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Are connected workers important for digital transformation?

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Across the economic value chain, the digital environment is becoming the norm.

Every country, every industry, and every sector is transforming digitally. So what about the workers or the employees? How digitally advanced are the workers?

One of the major corona crises saw the benefits of digital transformation. The monitoring of real-time data was possible from anywhere across the world. Moreover, with proper equipment installed at your home, the work was optimized and efficiently delivered due to the digital platforms.

So what are Connected workers?

As per the industry of things,

“Connected Workers represent digital transformation from the perspective of employees. Designers, engineers, operators, and managers use digital tools to perform their tasks efficiently and safely.”

The core of digital transformation is cloud computing and artificial intelligence. Also, the workplace needs to be aware of the new generation growing up with the internet, laptops, and smartphones are the new ones bringing new skillsets and technologies into the world.

It has been observed that cloud-based learning platforms are the core for improving digital collaboration among employees.

It is also said that the digital twin plays a central role in connecting workers. An example of such collaboration is Duke energy supplier. The optimization of the process plant is done by using forecasting tools and AI-powered analytics. The data collected from all areas, flow rates, and quantities to shifts and operation planning are mapped centrally. Hence, the executives can optimize the performance by detecting any equipment failures beforehand by automatically switching to another asset component and preventing any sort of failure.

How to implement a digital workforce?

The digital work processes can be implemented with companies being built upon the existing infrastructure with the already occupied office employees. Such as Microsoft teams, Proofhub, Chanty, Hipchat, Zoom, etc.

The tools also support the frontline workers to be well-integrated digitally with already established players.

SAP is mainly used in the automotive industry for shift planning and provides up-to-date information on availability and profile information for further training measures.

Can digital work become the new norm?

According to Fraunhofer FIT analysis, more than 79% of women and 85% of men were satisfied with the home office. The employees coping with the current trend has increased much higher with the home office.

The IT industry got the highest satisfaction rates.

According to Prof. Wolfgang Prinz, Deputy Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology FIT,

“It’s not just satisfaction that has increased. The individual performance and the performance of the team are now also better assessed. However, team performance is rated lower than individual performance.

This means that individual work works better in the home office than in teamwork. In terms of team performance, the first evaluation had shown a more divided picture.

The decisive factors for this were the accessibility of colleagues and problems with the technical equipment. However, these obstacles seem to have largely been overcome.” 

However, the negative aspects were:-

  • 66% agreed professional exchange was missing.
  • 65% agreed to Coffee breaks and lunches were missing.
  • 60% agreed joint creative sessions missing.
  •  20 percent lack a way to work.

“Nevertheless, it should be noted that the compulsion to work from home shows significantly more positive aspects than expected. For companies, there is no easy way back to old office routines. Instead, flexible concepts must be developed that meet the requirements and wishes of employers and employees alike,” says Prinz.

As per Bitkom President Achim Berg,

“The corona pandemic and the drastic disruption of public life are forcing a radical rethink in the culture of many companies. Even more, challenged are public employers, for whom the home office is often a foreign word. Digital technologies are the key to ensuring the ability of business and public institutions such as offices and schools to work even in this extraordinary crisis.”

 “Until now, it seemed unthinkable that mobile working and learning could become the standard. Now, however, the immense potential that digital technologies offer in principle is becoming visible as if under a magnifying glass – in the fight against the virus as well as in the reduction of commuter traffic and traffic-related emissions. All companies are required to introduce a home office for the appropriate activities.”

According to eco Managing Director Alexander Rabe is also certain: “Technology skepticism was yesterday: We will now experience more and more concrete positive examples of the digitization of the economy and society. These are very concrete experiences, such as the possibilities of the home office in times of crisis, made possible by digital technologies and the nationwide availability of high-performance Internet in Germany.”

 “Companies should start from the question of what they want to achieve with a virtual working environment,” recommends Jens Weller, Managing Director of TopLink GmbH: “There are solutions that are quickly available and with which companies that suddenly have many employees in the home office remain able to act. However, even in times of crisis, managers should take the time to think fundamentally to create long-term improvements for their own company.”

Well, companies need to think more before moving forward with connected workers, but, with the change in working style, people are looking for something more than just office work. Connected workers’ ability to close the gap between their professional and personal lives can result in an unexplainable boost in company performance, forcing a new work environment for more such digitally native workers. 

Source: Industry of Things (industry-of-things.de)

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