Digital Workplaces: Busting 5 Common Digital Workplace Myths

Vinay Agrrawal
June 17, 2022

Do you know why digital workplaces have become so popular?

Businesses the world over have wholeheartedly embraced the concept of digital workplaces because of several reasons:

  • A digital workplace is better suited for the fast-paced work environment
  • Remote work through digital means allows companies to utilize manpower better
  • It helps save a lot of the costs of running a business

In fact, according to Digital Workplace Group reports, moving to digital workplaces (where the desk-to-employee ratio was 1:4) enabled IBM to save about $450M annually owing to reduced infrastructure costs. The advantages of technologically augmented work cultures are real and tangible.

With that said, every coin must have two sides. Certain fallacies have surfaced over the course of time when the trend of digital workplaces is at the cusp of becoming mainstream.

In this article, you will learn about five myths of the digital workplace and the factual, logical reasons that debunk them.

Myth 1: Digital Workplaces is All About Technology

The most prevalent misconception about a digital workplace is that it is solely and entirely about technology. This isn’t true.

Technology plays a pivotal role as an enabler of work environments that are capable of evolving according to the demands of the situation.

Humans still need to orchestrate the workflows by actively interacting and engaging with technological solutions (like software and apps) to ultimately collaborate with one another in the digital realm.

Through clouds, SaaS, communicative technologies, and similar implements, the digitality of work can be streamlined and tweaked to fit the organization’s requirements like a glove.

Technology can’t replace critical thinking (yet), and in a digital workplace, it is only a bridge between work and efficiency that all organizations strive to achieve.

Software and apps aren’t the standalone answers to creating a digital environment for your workplace. Your workforce needs to be trained on how to use it.

Myth 2: Digital Workplaces Threaten Productivity and Employee Engagement

The second myth is the belief that digital workplaces are counterproductive and lead to unengaged employees. Read that again: the myth interprets that an on-premises employee is more engaged and productive.

Real-world evidence actually exists to counter this argument on the very same lines. A report by Economist Intelligence Unit has revealed that businesses lose $391B every year to distractions in the workplace.

The report goes further to establish that for most employees, face-to-face interruptions from coworkers are the major source of distraction.

A loss this huge could be avoided by simply switching to remote work! In a survey conducted by Buffer, 61% of respondents said they felt highly positive about working remotely. Positivity towards work is an essential driver of productivity and employee engagement.

Furthermore, Owl Labs have discovered that organizations that offered remote-work capabilities to their employees experienced a reduction of 25% in employee turnover.

An engaged employee is an asset to a company, and digitally-enabled remote work allows companies to reduce turnover drastically.

Myth 3: Digital Workplaces are Temporary

The third most popular myth concerning digital workplaces is that such arrangements are only temporary.

The truth is that the world transitioned into “The New Normal” right after the COVID-19 pandemic receded. This New Normal is highly tech-savvy and data-driven.

Today, businesses that do not encourage a digital work environment stand to lose many opportune avenues, to name a few:

  • They cannot hire remote talent
  • They cannot save on the costs of infrastructure
  • They cannot improve the workplace and operational efficiencies

Losing this opportunity to transform digitally can actually have dire consequences. Digital workplaces have become an essential need for business furtherance today, if you believe the words of Erik Brynjolfsson, Director at DigEcon Lab, in an interview with James Pethokoukis:

Source

A survey by Markets and Markets emphasizes that the digital workplace market that stood at $22.7B in 2020 will rise to $72.2B by the end of 2026. That is a maddening compounded annual growth rate of 21.3%!

Long story short, digital workplaces are not temporary.

Myth 4: D for “Digital, Downtime, and Disruptions”

The fourth myth is that digital solutions are plagued with frequent server problems and network disruptions.

The truth is that modern server farms and cloud service providers are smart. By leveraging technologies like automated load balancing, they are able to provide active servers that do their job diligently even during high-traffic hours.

No matter how heavy the influx of traffic is on your platforms, your business will always be online.

Few unfortunate downtimes are unavoidable (maybe maintenance or unforeseen accidents), but they do not define the running status of a digital setup.

Speaking of network disruptions, 63% of the global population has access to the internet today, according to Statista. The quality of connectivity is also steadily improving, as internet service providers have more than stepped up to the game by creating robust connectivity infrastructure for their clients, minimizing disruptions, and enabling higher and sustained network speeds.

The digital infrastructure available to businesses today is actually quite sound.

Myth 5: They Are Not Relevant

The fifth most popular myth about digital transformation is “It’s not for me.”

If you belong to a company that thinks it can’t benefit from digital workplaces, think again. Industries like Food and Beverage – something extremely far removed from technology – are rapidly accelerating towards digitality.

A survey by Deloitte revealed that the F&B industry is seeking more professionals with skills in the “AAA” category – Analytics, Automation, and Artificial Intelligence.

That says a lot about how open each industry is to embrace the digital revolution. Every work, industry, company, and individual has something to gain from creating a digital workplace.

In Closing

Digital workplaces give employers the opportunity to do more with less. Less infrastructure, less real estate, less time spent commuting, etc. ultimately helps utilize these resources to achieve more goals.

An Owl Labs survey revealed that 57% of workers who returned to their offices admitted that they preferred to work from home.

The numbers spell out the truth in very clear words: digital workplaces can help catalyze two-way growth and satisfaction in organizations. Some drawbacks do exist, but the benefits tip the balance in favor.