Since its first stages in March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced many people to start working from home, with companies abruptly closing their offices as a result of the emergency. A situation that was predicted to last a few months at most, quickly become the first step of a major transition to a substantially more remote office workforce.
It’s fair to say that this transition was already taking place, with the creation of a digital workplace being described for years by business studies as the foundation for a successful business strategy. The emergency effectively worked as a massive experiment, during which companies and organizations had the chance to adopt new digital solutions, which are now becoming the new standard.
The shift to web-based tools, and the new methods of communication and organization, including apps such as Microsoft Teams, are invaluable solutions that are here to stay, and the creation of a fully digital workplace needs to be a priority for any company that wishes to keep up to date.
WHAT IS THE DIGITAL WORKPLACE?
A digital workplace is a virtual version of the traditional workplace, where all the digital instruments that allow employees to do their jobs are stored and readily available online. These services range from communication, instant messaging, document, and general task management tools. When put together, these solutions help to break barriers between people, information, and processes, enabling workers to do their jobs more efficiently and effectively.
Such an employee experience is able to enhance productivity and performance, enabling for less commuting and generally more flexibility. These tools are also valuable to managers, making the tracking and evaluating ongoing projects and activities much faster.
We argue that a workplace that is both flexible and easily accessible can be a game-changer for companies, providing:
- Quicker information access thanks to search platforms
- Easier collaboration and communication with colleagues and managers
- Secure access using multi-factor authentication
- Adaptability due to the high level of flexibility of these online tools
These are only some of the benefits that a digital workplace offers, which also translate into cost savings in the long run, particularly regarding email management, digitally searching for people and information, and the possibility to avoid duplication of work
Being aware of the current challenges companies have to face dealing with such a change, Konica Minolta Global R&D has developed a new solution to support the transition to a smarter workplace. We have tackled one of the key aspects of any modern, efficient digital workplace: the search platform.
COMPANY NAVIGATOR TO ENABLE THE DIGITAL WORKPLACE
From our experience with Cognitive Services, we’ve developed a remote work solution that seamlessly integrates with Microsoft Teams and enables the user to visually understand and access all the digital assets of a company. Using different algorithms and natural language processing, our solution makes it possible to build a comprehensive map that displays users and documents related to particular topics, events, or people in an intuitive and flexible way.
This drastically improves the digital workplace, by leveraging unstructured data from a company’s knowledge base, gradually decreasing the need to organize data manually and thereby increasing efficiency.
With Company Navigator it is possible to find any file or document related to a specific worker and access it right away. The app visually organizes the data in logical groups, such as documents, people, events, and categories, making it easy to quickly find the information needed, without extra steps that would impact efficiency.
Our semantic services-based Teams application sets out to reduce time-consuming tasks, by:
- Saving time spent on document search and manual document organization
- Helping new staff members and remote workers to gain implicit information and to build a personal network in the company
- Providing insights into documents and relations in the digital workplace
- Making complex company structures easier to navigate.
Let’s say for instance you need to access a particular presentation about Visual Quality Inspection that was written by your colleague Martha. Once you have selected Martha’s folder, you will be able to access all company files linked to her online identity, which will automatically be sorted into groups by the solution. From there, a cluster named Visual Quality Inspection that contains all the related documents will be displayed and available for easy access. To further understand how this tool works in practice, you can watch this video.
EXPLORE COMPANY NAVIGATOR
Download Company Navigator from the Microsoft Office Store as a basic Free Version that features core functionalities like explorative search and document relations visualization.