If you’re trying to bring in new technology into your workplace, you always wonder which digital workplace trends will stick around for the long term. It can be tough to discern the good stuff from the flat-out cheap fads. The last 5 years have been a complete digital revolution in the workplace. But not all digital tools can stand the test of time.
Today, we review what the “experts” got right, and what they got wrong. We’ll take a look at some of the most effective digital workplace trends and see what’s on the horizon for 2024 and beyond.
What Didn’t Work
Nearly every aspect of the work environment is being digitized. And it seems like every other month we see new tools, products and solutions. The truth is, only a select few provide enough value to organizations in terms of long-term implementation. While there are hundreds of products that didn’t work out, here are just a few:
Digital Corporate Wellness Programs
Remember when everyone thought digital wellness programs were the next big thing? This includes online therapy sessions, implementation of wearable technology, and activity contests (with digital tracking). While there is no doubt there is a need for wellness programs (a market that’s set to reach $74 billion by 2026), adoption has been low.
These programs, while well-intentioned, often fell short of engaging employees meaningfully. Only 20% of employees take part in employee wellness programs. These incentives felt more like a box-ticking exercise rather than a genuine effort to improve wellbeing.
VR Integration (not yet)
Virtual Reality (VR) in the workplace sounded like science fiction come to life. Mark Zuckerberg had us convinced that this was one of the biggest workplace revolutions of the 2020’s. The idea was revolutionary – immersive meetings, virtual office tours, you name it. While the idea seems cool, there is not data or research to support its effectiveness. It might be premature to write it off, but until we see evidence, this definitely feels like a fad.
What Digital Workplace Trends Are Here to Stay
The digital age has also birthed a number of great products and solutions. These solutions are in response to digital workplace trends that will probably stick around for a while.
Remote / Hybrid Work
If there’s one thing the past few years have taught us, it’s that remote and hybrid work isn’t just a passing fad. It’s here to stay. Companies have seen the light – flexible work arrangements can lead to happier, more productive employees.
Video Meeting Software (Zoom, MS Teams)
Raise your hand if you’ve had a Zoom meeting this week. Video conferencing tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams have become the backbone of modern communication in the digital workplace. They’re not just a trend; they’re a necessity.
Video / Meeting Transcribing
Ever been in a meeting and wished you could replay a part of the conversation? Enter video and meeting transcribing. These tools are game-changers, ensuring no critical detail gets lost in the sea of daily meetings. Not to mention this is a huge time saver since you don’t have to write down notes.
Slack and Other IM’s
Instant messaging platforms like Slack have revolutionized the way we communicate at work. They’ve moved beyond just being a chat tool; they’re integral for collaboration, file sharing, and even a bit of friendly banter.
2024 And Beyond
There have been some fascinating development regarding current and new digital workplace tools. Some have been around and are seeing major improvements, while other are new and expected to become ubiquitous in the workplace.
The Intranet isn’t a new concept, but it’s evolving. A company intranet is the bedrock of any digital workplace strategy. We’re seeing a shift towards more dynamic, interactive, and user-friendly intranets. They’re becoming a hub for not just information, but for building a connected, engaged community within your organization.
Social Media-Fication of Workplace
Think of this as bringing the ease and engagement of social media into the workplace. This trend is about creating digital spaces where employees can interact, share ideas, and foster a sense of community – much like they do on their favorite social platforms.
Security and Privacy
With all this digital transformation, security is paramount. Security breaches aren’t just happening with phishing emails now. It’s happening via digital workplace tools and software. Security of workplace platforms is becoming even more crucial. Your organization needs to prioritize security when it comes to integrating any new piece of software. You need to make sure that each app and platform conforms to the strictest of digital security standards. The trend here is that the cream will always rise to the top. The most secure tools will stay, while others will be simply short-term digital workplace trends.
BYOA – Build Your Own Apps
Imagine empowering your team to create their own solutions. That’s what BYOA (Build Your Own Apps) is all about. Tools like Appsheet are enabling teams to tailor-make applications that fit their unique needs, without needing a degree in coding. In the end, this saves on time and costs to your organization
AI Technology in the Workplace: More Than Just Sci-Fi
Artificial intelligence is not just some sci-fi fantasy; it’s the new normal. It’s about making our work lives a heck of a lot easier. Companies are catching on – they’re not just using AI; they’re teaching their teams to master it. Imagine having ‘prompt engineers’ – yes, that’s a thing now – these wizards are all about crafting AI to do exactly what you need.
AI Digital Workplace Tools for Finance
Soon we’re going to see not only AI being used by banks and credit unions, but it will be used to improve customer service. AI can parse millions of data points and come to the conclusion you need in seconds. If you want to calculate the number of mortgages coming up for renewal next month or analyze every transaction in real time to avoid fraud, AI can do that.
On the customer side of things, AI will be used as a highly informative initial consultation. Based on new customer information (income, goals, etc.) AI can create rough drafts of several financial plans. This will immensely cut down on admin hours and provide massive cost savings
AI Technology in Healthcare
Moving over to healthcare, AI is a total game changer. Picture this: AI algorithms that can scan through medical images – X-rays, MRIs, you name it – faster and more accurately than ever before. It’s not about replacing doctors; it’s about giving them a superpower to diagnose and treat faster. We’re saving time, and hey, probably lives too!
Virtual Assistants for Everyone!
And here’s the coolest part – virtual assistants are no longer just for the CEOs. We’re talking AI buddies for everyone in the office. Need to schedule a meeting? Your AI assistant’s got you. Data analysis? No sweat. It’s like having a mini-you to handle the grunt work so you can focus on the big picture.