Why the key to future workspace success is user adoption

Recent experience has underlined that a ‘dancing landscape’ of fast changing demands and requirements and new ways of working has emerged. This new world requires both fast thinking from businesses and the capability to deploy agile technologies in order to adjust to ever-changing market conditions, competitors, or the need to expand or contract.

Digital dexterity is critical to building a resilient and agile workforce that can cope with any future disruption and support rapid change.

IT teams have historically viewed user adoption as secondary to ensuring that the technical elements of a new solution are successful. But as working models change and businesses invest in digital workspaces to facilitate new ways of working, user adoption has been brought sharply into focus.

Getting employees to use all the features of a solution is not just a case of ensuring adequate return on investment; the successful implementation of these new ways of working depends upon it.

As they wrestle with what the future of work looks like, organizations are faced with three core challenges: the cost of running their operations; improving productivity and ensuring business continuity; and delivering a high-quality employee/user experience.

Fixing the challenges of today

Traditionally, those challenges would have been split up and dealt with by different functions, with little consideration for how the changes in one area might impact the other. Yet as the demand for digital transformation accelerates, there is increasing realization that they are all inextricably linked and that technology underpins the successful management and solving of these challenges.

This leaves IT operations decision makers with the need to provide the technology and tools to handle these issues, while also dealing with a significant legacy estate. For some, the solutions are already in place. However, moving forward, businesses are reimaging the digital workspace. Enterprises that can create a sustainable, flexible working approach have an unmissable opportunity to reap the benefits of the digital workspace. These include increased flexibility, improved productivity and efficiencies, and reduced operational costs. In addition, a more flexible work environment improves the employee experience and enhances employer attractiveness: an important way to help companies recruit and retain valuable talent to grow their business.

Creating a future-proofed digital workspace with employee buy-in

A well-thought-out digital workspace enables new, more effective ways of working, improving employee engagement and agility, according to Gartner. It is based on the concept that engaged employees are more willing to change and embrace new technologies to enhance productivity and deliver better business outcomes.

Emerging technologies are making collaboration via the digital workspace easier. These include cloud, digital experience platforms, video, artificial intelligence (AI), insight engines and data analytics. Gartner refers to these capabilities as the “new work nucleus.”

It is important that your digital workspace strategy aligns with your business outcomes. Work closely with all business unit stakeholders and human resources to work out the best tools and picture how new processes will work. Interoperable technologies are the key to a seamless user experience.

As employees will be using this technology, it is essential to get their input in the decision making. Without employee buy-in, your digital workspace will fail.

Current and future demand for digital skills

Technology is revolutionizing the workspace. However, putting digital workspaces in place is just the beginning. To show a return on investment, employees must have the skills to use the applications and benefiting from all its features. Meaning, employees need to know that these features exist, and how to use them in a way that fits their daily tasks. It is critical, therefore, that employees have continuously access to robust training, including when onboarding staff.

Focus on ease of use

But technology has to be easy to use as well, otherwise users will fall back on unofficial workarounds. Citrix’s Work Your Way: Employee survey 2021 uncovered that if employees been given too much tools that is too hard to use, it’s hindering their performance.

  • 64 percent of employees are using more communication and collaboration tools than they were prior to the pandemic, and
  • 71 percent say these tools have made work more complex.

Employees are frustrated and just want a simpler way to work, aided by technology that eliminates the friction and noise from their jobs and adapts to their workstyles rather than forcing them to learn new ways of doing things.

To boost your employee engagement it is therefore crucial to simplify the workspace from a user perspective. Implementing a workspace portal is key in achieving this. It’s the single entry point for an employee to access all apps, data and collaboration tools in a uniform way with a seamless user experience, regardless the device they work with. Since a workspace portal provides employees role-based (even on individual level) permissions, they only get access to the apps, tools and data they need to do their job effectively.

Note, that the implementation of a workspace portal comes along with a new way of working. Focus on user adoption with training and guidance is key in improving employee experience and enhancing productivity.

Support for successful user adoption

To deliver a digital workspace that best fits the needs of employees, IT operations teams need to consider whether they have the capabilities and skills in-house to deploy and manage digital workspace solutions and drive user adoption. IT functions should consider whether they need outside support to deliver a successful digital workspace deployment that supports the organization’s chosen model of work.