“Chaos is a ladder. Many who try to climb it fail and never get to try again.”
Petyr Baelish’s remark from the massively popular TV series Game of Thrones is oddly applicable to the way organisations around the world work today.
When technology began to make inroads into organisations, operations were managed using e-mails, spreadsheets, and word documents.
The alarming reality is that some organisations, large and small, still continue to operate in this fashion. Others have traversed in the opposite direction and embraced an entire array of software applications that may or may not be helpful. For the latter, the overwhelming increase in choices may not have been the best thing to happen.
Application overload is a significant challenge in companies today. According to research conducted by RingCentral and CITE Research surveying 2,000 knowledge workers in the USA, UK, and Australia in January 2018, workers use an average of four communication apps. 69 per cent of respondents reported wasting 60 minutes a day navigating between apps. 56 per cent of workers found searching for information between apps disruptive. 66 per cent of individuals surveyed wanted a unified platform to make work feel less chaotic.
Although the research focused largely on communication apps, the technology overdose doesn’t stop there. From productivity apps to workflow management tools, the experience is rather fragmented and counterproductive to the goal of efficiency.
If you’ve noticed the following symptoms of chaos in your organisation, it may be time to address the problem:
- Too many applications and too many login screens to deal with
- Processes that are delayed by undue dependence on human input
- Haphazard vendor management
- Lack of valuable insights into process performance
- Manual creation of tedious reports
- Poor collaboration with teams and offices across locations
- Missing out on important communications
- Difficulty in locating and accessing documents easily
- The solution to simplify this chaos is to design a digital workplace created for efficiency and good experiences for internal and external stakeholders.
Is there a better option?
It may seem like the only solution is to either get more software to solve problems created by other software. However, that doesn’t need to be the only answer.
A digital workplace is a new kind of tool that lets you manage all of your work on one single platform. Imagine all of your communication, project coordination, process automation, and more were all done from the same tab? No more switching around and trying to find out where data is actually hiding.
Why you need a digital workplace
Some reasons why organisations need a sound digital workplace include:
- Greater productivity - When there’s less chaos, more work gets done. It’s as simple as that.
- More efficiency – Clarity and transparency into processes will result in fewer errors and delays, thereby boosting efficiency.
- Better insights – Sound analytics and reporting will enable the continuing growth of the business.
- Better employee experience – An integrated digital workplace will facilitate higher productivity thanks to minimal loss of time and effort. Employees can enjoy mobility and smooth functioning.
How to design an efficient digital workplace
Automate predictable processes
Organisations have plenty of repeated predictable processes that can benefit from automation. For instance, placing purchase orders is a fairly regular occurrence in a company that follows the same set of sequential tasks. Automating it can ensure that requisitions are not lost, orders are not delayed, and vendor relationship is managed effectively. Chances of errors are minimised and other processes are not affected as a result of inefficiency.
Factor in projects
Not all company operations are repeated or predictable processes. Some are unstructured projects that don’t occur regularly. Their lack of predictability makes it critical to monitor them. Changes in roles, addition or removal of tasks, and ad hoc information requests are common in projects.
Digital workplaces allow project workflows to be managed dynamically. Sensitive data is protected with permissions while general information remains accessible by all participants as they are added and provided access. Progress can be monitored with ease.
The proliferation of communication apps has not made it any easier. Employees are known to use various methods of communication with colleagues – emails, phone calls, chat messages, text messages, and more. The resulting disorganised conversations heighten existing chaos.
Having a unified platform for conversations with your colleagues is much more efficient. All information is accessible whenever needed from one place which means you don’t have to constantly switch between apps or lose time looking for data.
Requesting and sharing information can be an unexpectedly large time sink if one isn’t careful. Using multiple platforms to organise work can make this situation worse. Digital workplaces integrate all these functions in a simple but efficient manner. Document management, mobility, and communication are much improved, giving employees flexibility and a streamlined way to work.
The elements described above can form a solid foundation for designing your digital workplace. Remember to include your organisation’s specific requirements for the best outcomes. Choose the right unified platform and boost your organisation’s performance.
As Baelish said “Only the ladder is real. The climb is all there is.”
Suresh Sambandam, CEO, Kissflow (opens in new tab)
Image source: Shutterstock/gpointstudio