Updated: Feb 1, 2019
The Green Building movement became overtly recognised this century through the development of various certification tools to benchmark buildings against a defined set of sustainability criteria. Whilst many may simply consider that Green buildings use less energy, water and materials it remains that the design solutions developed in conjunction with these certification tools create environments to improve occupant amenity that increases productivity. To mention a few, green building tools look to create spaces that have;
Reduced volatile organic contaminants (VOC) in the air.
Inadequate ventilation and opportunity to access fresh air.
Access to views to reduce eye strain from prolonged viewing of the computer monitor.
Thermal comfort with an ability to adjust individual work zones to reflect activities.
Acoustic design to minimise noise and interruptions.
Numerous studies have been completed in recent years that correlate these design strategies with improvements in worker effectiveness. Of note sustainable buildings have the potential to;
Rationalise working hours
Reduce staff turnover
Improve individual health
For further reading on this subject I refer you to the ‘Green Buildings and Productivity’ paper dated August 19, 2009;
Interestingly, the writers suggest:
The cost to provide healthier environments is modest compared to the benefits. Healthier buildings reduce sick time and increase productivity, making it easier to recruit and retain employees.
Infrastructure investments that focus on the interior design (ID) or physical fabric of the workplace can provide a direct pay-back benefit that impacts a business bottom line. So, what if the same philosophy were applied to the virtual workplace or the Digital ID. Could we see the same tangible benefits that improve productivity? Is there a digital benchmark to assess your digital transformation against your competitors?
Using a similar framework, a Digital ID certification tool might include;
A management team that encourages the timely adoption and implementation of technology to create greater efficiencies and outputs.
A management team that is proactive in understanding the business case to invest in this space.
Digital Environment Quality
A digital environment that is visually appealing with easy navigation.
A digital environment that invites collaboration between teams and team members.
A digital environment that has been designed with process, procedures and workflows in mind.
A digital environment that uses less personal energy to create an outcome.
Employees can work remotely.
Employees have an agile digital workplace.
Thought has gone into designing the infrastructure so that minimal tagging is needed by users.
The infrastructure been designed functionally and not to the organisational chart.
Hardware and Software
Investment has been made into upgrading hardware and software.
Employees know how to use hardware and software effectively.
Staff are adequately trained on the software available to them and know where to store and retrieve information from.
Training refresher sessions are available to staff or Digital champions offer staff assistance and further training.
Staff know what a record is? Staff know what documents need to be kept and how to identify them.
The business has a retention schedule.
The business has an outflow process for records in offsite storage.
The business has eliminated print, sign and scan.
The business has a digital security plan.
The business has a records management system in place.
In a space that is rapidly evolving it is essential that business maintains pace with current progress. To go further it is innovation that drives change in the industry, driven from within. I believe there has been some progress in Digital ID in recent years however it is too often the case that an ‘out of the box’ software solution is rolled into business without strategically aligning content to process. In effect, whilst management might consider that they are providing the latest technology that will create staff efficiencies an ill-conceived Digital ID might dissolve any potential gains through lack of training, understanding or effectiveness.
As businesses we need to recognise that the digital workplace is simply an extension of the physical space which warrants strategic business investment that considers all aspects of Digital ID to realise tangible competitive advantages. An added benefit might connect to the health and well being of staff that are able to access, understand and embrace these systems rather than creating avoidance workarounds that work to undermine and impede business. #RecordsManagement