The new digital workplace offers flexibility and a higher quality of experience for both public sector employees and citizens.
We’ve dipped our toes into the waters of the digital workplace and now there’s no going back. According to a recent McKinsey study, the vision for the digital workplace aligns with what employees are saying they want from the workplace of the future. And, while the onset of the global health crisis was perhaps a catalyst that unleashed remote and hybrid work environments, it appears government entities have been headed in the direction of the digital workplace for some time.
A better experience for employees and citizens
The digital workplace will transform government employees’ work experience. A flexible work-life balance has long been the promise of the future, but now it’s at our fingertips.
A single secure platform for unified communications and collaboration, and calendar and task management tools, accessible from anywhere, will re-invent and re-invigorate the way employees work, independent of place and time. New communications tools will enable access to information to quickly respond to questions and requests making employees jobs more efficient and improving citizens’ quality of experience.
Of course, public sector digitalisation also includes external government processes and services. For government services that don’t require citizens to connect directly with government employees, self-serve digital portals will be the norm enabling citizens to access the services they need faster, whenever they need them and from wherever they are.
With change comes challenges
Creating the digital workplace is not for the faint of heart. As anyone who works in government knows, organisational and policy change can present its own set of challenges. However, to make public sector digitalisation possible, governments must tackle a variety of governance and technological challenges including having employees work from multiple locations in a hybrid work model.
In addition to employees and citizens on the front-end, policy makers and their teams who may not have daily interactions with citizens wield a significant impact on decision-making, the delivery of services, and ongoing interactions with the public. These key stakeholders must be aligned with digitalisation objectives and the needs of citizens.
In some cases that may mean tearing down traditional management structures and decentralising organisations. To make it all work, new policies and procedures must be created for how employees work, including availability, communications, collaboration and work delivery. That also means management need to decide how to handle workloads, workflows and productivity when employees are not physically in the office every day.
And let’s not forget ― the digital workplace is not free. Governments must figure out how to secure any additional funds needed to purchase the hardware and software to enable digitalisation.
Success built on technology
The right technologies are fundamental to a successful digital workplace. Understanding your organisation’s needs will help you identify the technology to get you there. Some things to think about include:
• Ensuring employees and citizens can securely access applications and important data wherever they are through public, private or hybrid cloud environments
• Connectivity to ensure both employees and citizens have access to the network, applications and data as required
• Security to safeguard government networks and data at all points in the communications and collaboration process
• Streamlining IT silos that have been created over time
Organisations that identify their requirements can create a robust technology foundation for a digital workplace that meets employees needs and delivers the services citizens expect.