Putting experience first in the digital workplace

Putting experience first in the digital workplace

Recently, there has been a growing trend for companies to focus on boosting employee engagement and productivity. As a result, businesses are now concentrating their efforts and resources into the digital transformation of their workplaces, in order to connect employees to the coworkers, information, and resources that matter to them. The Digital Workplace Experience Summit (#DWX18), that took place from July 18th-20th in Chicago, allowed us to see inside the world’s most successful digital workplaces and learn more about the latest trends, best practices for digital transformation, as well as emerging technological solutions.

The focus of #DWX18 spanned from the present to the future of digital workplaces. First, they shared insights about the current state of the workplace, as derived from an annual research piece commissioned by the Digital Workplace Experience Group. Then, after being well grounded in the present, speakers from organizations such as Southwest Airlines, NASA, Pandora, Microsoft and Walmart shared with us their approaches to cope with future challenges.


Key takeaways

We can clearly recognize the following trends that came out of the event, all of which under the umbrella of employee experience:

  • Companies are coping with the decrease of employee engagement, trying to prevent it through complex change of culture, HR transformation, support of mobility and flexibility, and new leadership styles and processes.
  • The improvement of intranet design is gaining in momentum, in order to reduce the information overload caused by corporate information and workplace related content. Several companies are looking for relevant, personalized and informative solutions that may ease employees’ consumption of information. Nowadays many companies are building up their own integrative portals for internal purposes.
  • There is a continuous increase of the number of IT tools that employees have to use in workplaces. These include also those that are known as Shadow IT – IT systems and solutions built and used inside organizations without explicit organizational approval, and often causing worrisome cybersecurity issues.
  • IT Systems are often siloed, resulting in inefficiency of work and lack of reasoning behind decision making.
  • There is a need to focus on improving communication, to enable easier sharing of ideas and opinions to reduce the number of emails sent, and improve the effectiveness of meetings.

Not only do these trends confirm our own research insights, but also feature some technological solutions similar to our Cognitive Hub. The future of work is here…

Finally, there are two technological solutions that stood out:

  1. Workgrid. An intelligent workplace platform and digital assistant, which is a hybrid (cloud/on premise) integrative platform that helps e.g. with task management, business trip requests or company news overview.
  2. Workfront. A cloud integrative platform helping with decision-making during project management, by integrating information flow between siloed departments.

All in all, #DWX18 was a great opportunity for me to have some friendly discussions with like-minded peers from major organizations, and to derive useful insights for the design research activities we are developing for the workplace of the future.