A laptop against a green background shows a document on the screen, symbolising online productivity tools.
Image: © vladwel/Stock.adobe.com

Bringing digital tools into the workplace requires adequate training

21 Oct 2022

The digital workplace means more online tools to manage documents and productivity. These can be very beneficial as long as employees are properly trained.

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When it comes to digital transformation within the workplace, several changes have been taking place gradually over several years, while others have been massively accelerated very recently due to the pandemic.

This mix of pace – which changes from one company to another – has created a workforce with different levels of aptitude when it comes to digital tools.

When much of the world went completely remote all of a sudden, many workers had to get to grips with several applications that they had never used before, including document productivity tools such as Trello, Google Docs and Asana.

These tools not only help companies navigate the new digital work landscape, they can also introduce standardisation, transparency and more efficient workflows if used correctly.

Advantages of document productivity tools

According to Nitro’s Cameron MacPhee, adopting productivity tools for documents can help standardise processes.

“According to our recent Future of Work report, 35pc of workers said an increased focus on documenting and standardising processes would improve their organisation. When everyone is using the same tools and following the same processes, your workflows will become more streamlined and efficient,” she said.

“An all-in-one document productivity tool also minimises opportunities for errors.”

The Covid-19 pandemic also highlighted the need to adjust processes quickly, which requires agility from both leaders and employees. MacPhee said a good document productivity platform can allow for this.

“[Employees will] be able to easily collaborate, adjust document templates digitally, and review, edit, and share contracts, agreements, and other critical data quickly and securely,” she said.

“The more seamless and agile your processes are, the more likely your organisation can succeed in changing circumstances.”

Barriers to workplace digital transformation

While the benefits of being more agile with digital tools are clear, they’re only as effective as the employees who use them.

While there is an ongoing talent shortage within the tech industry, there is also a much wider digital skills gap.

Earlier this year, a skills index from Salesforce showed that many workers felt unprepared with digital workplace skills that businesses need now.

Companies need to take this into consideration when adopting digital tools in the workplace and ensure proper training is implemented.

Additionally, MacPhee said how companies react to digital transformation can also influence how employees feel about it.

“A lack of knowledge or understanding about digital transformation can lead employees or customers to fear change. They may assume it only involved equipment and fail to recognise the impact on workflows,” she said.

‘The cycle of education and training is continuous’

“Additionally, the size of an organisation can greatly impact the resources available to adopt and work through digital transformation change. It can fall to an ‘if it ain’t broke, why fix it’ mentality if the importance and positive impact of digital transformation aren’t conveyed properly.”

While it’s important that companies train employees for the digital workplace, MacPhee said some responsibility falls to the employees to upskill.

She said Nitro looks to hire employees with the ambition and ability to work digitally, and who are willing to continue to learn as technology advances.

“There is also a responsibility on our part and all employers to provide environments to encourage continued learning and proper training to upskill our workforce. That environment starts with identifying the existing skills of our employees, identifying gaps, and working to fill those gaps by providing on-the-job training and mentorship opportunities,” she said.

“The cycle of education and training is continuous. Still, by providing the right opportunities for our employees to learn, they can create their own path to career advancement (promoting from within the organisation). As leaders, they then become a source of knowledge and a teacher to new employees.”

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Jenny Darmody
By Jenny Darmody

Jenny Darmody became the editor of Silicon Republic in 2023, having worked as the deputy editor since February 2020. When she’s not writing about the science and tech industry, she’s writing short stories and attempting novels. She continuously buys more books than she can read in a lifetime and pretty stationery is her kryptonite. She also believes seagulls to be the root of all evil and her baking is the stuff of legends.

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