When numerous companies worldwide had to switch to remote work due to the pandemic, most found they were utterly unprepared. Many had considered a remote or hybrid work model but focused more on implementing AI-based solutions for data-driven decisions, enhancing cybersecurity, and improving other business aspects.
So, when the pandemic struck, many organizations had to make do to ensure business continuity with minimal disruption. They started their digital transformation without prior strategic planning, implementing various new solutions that created multiple problems.
Here are some of the top digital workplace challenges many organizations face in today’s business landscape. Overcoming them should be top of mind to optimize operations, increase productivity, improve employee experience, and integrate successful digital transformation.
Abandoning Legacy Systems
When moving to a digital workplace, many business owners don’t want to let go of their legacy systems. Some even try integrating their legacy applications with new solutions to keep working with familiar apps and not spend time mastering new tools and investing in “unnecessary” employee training.
However, shifting to a digital workplace without adopting new tools is worse than sticking to an entirely physical workplace. It can result in multiple data silos, leaving the company to work with duplicate, outdated, and redundant data.
Digital workplace solutions can integrate with many legacy systems, but their functionalities may overlap, negatively affecting user-friendliness and employee experience.
If some of your legacy apps are crucial to day-to-day operations, implement digital solutions that will repurpose and reuse your business logic within the legacy system’s mainframes.
You can encapsulate the data and features and make them available via an API, rehost the apps, or move to a new platform without changing their structure. You can also rebuild the apps’ components to add new capabilities while preserving the specifications.
Resistance to Change
Many employees don’t respond well to change. Why change something that has been working for years? Introducing change means more training and learning to use new tools, and few people are willing to take that step.
Since change is vital for your digital workplace transformation’s success, you must help your teams understand the impact. Show them how enhancing processes can help them boost efficiency and productivity, save time, progress, and improve company culture.
It will take time to get the hang of new processes, but taking a top-down approach will help you reduce employee pushback and realize the new corporate vision.
Gallup found that 16% of US workers were actively disengaged in 2021. Only 34% were engaged in the workplace, marking the first decline in a decade. The biggest culprit was remote work taking a toll on work-life balance.
FlexJobs and Mental Health America (MHA) recently conducted a survey on mental health in the workplace. They found that 75% of US employees have experienced burnout at work, with 40% dealing with it during the pandemic. That’s no wonder since 37% reported clocking in longer hours over the past two years.
Nearly half (45%) reported struggling with mental health issues, and 76% agreed that workplace stress affected their mental health. Over half of respondents (56%) agreed that work flexibility was the best support their employers could provide.
Another Gallup survey revealed that 91% of US employees who enjoy flexible work want to continue working at least some of the time remotely. Of those employees, 54% prefer a hybrid work model, 37% want to work exclusively from home, while 9% miss working at the office and want to do it full-time.
Digital transformation enables remote and hybrid work and can supercharge employee engagement. The key is to utilize solutions to help employees prioritize time and resources and improve communication, collaboration, and work-life balance.
Data Security Issues
Digital workplaces face numerous cybersecurity issues because of moving to the cloud. Top-rated cloud-based solutions and migration services feature advanced data privacy and security functionalities, but various risks still abound.
Provide your employees with regular cybersecurity awareness training to ensure they understand the risks and know how to avoid them. That’s essential for dispersed teams working outside the office environment, as they can introduce threats into your business through compromised networks and devices, opening the door to potential data breaches.
Organizational silos have always been a challenge in fragmented teams, but they’ve become more prominent in companies with a distributed workforce.
Different departments having individual meetings and team-specific goals that clash with other teams’ objectives lead to resistance to change. They cause poor communication and collaboration, impede productivity and efficiency, and increase operational risks.
This team misalignment makes sharing information across the company highly challenging, as various systems and processes don’t apply to everyone within the organization. That particularly rings true in companies with remote or hybrid workers.
The key is to create a centralized space where all teams can share knowledge and stay on the same page. It can be a cloud-based internal portal where everyone will have instant access to company announcements and other updates.
A centralized platform where teams can communicate, collaborate, and access all documentation is a more practical solution than email. It eliminates duplicate files and helps employees search and quickly find everything without wasting time locating documents and staying up-to-date with the latest communications.
Switching to a digital workplace is challenging, but a collaborative approach that includes everyone in your organization can help you develop a successful strategy. You’ll overcome the challenges above and optimize the digital employee experience.