Reimagining Digital Workplaces of the Future

by Shailesh Shivakumar

Next-generation digital workplace platforms (also referred to as employee experience platforms) provide seamless employee experiences across various touchpoints on all channels and devices. Employee experience platforms are designed to engage employees and boost their productivity throughout the employee life cycle. Organizations can motivate, retain, and improve productivity of their workforce through employee experience platforms.

The digital workforce is accustomed to the experience and flexibility of consumer-grade platforms, and they naturally expect a similar experience inside the workplace. Employee experience platforms are designed to blur the gap between user experiences of workplace applications and consumer-grade applications.

Key characteristics of next-generation digital workplaces

Below are the core tenets of the next-generation digital workplaces:

  • Enhanced self-service features to improve employee productivity
  • Enhanced collaboration features for information sharing and leveraging collective knowledge
  • Provides intuitive information architecture and personalized content delivery for faster information discovery
  • Inspires and engages employees across all touchpoints
  • Search, analytics, dashboard experience, content management, chatbots, localization, personalization, content management, and learning tools should be included in employee experience platforms

Main design principles for next-generation digital workplaces

  • Simplified user experience: using minimalist design to provide a highly usable application with a minimal learning curve
  • Unified experience: employees should be able to visualize all of the information in a personalized dashboard view
  • User journey and persona-based: identify various user personas and map their user journeys. With the help of a user journey map, you can identify the improvement areas, challenges, and expectations of various personas
  • Omnichannel-enabled seamless experience: provide a seamless user experience across all supported mobile devices and browsers
  • Employee engagement: engaging employees at all touchpoints. Leverage collaboration, self-service, feedback modules, surveys, and analytics to continuously engage employees and get their feedback
  • Process simplification and automation: simplify employee processes (such as leave approval process) through automation
  • High performance and on-demand scalability: ensure high performance for the employee platform and provide on-demand scalability through appropriate sizing of the infrastructure

Migration from legacy to employee experience platforms

In order to migrate from traditional Intranet platforms to next-generation employee experience platforms, we have given the key migration principles:

  • Understand the gaps, challenges, and pain points with existing Intranet applications. Benchmark the existing experience software with the competition
  • Redefine the employee experience using a mobile-first approach and provide and intuitive user interface, high usability, intuitive information architecture, and a dashboard-based integrated view
  • Make the employee experience platform accessible for all users across various devices
  • Provide collaboration, self-service, personalization, productivity-enhancing tools, employee engagement features (such as a chatbot, virtual assistants, mobile apps, or remote working tools,) and gamification features
  • Use cloud-native design to provide high scalability and high availability
  • Consolidate data, functionality, and content from existing systems to develop a system of records
  • Design integrated security features such as a single-sign-on with all employee applications/microsites/enterprise applications that provides role-based access
  • Adopt AI-led maintenance (such as automated maintenance and notifications) to reduce operating costs

About the Author

Dr. Shailesh Shivakumar is an inventor, author and Senior Architect specializing in digital technologies. He is an award-winning digital technology practitioner with skills in technology and practice management and has experience in the wide spectrum of digital technologies, including enterprise portals, content systems, enterprise search, and other open source technologies. He has over 18 years of industry experience and was the chief architect in building a digital platform, which won the “Best Web Support Site 2013” global award. He is a Guinness world record holder of participation for successfully developing a mobile application in a coding marathon.

This article was contributed by Shailesh Shivakumar, author of Build a Next-Generation Digital Workplace.