5 top digital workplace trends in 2021

by Ragu Satkunam 14 Apr 2021

In a time of global change, the importance of employees being able to work and collaborate with their colleagues from anywhere – not just the office – has been put firmly in the spotlight.

Digital transformation was forced to start or to accelerate for many businesses, and workplace digitisation will continue to dominate the tech landscape in 2021.

Here are the top five digital workplace trends I see continuing and emerging this year.

5. Everywhere Workplace

The pandemic has accelerated the transition to digital business. Traditional structures and workflows have been replaced by a ‘new normal’ centred around remote work and online collaboration. Working from home has shifted from an occasional novelty to the standard way of operating.

Progressive organisations have already planned this strategy shift and are implementing new ways of working. This includes a duty of care by businesses to ensure their staff are safe, secure and healthy in their home environment. Health and safety policies that worked before the pandemic must be reshaped to fit 2021 conditions.

At its heart, an everywhere workplace supports productivity and enhances operations to maintain business activity and empower staff to meet customer needs regardless of location.

4. Digitally Enhanced Work and Meeting Spaces

As businesses map their post-pandemic growth strategies, it’s increasingly clear that the workplace has changed forever.

Most organisations will blend physical and virtual experiences to create a seamless transition across spaces and devices and drive workforce productivity. Workflow changes demand a rethink of how staff communicate with each other as well as with customers. Quick conversations over the office cubicle or getting together in on-site meeting rooms are becoming rare events; reviewing the platforms and devices available for staff communication is business-critical.

Digital collaboration tools are key for staff to adapt to new workflows as online interaction replaces some face-to-face communication. Platforms must readily manage people in different places and use a mix of devices to connect. The right tools are crucial wherever you’re working – in the office, from home, or in the field.

3. Infrastructure Reimagined

For millions of people, the entire concept of work has evolved. Work has stopped being somewhere they go, and become something they do.

With the majority of workforces working remotely, businesses must ensure they have the tools and services they need to retain the productivity they’d expect in the office.

It’s time to review and adjust existing technology deployments to fit the moment. Distributed infrastructure deployment ensures a high level of performance, reliability and secure operations. The key? Flexibility.

2. Digital Workflow and Automation

Digital acceleration is also an opportunity to increase cloud-based resources across the business.

Rather than data and documents stored in on-premises servers, key resources can shift to a cloud platform to create seamless access for remote workers. Workflows that have traditionally been paper-based — leave applications, expense claims, supply chain documentation, purchase orders — are ready for disruption. Digital alternatives to these legacy workflows can create efficiencies even when users are accessing them remotely.

1. Business Intelligence

Technology needs to be seamless, integrated and part of a bigger business solution.

Digital transformation starts with how you manage your documents, files, information and data — and mapping a plan to go from information overload to intelligent business.

It’s non-negotiable for modern businesses to have information that’s more useful, more targeted and more mobile. Information that isn’t correctly classified and attributed results in lost time, productivity and revenue.

By automating processes across your business, time and resources can be diverted to meet other business objectives and companies can choose to stay small and agile. Increased efficiency and productivity both translate to healthier profit margins.

Support wherever you are on your digital transformation journey

Ricoh empowers digital workplaces with smart technology — we support new ways of collaborating, sharing, and managing information. By working closely with customers, we uncover hidden opportunities and the secure and compliant solutions to capitalise on them. Our approach includes simple, practical advice on the human engagement factors that are often overlooked when evaluating the value of any technology investment. Enabling organisations to maximise their investments in technology and people supports the creation of digital and physical workspaces to meet changing workforce needs.

Find out more about how we can support you on your digital transformation journey. Call 13 RICOH.