One of the many interesting developments we have seen throughout the first part of 2020 is that when talking about change management and digital transformation Change has never been about competence, nor resources. Not even funding. It has always been about motivation.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen how that motivation has pushed organisations over the limit into enabling the so-called digital transformation journey for their entire workforce. Even for the laggards. End result? Everyone has now been working distributedly, more or less effectively, for months. But at what costs? How do organisations evaluate and assess that transition from analogue, face to face interactions while at the office into the digital realm? How successful have we been?
Why We Fail So Much
Apparently, not much, specially, if you look into the ever growing and rampant levels of employee burnout, (Insert your favourite video conferencing app) fatigue, exhaustion, stress, cognitive dissonance, etc. Our biggest mistake? To think that working distributedly is all about trying to mimic the regular office environment. Chat after chat, Web meeting after Web meeting, always-on to ensure people see you are working away perpetuating the cult of busyness. You name it!
Perhaps an even more poignant mistake though has been to pretty much ignore completely the massive value-add of doing data analytics for collaborative environments to make sense of, and better understand, that transition we are currently going through into this brave new-abnormal of working distributedly that’s here to stay.
Indeed, there are a lot of things that we can do to prevent that digital overload and burnout, while helping knowledge workers achieve higher levels of both efficiency and effectiveness in the digital workplace. At panagenda, our favourite practice is looking into data analytics to comprehend better with our customers how that transition into digital has gone through so far. Eventually, helping them understand not only the data people produce when they collaborate across the board, but also to make better sense of why people collaborate the way they do and what apps they use, so that they would have an opportunity to influence user behaviour while aiming towards better outcomes.
How to Prevent Digital Overload
You may be wondering about our favourite outcome at the moment, right? Well, asynchronous, networked, distributed work it is. Far too often we have seen with our clients how plenty of that digital overload amongst employees is provoked mostly by trying to keep up with work pretty much like we used to do at the traditional office: growing number of incoming emails that never seems to stop, fast paced (instant) messaging back and forth even after regular working hours, back to back Web meetings throughout the day to the point where real work never gets done, working longer hours than necessary into your evening, destroying the so-called work / life balance, you name it.
Gosh, yes, we know, it’s exhausting just writing about it!
We truly live in pretty extraordinary times. There isn’t a single doubt about it. Throughout this COVID-19 pandemic, we are now finally coming to terms with the fact there is still a lot of work to be done still within each and every organisation as they transition into distributed work. Plenty of different businesses are starting to consider whether they should implement a hybrid policy towards working anywhere in the short / long term, or whether they would become a lot bolder and drop the traditional office working environment altogether. For good.
At panagenda we love working with our customers getting the most of solutions like our OfficeExpert (Either Ops Analytics or MS Teams Analytics) where we can explore their gold mine of data to identify potential digital adaptation patterns (From a change management and adoption point of view) that have worked incredibly well (i.e. finding experts in a timely manner, working more openly and transparently, reducing clutter, bringing forward clarity by removing unnecessary frictions, identify emergent good practices, etc.) to also work through the magic of having a good, solid governance model that just works (i.e. accessibility, performance, quality of service, better licensing management capabilities, identifying swiftly potentially confidential content leaks, external collaboration with customers and business partners, etc.).
Change Management & Digital Transformation Go Hand in Hand
All in all, when thinking about making good due progress in one’s own digital transformation journey, we have learned with our customers and business partners how the sweet spot towards doing a successful transition is not necessarily about mimicking the already existing work patterns that happen in the traditional work office environment just to get work done, but it’s an unprecendented and unique opportunity to transform the way we work and get work done more effectively. To challenge the current status quo, our various assumptions on how work happens, and to eventually shake off all of those potential sources that could provoke such digital overload.
And to achieve all of that there is not better, more effective, way than diving into the world of Microsoft 365 Data Analytics in order to learn plenty more where the opportunity lies ahead. After all, working with social, digital tools has always been about working smarter, not necessarily harder. And, if there is something we have learned ourselves over the course of the last few months is that if an organisation would want to become a Socially Integrated, Asynchronous, Networked and Distrbuted Enterprise, data analytics can certainly help accelerate that process with one key advantage: reducing digital overload to the bare minimum.
Yes, who would have thought data analytics for collaborative environments could have such a huge impact in terms of how businesses get to define what work should be like in the XXI century, now that we have, finally, all gone digital? Who would have thought data analytics could help you reduce dramatically all of those sick-leave costs mounting up because of that digital burnout? Now is the time to act and dive in right into that gold mine of data actionable insights that’s just awaiting all of us!
Get the Data and Help You Need
That’s what we are currently working on with our OfficeExpert solutions portfolio. Helping you get the most out of the data you produce when you collaborate across the board using Microsoft 365. All in all, while reducing, substantially, all of that unnecessary digital clutter that keeps overwhelming your employees day in day out. You, too, could, eventually, get the most out of these business insights, work smarter, like plenty of our customers are already doing, and start redefining the digital workplace that works for you, your needs and wants, and your overall business outcomes. Data analytics with a purpose. To help you achieve more, while looking after the well-being of your employees.