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Worklife (r)evolution starts with people

Worklife has been rapidly changing and evolving the past years. Our work has become more digital, mobile and flexible than ever. Instead of traditional office spaces we now often work activity based, on the go and more and more from home. Good communications skills, trust and coaching leadership have replaced the old management virtues.

May 12, 2020

Organisations and the ways of working are constantly changing and so are the tools and systems we need to master to do our jobs the best way. They are also multiplying as new ones are introduced constantly to improve our productivity and to support the companies’ more and more ambitious goals. Instead of worklife evolution it is really a worklife revolution.

The discussions about digital transformation are often concentrated around different technical solutions. New technology is still often implemented solely by IT departments and digital workplace projects have a technical solution as a starting point. But revolution is not possible without people; the ones who use the technology and whose work it is supposed to facilitate and support. People are in the center of the change and without changing their behavior digital transformation is not possible. 

For us at Sigma Worklife people come first. We believe that having a user centered approach in technology projects will lead to more sustainable and successful change in worklife. Understanding your employees everyday challenges and needs as well as your current digital landscape and possibilities is a starting point before setting the strategy for your future goals and development. In many companies there are several types of employees with different kinds of backgrounds, frustrations, habits, working days and locations. For example bluecollar and first line workers have usually completely different kind of needs and expectations on digital tools than office workers. Getting to know your users and listening to their needs is a first step on getting everyone on board on the worklife revolution.

User friendly tools that can widely support the business are of course a key element of successful digital worklife. For us at Sigma Worklife Microsoft Office 365 and its broad spectrum of integrated, intelligent and connected tools is the best example of this. However, many companies fail to use the Office 365 tool collection to its full extent. And often for two reasons; failing to do a good plan for the technical implementation and governance and because of forgetting people. 

Implementing Office 365 often brings to surface many unsolved issues in the organization like uncontrollable amount of information (mostly documents) spread and hidden in folders and servers without true ownership, life cycle management or data security classification. Another common issue is the lack of good maintenance or governance plan on how to actually manage the new tools. Most common issue is however the thinking that implementation is ready when Office 365 licenses are in place and some links to user guides and tutorials are sent to the employees. This kind of approach will definitely not start the worklife revolution.

According to Forbes and Gartner about 70-80% of digital transformation projects fail. Mostly because there is too much focus on technology instead of people. There has been a noticeable shift on this the past year when HR and communications departments have been more and more involved in digital workplace projects and maintenance organisations. However, there is still a long way to go and the focus must evolve from changing technology to changing the way of working and the way people behave. 

How to get people on board? How to start the revolution and most of all keep it going? The answer is not simple, but it includes all the ingredients mentioned above from a diverse project organisation, good strategy, user knowledge, planning, governance, information management and last but not least communications and change management. Inspiring communications that works for the target audience, well-executed trainings and support, leadership and management sponsorship are all key elements if you want to succeed. And the important thing is to remember that the revolution must not stop. It has to go on. 

 

Sigma Worklife will take part in the Digital Workplace Summit panel on 26th May and will drive worklife revolution and talk on behalf of the people in the center of digital transformation. We help companies on every step of their digital workplace journey from user studies to technical roll-outs, intranets, information architecture, document management and change communications. All within Microsoft Office 365 framework. We also offer our own products on digital workplace, intranet and management system (built on SharePoint Modern) and support. In short, we will keep your worklife revolution going!

We look forward to meet you at the Digital Workplace Summit 2020!