The Biggest Challenges Revealed at the Digital Workplace Experience Conference 2019

Wednesday 3 July 2019 | digital workplace, conference

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Last month, the leading digital giants from household name companies such as Google, Buzzfeed and Adobe, got together to discuss the current state of the digital workplace at the Digital Workplace Experience Conference 2019.

If there was one main takeaway from the event, it was that we're truly at the very beginning of the timeline for the digital workplace. It's a time for experimenting, testing, revolutionising and most importantly: finding our feet.

The managing editor of CMS Wire asked the poignant question of the crowd; "Why in the midst of these very evident signs of digital progress and technological progress are we still struggling with the basic issue of delivering the right information to the right people at the right time?”

From our experience working in a digital climate, and adapting our software to meet the ever-changing needs of our clients, that there are a few key reasons for the struggle that digital companies are facing:

  • Document management systems are failing
  • Finding the perfect communication app is proving impossible
  • There are a lack of tool kits built to enable effective leadership

In this blog, we take a look at the highlights from this years Digital Workplace Experience Conference that address these three issues, and explore how PIQNIC works to solve these pertinent problems.

Document management systems are failing us

If we take the challenge of delivering the 'right information to the right people at the right time', the very first place to begin addressing the issue is at 'information'.

The recently released Simpler Media Group 'The State of the Digital Workplace Report', says that document management beat artificial intelligence, machine learning, microservices and other more nascent technology as the most important tool in the digital workplace toolkit. However, when the same people were asked how their document management systems were working, only 12% said it was working well.

From this result, it's evident to see that we're still stuck in the archaic methods of document management, organising files and folders by alphabetical order by extremely wide or deep structuring systems.

How are companies expected to make leaps and bounds in a digital workplace, if they don't have the right information at their fingertips, when they need it?

Think about how your business currently stores their information. Chances are, you're using a cloud-based filing system like Google Docs, DropBox, OneDrive or a local drive, which rely on your employees to enter the correct titles in order for documents to be found easily.

Even then, it's likely that the document you need is buried under a chain of different folder levels.

At PIQNIC, we acknowledge that this is a fundamental Achilles heel for so many businesses in the digital workplace, and have sought out to find a better, permanent solution.

The answer lies in metadata, and searches based on 'what' information is, rather than 'where'.

Intrigued? We've written an entire blog unpacking exactly how it works, here.

Finding the perfect communication app

It's no secret that effortless communication is the key to a seamless experienced in a digital workplace, and yet, of all the software that was evaluated for effective communication, email was the only tool that received over a 20% thumbs-up rating: 43% of people voted that email worked well.

There are two key points we can safely take away from this interesting insight.

  1. Despite the over-saturation of technological advancements in communication software such as Slack, Google Hangouts, Teams, Workplace and Skype, people are still valuing the most traditional form of digital communication - email. We can't seem to completely let email go, there's a real resistance to change.
  2. There's no well-known, perfect alternative. In our recent blog, we outlined some of the key problems with email, from difficult to track threads, miscellaneous attachment, limited capacity, a lack of security and the slow time it takes to dig out relevant information. It's clearly not the perfect system for communication, yet we still use it. Could this be because people aren't aware there's a better way?

PIQNIC bridges the gap between email and a chat application, providing an alternative that centralises information, people, and communication in one, secure space.

Let us paint a picture of how:

Imagine a platform that shares all of the pros of email, including anyone being able to access and use the platform, the ability to drag and drop file attachments, and a trail of receipts showing actions and communications in chronological order.

Now imagine a platform that shares all of the advantages of chat apps, such as instantaneous messaging, notifications, channels and groups of select participants and task or project-based chat spaces.

Finally, add the myriad of features to the growing list, such as workflow control, high-end security, decision management, and notifications that you control - and you have PIQNIC. The super platform that could see us shaking email for good.

Enabling effective leadership

At the Digital Workplace Conference, Senior Director of Digital Workplace Experience at Adobe, discussed collaborative leadership and its importance. He believes that leaders need to have the skill and discipline to “reach across the aisle” and encourage more people in organizations to be leaders.

At PIQNIC, we happen to agree. Bosses tend to micromanage and feel insecure about allowing their employees to work remotely and lead projects on their own, when there's a lack of visibility and accessibility in the workplace.

If you're going to operate in a digital workplace and enable your team to lead effectively and grow in their roles, you need full visibility, access to information from anywhere, and tools that foster collaboration.

Consider this from an employees perspective: in which environment would you be most likely to succeed as a leader?

  • You're working in a digital environment that practices traditional methods of communication such as email and chat, which is disruptive, slow and chunky, so you can't focus on the task at hand. Your bosses are unable to keep easy tabs on your performance due to a lack of visibility, and as a result you're frequently answering their messages and reporting back to them - taking away from your time in the day to deliver and making you feel like you're not trusted. You're also attempting to lead a team digitally, but don't have a single source of truth for your team to refer to and find each other easily to chat and collaborate.

OR

  • You're rarely bothered by your bosses as you work remotely and move across a digital space effortlessly, because they have full visibility of workflows, decisions and projects, and can see you're doing a great job without asking. Plus, they trust you. Key members of the project you're leading (both internal are external) are easily accessible in one chat space. There are no email chains or clunky file storage systems, so when you're in a meeting engaging with your team and the client, everything you need is at your fingertips affording the room for you to really excel as a leader - not waste time on comms and documents.

If the latter sounds like the environment in which you'd be more likely to succeed, read more here on why PIQNIC is the platform for you.

So where to from here?

It's clear that we've barely left the starting line in the development of a digital workplace. Even the biggest technological leaders are struggling with the same problems that smaller workplaces are facing in a digital environment.

It's time to drop the dead-weight, say goodbye to emails, and clutter all of the file management and chat applications we rely on every day.

There is a solution.

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