Even before the pandemic forced us to reevaluate how we work, it was clear that the traditional workplace as we knew it wasn’t working. A Harvard Business Review study from 2019 found that open workplaces meant to facilitate collaboration actually reduced face-to-face interactions by 70% and increased emails and messaging by 50%. Despite office planners’ best efforts, people were driving to the office just to email and Slack their colleagues. At the same time, an Accenture survey from 2019 found that 71% of executives felt that their employees were more “digitally mature” than their organization and were waiting for their company to catch up.
“Catching up” became the goal for many and ushered in this current phase of digital transformation.
Businesses around the world were already taking steps toward their digital transformation when the pandemic forced an evolution overnight. What most companies learned is that remote work on a large scale is possible, but far from perfect. The digital workplaces they built were often done so from the technology ground floor first: clouds, content platforms, apps, and analytics. The next step would be to transform processes using AI to augment human workers, but many aren’t there yet. In reality, what ends up happening is these technologies throw off inhuman amounts of data, which overwhelms the people doing the work.
How can companies achieve an effective digital workplace, without drowning their employees in a sea of information?
With remote employees spread across the globe in larger numbers than ever, enabling access to information regardless of location becomes both a necessity and a challenge. Security and compliance issues aside, helping employees find what they need across different languages, SharePoint sites, messaging applications, and more is no small task.
A digital workplace solution that connects data and information is the missing piece in many digital transformation plans. Enterprise search is the answer and provides a central place to look for all files, documents, presentations, spreadsheets, weblinks, and other rich media. And it can do so by leveraging your existing systems – no integration is required.
Digital workplace articles talk a lot about fostering employee engagement, but what does that really mean?
An engaged employee is someone who feels connected to the company’s vision and mission, who is productive and consistently gets the job done, and who sees the potential for their own growth alongside the company’s growth. These are people who feel energized, committed, and valued. And they have a measurable impact on a businesses’ success. In fact, research shows that companies with more employee engagement see more revenue.
As companies shift to digital workplaces, employee engagement often suffers. One reason for this is difficulty finding the information they need to do their jobs. As tools and applications are added to enable the digital workplace, this leads to scattered and siloed information that employees spend hours searching through. The harder it is to find what they need, the more disengaged and frustrated employees become.
With a cohesive enterprise search solution, employees can gain a unified view of information, delivered in a familiar search-based experience. To put it plainly, they can stop wasting time looking for things. This in turn ensures they adopt digital workplaces more easily and increases employee engagement.
The exploding data and hours of time that employees waste looking for what they need has other ramifications, as well. Without a reliable way to search through and contextualize all the structured and unstructured data that exists, insights are routinely missed, and the value of the data is lost. Employees often need to ask colleagues for help finding the information they need, wasting additional time and resources and slowing progress. And in the end, the digital workplace that was meant to facilitate more creative, nonroutine work actually ends up producing the inverse.
An enterprise search solution can solve this information crisis. It can search and retrieve data regardless of format, type, language, and location. But more than that, it can use AI to understand the context of each piece and match it to the search intent. And the more data it is fed, the more it learns, returning better results with each query. To the end user, it is a simple and familiar experience that delivers powerful results. For businesses overall, it’s a key building block in their digital transformation.
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