This course focuses on how to design the digital workplace of the future that not only fosters efficiency and innovation but also nurtures a pleasant work environment. This objective is both strategic and operational. From a strategic perspective, we delve into how organizational leaders can take advantage of future work trends when digitalizing their practices and we discuss how digital workplaces can be designed for making digitalization a strategic success. From a more operational perspective, we discuss how to build a digital workplace that supports a new mindset and drives new behavioral norms in the organization.
In this course, we explore four inter-related elements of the digital workplace:
- Technologies of the digital workplace
- The digital workforce
- New ways of working
The technological environment that enables information sharing, collaboration, and communication is at the heart of the digital workplace. Technology is thus the first element of the course, where we will discuss the necessary digital capabilities that organizations must have. Crucially, however, a digital workplace is unlikely to be fully virtual; we thus also consider how hybrid digital-physical spaces will be key in the future.
The workforce is the second critical element of a digital workplace. We will investigate the workforce trends among knowledge workers and raise some of the dilemmas related to such trends. We will also discuss what makes the digitally savvy workforce tick and how the workforce of the future is changing with respect to competencies and skills enhanced by digital technology.
The third element is the various novel work practices that constitute the digital workplace. We will look at new ways of working at an individual, team, and organizational level -and discuss what boosts work-life flexibility, worker agility, and engagement. We will critically reflect on new work trends and their role in workforce management.
Finally, the fourth element of the course is the role of leadership. In a digital workplace, it is crucial to consider how different leadership styles together can provide effective sensemaking around a new digital workplace arrangement and foster new ways of working such as knowledge workers managing their own work and agile teams.
It is important to consider the synergies between the four elements when designing a digital workplace. Furthermore, a successful digital transformation is not a technology-driven endeavor; rather, it is a cultural and organizational transformation. We will conclude this course by discussing digital workplace design and transformation as key enablers of organizing for digitalization.
- Foundations of the digital workplace: Digital capabilities and technologies, hybrid digital-physical spaces and digital workforce
- Emerging new ways of working (i.e., structures, processes, and activities) and novel leadership styles supporting and enhancing the digital workplace
- Broader business transformations enabled by digital workplace
- Critical reflections on new technological and workforce management trends.
- Identify and describe a digital business transformation need (or an ongoing transformation) that could be enabled by the different elements of the digital workplace, as discussed during the course.
- Convincingly argue for the best combination of elements to develop a specific instance of a digital workplace that enables the identified business transformation need.
- Reflect on the different opportunities and threats that the proposed digital workplace may create.
Description of the teaching methods
This course builds on a blended learning format with time for self-study and face-to-face activities that include presentations on core topics by the instructors, plenary discussions, as well as group work. During workshops, participants evaluate the types of insights that could be relevant for future strategic decisions when designing their own and others’ digital workplace scenarios. Assigned reading material will prepare the participants to take active part in class interactions. While the learning outcome is best facilitated by a mix of self-study and face-to-face learning with physical presence, it is possible, in agreement with the instructors, to set up a hybrid learning environment with online participation.
Who should attend this course
The course targets managers and professionals interested in understanding, developing, and managing the digital workplace – with new forms of collaboration, engagement, and innovation to satisfy a digitally savvy workforce, thereby accelerating productivity and agility, as well as facilitating the broader digital transformation of business. In this course, we will place a special emphasis on knowledge work settings.