When the pandemic hit, the switchover to remote work happened overnight. It was an unprecedented change in how organizations operate and put new demands on the digital systems that support the business. Historically, most firms viewed in-office and remote/virtual work as two separate entities. And while that was workable in the past, there will be new rules to work by that will change this dynamic and how we get things done in the future.
One of the most important of the new rules is that the distinction between being in the office and working from somewhere else will disappear. That has tremendous upside. It reduces complexity that frustrates employees, and it eliminates unnecessary costs, because distinguishing between work locations requires separate support scripts, different security tools, and often different infrastructure.
Running in parallel is no longer necessary if the organization opts for a modern digital workspace platform. With a single platform to support all employees, IT teams can focus on supporting the work without having to think about where it is occurring. As new apps and services roll out, a standard delivery platform not only simplifies the process, but more importantly, also speeds up the deployment and use of new digital solutions everywhere.
A consistent platform for work, regardless of location, is a win-win for the employee and the organization. The employee experience is substantially improved, because all apps, services, and “personalities” are now consistent across every work style. The frustration of being able to access only some files or apps when out of the office is eliminated, and it is simple to change locations and then just pick up where you left off. Consistency also cuts down on the number of service tickets that arise because functionality inconsistencies cause problems.
For the organization, the wins are numerous. Employees using a digital workspace immediately become more productive. And the provision of a better digital experience is an important advantage in both recruiting and retaining talent. There is substantial simplification and cost reduction for IT since fewer resources are needed to provide workers with a single digital workspace.
One of the first beneficial changes workers will see with the deployment of a modern digital workspace is the ability to use their device of choice. Problems using a smartphone or tablet for corporate apps often lead the list of negative experiences from remote work. And just as limitations caused by location are bad, limitations based on device is a strong negative. In the past, supporting numerous devices often required IT teams to manage each device platform (iOS, Android, Windows, etc.) as a different environment. This just doesn’t work in the long term. Using a single digital workspace that has native support for the most frequently used device platforms eliminates this chore and better delivers a seamless user experience.
The areas of information security, data sovereignty, and private data protection can also widen the chasm between in-office and remote work. In most organizations, some files have always been considered too sensitive to be used outside of the physical corporate network. The modern digital workspace mitigates this issue. Implementing a strong and consistent security stack for every session and keeping the data in the data center or on a secure cloud eliminates risks. An important new rule to work by is that it is imperative both to provide employees with unfettered access to information they need and to keep that information secure.
The digital workspace is a unique solution in that it solves current problems and provides an effective and flexible foundation for moving forward. The one certainty about the new rules to work by is that change is the constant. It is impossible to create a technology plan to meet all possibilities. Instead, a digital workspace provides the flexible, consistent, and easily managed platform that can be optimized and modified to support the new rules of work as they emerge and change. Eliminating the “location chasm” is the first step; being ready for the future is the second. The digital workspace supports both.