Digital Workspaces: Social Intranets Powering the Future of Work

Build a Virtual HQ that Synthesizes Organizational Expertise and Boosts Employee Engagement and Inclusion.

This entry is part 4 of 8 in the series The 365 Future of Work

The centrepiece of your platform for Virtual Team collaboration and the Future of Work is a ‘Digital Workspace‘.

In simple terms this means what is traditionally known as an Intranet, a private, internal web site dedicated to your company, that with today’s technologies can be enhanced in various powerful ways.

For example they are also called ‘Social Intranets’, as they utilize social networking features, like Linkedin, so that employees can create member profiles and share updates to exchange knowledge and find one another.

Dion Hinchcliffe, a renowned digital transformation guru, believes they are critical to enabling successful virtual working building the modern digital workplace:

“The place where employees carry out their work online, often referred to as digital workspaces, represent an evolution that’s gone from simple company portals—which provide access to productivity tools, human resources, financial information—to a central hub for the essential aspects of employee engagement.

Digital workspaces enable people to connect with the colleagues, content and business applications they need in order to get their jobs done.”

Culture and Employee Experience

A Digital Workspace provides a ‘virtual HQ’, an online forum for employees to meet no matter where they are physically located, which in an era of remote working highlights the central value of using this technology.

The headline challenge for virtual teams is maintaining employee morale, as working remotely can easily lead to isolation and a sense of disconnectedness. Working together physically in the office brings many benefits, most notably this sense of social inclusion, and the knowledge sharing and collaboration that arises naturally from ‘water cooler networking’.

In this era of remote, virtual working this is a critically important dimension for organizations to address, as employees can often experience a sense of isolation and from this mental health issues. Therefore one of the primary objectives of a Digital Workspace solution is the use of technology in innovative ways to address these challenges and replicate the social knowledge interactions.

Importantly Digital Workspace applications specifically provide functionality for monitoring and boosting employee morale. In this video Microsoft describes three apps for building team culture in Microsoft Teams, to achieve these objectives.

Margie from the Microsoft Teams team walks through these three apps you can use right in Teams: 1) Praise, which lets you send praise to your coworkers one-on-one or in a group, 2) Whiteboard, which offers games templates like “Two truths and lie” or “Where in the world?” and 3) Games for Work, which lets you play games like Icebreakers, Wordament, and more.

Building a 365 Digital Workspace

To build a Digital Workspace environment with Microsoft 365 there are three main scenarios:

  • Off the shelf use of apps including Sharepoint and Teams, which can be customized to suit your style and functionality, utilizing the types of features described above.
  • Additionally incorporate use of apps like Viva, which provides an array of powerful functionality for organizing and managing high performance teams.
  • Third party applications specifically designed for Digital Workspaces. For this vendors include:
LumApps LumApps is a the only intranet packaged solution that allows employees to feel connected to their company and engaged in their work, from anywhere, by delivering a smart, modern digital headquarters where they can design their ideal work experience. from Flyte is a Microsoft Teams app for assessing and improving team morale. Emoji mood indicator icons allow group members to quickly respond how their day has been with the option to leave additional comments allows members to share additional feedback.
Atlas Integrating intranet, collaboration, and knowledge management with governance and AI, Atlas tackles the critical organizational challenge of improving business productivity by unlocking knowledge within Microsoft 365 and other enterprise systems.
Series Navigation<< Get Ready for the Future of Work with Microsoft TeamsIs The Future of Work in the Metaverse? Microsoft Mesh Brings The Spatial Web into the Office >>

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