Changes remain difficult, even if it means an improvement in the end. How do you make sure that the people will embrace the new digital workspace? In this blog we give you a roadmap that will help you with the adoption of the digital workspace and the new way of working.

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Step 1. Put together a project team as a digital workspace group

The adoption process does not begin with the implementation of the new digital workspace, but starts way before that – even before you have chosen a digital workspace at all. One of the first steps in the adoption process is therefore to put together a project team.

Who are in the project team for the digital workspace?

To make sure the adoption of the digital workspace runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible, it is important that you are prepared. First of all, it is wise to put together a project team that will be responsible for this project. This project team will deliver a smooth adoption for the digital workspace. A project team must consist of people who can plan and organise well, people that can deliver results and can also manage projects.

A project team usually consists of a few roles:

  • Success Owners have a leading role in the adoption process. The Success Owners are responsible for achieving the company goals and managing the training and communication with the employees successfully. They are involved in every step of the project and are considered the leaders of the project.
  • Executive sponsors are the people with a high level of expertise in their field and who have a great influence on the company culture. It is their job to give a good example to the employees and show them that sometimes changes are necessary, and that they will have a positive effect on the future of the organisation.
  • The Champions are the so-called “influencers”. These are the employees who will fully support the adoption, are very enthusiastic about it and learn quickly about new technologies. They will spread their enthusiasm about the new digital workspace and bring the new way of working to life, but don’t lead the project. They ask feedback from their teams and departments, identify challenges and possible solutions to inform the Success Owners and work together on improvements.

Enthusing your colleagues in the digital workspace group

It is important to align the goals of the digital workspace with the company goals. This way, it is easier to make your colleagues enthusiastic about participating. From the moment you invite people to join the digital workspace group, it is important that you appear enthusiastic. By doing this you encourage your colleagues so that they want to contribute right from the start. If you only come up with problems and not with solutions, your will never convince your colleagues and you can expect resistance.

Wishes and needs of the employees

First of all, this ‘digital workgroup’ will map out the wishes and needs of the employees. What challenges are employees currently running into in their current digital workspace? Where is the need for improvement? What does the ideal digital workspace of the employees look like? These are some examples of questions that are important to ask in order to map out the wishes and needs by conducting surveys or interviews. By answering all these questions, you get a clear picture of what employees want to see in their digital workspace. This way you can improve the adoption process. Because you can make sure that the changes will actually improve their working life.

Ultimately, the goal is to convince all employees of a new digital workspace and to make sure that they embrace the idea of a new digital workspace.

Creating personas

Creating personas is important when choosing a digital workspace in order to get a clear picture of the wishes, challenges, activities and tools of different groups of employees, so that you can use this to create customised workspaces that fit in with what employees want and need.

Ultimately, the goal is to convince all employees of a new digital workspace and to make sure that they embrace the idea of a new digital workspace. To make sure that every team or department is on board with the new digital workspace, it is useful to create personas. By creating personas you can identify the type of employees working within your organisation and their needs and obstacles. This way you get a clear picture of the organisation and you can include everything in your considerations for a digital workspace.

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Map out the IT environment

When you have a clear picture of the wishes and needs of the employees, it is wise to describe the current IT environment. In addition, it is good to map out the possibilities of the solutions you want to use and which digital workspaces are available, so that you have knowledge about the current market. Which solution do we want to work with (for example Office365)? Which digital workspaces are there? Make sure that you know what the current IT environment looks like and that the digital workspaces that you find suitable fit the wishes and needs of the organisation.

Request a demo at a digital workspace provider

Request a demo at various digital workspace providers to choose the ideal digital workspace for your organisation. Set up this digital workspace, just as you and your digital workgroup think it is best for your organisation. This demo will take you further in the next steps for the adoption of the digital workspace. By setting up a demo according to the wishes and needs of the employees, you can involve the employees and discover their vision on the workspace.

Step 2: Ask for feedback, feedback and more feedback!

After you have completed step 1 and requested and set up a digital workspace demo, you will start collecting feedback from your digital workgroup. Schedule a meeting, go around the table together and watch the demo. Are there things you as a group are still missing?

Presentation for management

After you have a good first demo, present it to the management team. Make it clear that this is only a test version and not yet the final result and a lot of changes will take place. When you have a demo, make sure you have a version that is customised to their role and that you can show a version to the people who perform core tasks. Ask everyone for feedback in order to come to a second test version.

