and SLAs with ease.
Last but certainly not least, the management aspect of the digital workplace can be drastically improved with the help of Intra. Whether you’re an office manager, central receiving manager, or asset manager, Intra helps you monitor your team’s performance quickly and efficiently. Identify tasks that employees are struggling to complete on time, which employees are excelling or falling behind on inspections/audits, and collaborate with your team to identify where these inefficiencies stem from to find a solution.
Begin Your Digital Transformation Process with SCLogic
We know that the digital transformation process can be overwhelming. Post-pandemic, it can be challenging to understand what technology is here to stay and how the workplace will look in the future. The good news is you have SCLogic on your side. When you implement Intra, it’s not just a “one and done” implementation. You work with our team on training, development, and maximization of all workflows your team needs with a group of passionate software experts. To learn more about our workgroups catered toward the digital workplace, email [email protected] or schedule a demo today.