While the ever-changing nature of the pandemic means we continue to live with uncertainty, it would be foolish to think life will ever fully revert to how it was pre-March 2020. This is most evident in the workplace, with new post-pandemic work trends emerging.

The ‘digitalisation’ of the workplace is one – it was forced upon many businesses when the world went into lockdown in 2020. Businesses had to lean on technology to stay afloat, however it looks as though digitalisation is here to stay. 

With many people still working remotely and enjoying it, businesses are having to embrace digitalisation as the norm. 

So, isn’t it time business leaders start to consider ways digitalisation can be strategically adopted and updated to revitalise team culture and lead to commercial success?

The rise of digitalisation

When lockdown hit back in 2020, many businesses swiftly moved from in-person working to remote working. Technology was adopted to help with this transition. Meetings would take place over video conferencing technology and emails/ instant messenger apps were used more frequently. 

This shift changed the world of work – it changed the way employees worked, the type of work they do and how business leaders lead. 


The benefits of digitalisation?

Digitalisation has reauthored work. Work does not need to take place in an office anymore, it can take place on a beach, a train or at a coffee shop. The adoption of workplace technology has delivered more autonomy over how people work, meaning more people have joined the workforce. Recent research has found the number of women in the workplace has risen by 1.8%, with the number of working mothers to young children also increasing. 

Digitalisation has enabled remote work to continue, meaning many can balance their work life with other life responsibilities. Prior to remote working, many would have had to make a choice. It has also expanded the talent pool available to businesses. Leaders no longer need to recruit people within commuting distance to the office every day, businesses can therefore hire the best talent, regardless of where they’re based.


The downside of digitalisation 

With many now working from home, people’s work/life balance has started to deteriorate. The digitalisation of work is arguably contributing to an ‘always on’ work culture. People feel they must be contactable to show their working as they’re unable to physically be present ‘at work’. This in turn could explain the increased reports of burnout at work. 

Digitalisation has meant the way people work and the way business leaders manage their teams has changed- it’s become harder. Leaders have less visibility and physical facetime with their whole team due to more teams working remotely. 

Some team members may feel forgotten about or overlooked; it’s therefore imperative leaders consciously use technology to ensure they’re attentive to all team members. However, leaders must not overstep the line, as digitalisation has also been criticised for encouraging the uptake of surveillance technology in the workplace. Business leaders therefore must implement a strategic digitalisation plan, failure to do so could foster a culture of mistrust.

Implementing digitalisation effectively

It looks as though hybrid working will be the norm moving forward, as such it’s vital leaders merge digitalisation with hybrid working effectively. With some people likely to be physically in the office more than others, leaders need to lean on technology to ensure those working remotely are not overlooked or forgotten.

Technology, such as instant messaging apps, can help leaders connect with all employees daily. As well as digitalisation helping business leaders, it can also enrich an employee’s experience at work. It can help them to make better use of their time whilst also enriching their social experience. Virtual HR apps, healthcare apps and timesheet apps are examples of easy and enjoyable workplace tech that can make work easier and exciting.

The world of work is changing and it’s natural for technology to seamlessly merge into the workplace as it evolves post-pandemic. Business leaders need to keep their ears close to the ground and use technology to enhance their people’s work experience. Failure to do this could lead to digitalisation doing more harm than good.