Presentation for the employees

After you have processed all the feedback from the first presentation, you will start working on the second presentation. Show all the improvements to the employees and check whether this has been improved and whether things are still missing or need to be adjusted. Also let them think about which applications, processes and features need to be integrated in the workspace. By letting them think along at every step, the employees feel involved and this also contributes to a better adoption.

Adoption of new technology

In order to ensure that people use the digital workspace, it is also important to quickly integrate new technologies that are purchased into it. Take the time to see if new software solutions that other departments are working with are easy to integrate. By incorporating them directly, people will enjoy working with them and also inform others.

Step 3. Testing the digital workspace

Announce the first version by means of videos and images. This way you map out the digital workspace in a fun and inspiring way, which also helps to convince your employees. Do your best to introduce the workspace as well and as clearly as possible. By naming and showing the advantages and improvements compared to the current digital workspace, you can better convince your employees. Involve employees from different departments and make it clear that they are allowed to test the first version before it is rolled out throughout the organisation.

Communicate how the process went

Make it clear that there has been good thinking and extensive research into how the digital workspace can help people. Share which people are involved and where people can turn if they have questions or comments.

Feedback questions

Encourage people to share feedback to prevent them from only discussing it among themselves, where their opinions can’t be taken into account when customising the workspace. Ask your staff for feedback on the first version. What do your employees come up against? What could be better? Which applications are missing in the first version? Collect all feedback.

Developing best practices

Once the points for improvement have been mapped out, you can identify best practices within the organisation. Sit around the table with your digital workgroup to set them up and adjust the digital workspace based on the feedback from the employees.

Why do you have to ask for so much feedback?

As you can see, it is a lot of testing and asking for a lot of feedback. By doing this before you launch the digital workspace, you know what the needs are and you continuously find improvements. It takes a lot of time to choose a good digital workspace that suits your organisation, so testing and asking for feedback is a must!

Step 4. Rolling out the digital workspace in the organisation

After the first three steps, it is time to roll out the digital workspace. Depending on the size of your organisation, you can give training courses to employees and schedule walk-in sessions. The more you involve the employees in the introduction and let them think along with you, the easier the adoption will be.

Create instructional videos and user manuals for support

Make instructional videos to introduce the digital workspace and to give a virtual tour. This will give employees a clear picture of what the digital workspace looks like and how it works. In addition, it is also wise to write instruction manuals so that all processes can be clearly found somewhere if necessary.

Linking digital workspace evangelists to each team

By linking digital workspace evangelists to each team or department, employees have a person they can ask questions about the digital workspace and/or share problems they encounter. This ensures a smooth adoption of the new way of working. Make sure that the digital workspace evangelists in the beginning sit down weekly and later monthly with the digital workgroup, to share all the tips and tricks with each other and to switch quickly in case of any problems.

Step 5. Continuous improvement of the workspace

Because every department and team has an evangelist, you get a lot of feedback from different sides. Draw up a form for this, in which they can submit feedback at any time. Also, let them indicate the priority of the desired changes in the form.

Set up a fixed process for adjustments

Together with the digital workspace group, set up a fixed process in which feedback is reviewed on a monthly basis. Make sure it is clear that there is one person ultimately responsible for this process, so that it does not come to a standstill.

Work together with the digital workspace and software supplier

With all the feedback you’ve received during this process, it is very clear to yourself what requirements your digital workspace has to meet. Link this feedback back to the supplier of the digital workspace and, if necessary, to the software suppliers involved. This way they can think along with you in the development of your workspace and, if necessary, come up with ideas or develop things.

When does adoption stop?

The adoption of a digital workspace will never completely stop. Technology and the needs of employees keep changing, and digital workspaces develop continuously to make the work easier for the employees. Given the rapid development of the IT sector, it remains interesting to investigate how you can automate or simplify more and more processes, and how to make your employees embrace them.

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Increase the adoption of your digital workspace with Workspace 365

Workspace 365 is a digital workspace that automatically adapts to people’s role and environment. In Workspace 365 you will find all your applications, information, intranet and communication in one environment. Within Workspace 365, we have developed tools to support the adoption of your digital workspace. In addition, the adoption of Microsoft 365 is increased because we integrate these components and offer them in a simple and user-friendly way. Are you curious which tools Workspace 365 uses to increase adoption? Then read this blog about choosing a digital workspace or request a demo!

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Kelly van der Horst

Kelly van der Horst

Marketing Activator

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