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Jun 15

Why "Cool" Is Critical in Digital Workplace Tech

Today's workplace is increasingly technology-driven and highly dependent on good tech to get work done. Eighty-one percent of US office workers say state-of-the-art tech is important at work and 85% report that tech makes them more productive. We've officially entered the Era of the Digital Workplace.

The phrase “digital workplace” is a relatively new concept that is getting increasing attention in today’s marketplace; for example, Gartner recently published their list of 2017 “cool vendors” in the digital workplace (which include workplace apps like Comfy). But, let's back up for a sec and define a digital workplace.

A digital workplace is a workplace that leverages consumer-oriented technologies to span both the physical and virtual worlds to enable more effective ways of working. Actualizing a digital workplace is an initiative that may be led by IT, but it requires buy-in from all parts of the business, including corporate real estate and HR.

Today, organizations are faced with the challenge of assessing new solutions that were unimaginable and technically infeasible just ten years ago. Workplace technologies that promise increased worker productivity and cost savings are flooding the market; some research groups estimate there are as many as 3,000 tech solutions dedicated to addressing commercial real estate challenges. How can leading employers looking to build a high-performing digital workplace pick the winners from the hype?

As organizations evaluate digital workplace technologies, here are 5 key traits of cool digital tech and why they are critical to any solution your organization chooses:

1. Innovative

Cool workplace tech is innovative. It enables users to do things they simply couldn't do before. For example, employees consistently rank temperature control as one of the most important, and least satisfying physical features in the office. The first time people use the Comfy app, they're shocked that they can finally have some level of control, from their phones no less!

2. Intuitive

Ninety percent of US adults between 18-49 yrs old own a smartphone, meaning almost every working US adult owns a smartphone and likely engages with multiple apps throughout the day. Cool workplace tech leverages the best principles in consumer tech to deliver the full package. It lives at the juncture of the digital and physical space, superior user experience design, and sophisticated artificial intelligence on top of a modern application architecture. Digital workplace solutions must be as intuitive and delightful to use as a consumer app, or employees won't use it.

3. Impactful

The best workplace tech has a real business impact. It contributes to the company's bottom line and creates value. It's not just technology for the sake of technology.

4. Distinctive

When assessing a new workplace solution, ask yourself: how is it different from other solutions? The coolest tech has found a completely new way to address a pernicious customer problem. Research companies like Gartner, Navigant, and Frost & Sullivan are dedicated to studying the marketplace, reviewing new solutions, and delivering strategic advice to business leaders. Chances are that if a solution has garnered distinction with third-party industry analysts and made them sit up straight, maybe it's worth considering for your organization.

5. People-centered

Ultimately, workplace tech needs to understand and meet employees’ ever-evolving workplace needs, to be able to create personalized environments and support their diverse working styles.

As workplaces become increasingly tech-savvy and all workplaces become digital workplaces, IT, HR and real estate departments are being called to increasingly work hand-in-hand to make strategic business decisions and adopt world-class enterprise software. The end goal is an improved workplace experience using the right technology that fits the needs and expectations of every generation in the modern workforce. Start with ensuring that the tech is innovative, intuitive, impactful, unique, and people-centered.

Comfy helps companies adapt to the challenges of the new digital workplace. See it in action, watch this video.

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