Tags: benefit, best practice, digital workplace, research, value
This is the last in my series of posts showing examples of the savings organisations have made by shifting work to a digital workplace and new ways of working. It draws on my previous posts on how you need to plan your strategy, governance, and management of content, tools, and services for a digital workplace. This is essential to transform your intranet into a digital workplace. My previous posts in this series have covered productivity savings, reduced absenteeism, reduced staff turnover, and property costs savings.
I will be using examples from the Digital Workplace Group‘s report ‘What is the financial value of investing in digital working?‘ that show what organisations taking the right approach can achieve. This example covers how changing to new ways of working can improve your organisation’s green reputation and have a good impact on the environment.
How to reduce the environmental impact
Governments, organisations, and people are realising more what their impact on the environment can be. More importantly there are options we can take which can reduce the impact we have by changing our behaviour to work. Simply we can now bring our work to us more rather than have to travel to it. So, as well as striking a better work/life balance we can also reduce our impact on the environment by:
- not commuting to work
- video and conference calls with other people instead of every meeting being face to face
- less office space to be heated and lit
- when travelling is necessary, doing it outside of peak commuting hours if possible
- using collaboration tools that replicate what used to happen when people were in physical workplaces
What organisations can achieve
- Reducing environmental impact is a key factor of an organisation’s Corporate and Social Responsibilities commitments.
- If US employees with compatible jobs and a desire to work from home did so half the time, it is estimated the nation could cut its Persian Gulf imports by 47%. The greenhouse gas impact would be equivalent to taking the entire New York State workforce off the road. (Wow!)
- Reducing an organisation’s liability to environmental taxes and penalties by changing behaviour.
- Significant savings can be achieved through reduction in business travel. For example: Ernst & Young (£2.5m a year) and Cisco ($10.3m a year).
- Digital workplace technology has the potential significantly to reduce the negative environmental impact of organisations.
- During 2010, consolidation enabled Hewlett Packard to close 16 data centres and 447 computer labs and reduce floor space by around 12,000 square metres, while maintaining HP’s presence in all the world’s major regions and their ability to support customers worldwide. In turn, HP estimates that this consolidation avoided 260,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2) emissions.
- Through its award winning flexible working programme, in 2009/10 Ernst & Young avoided 6.8m air miles from using video-conferencing facilities. And in 2010/11, it achieved a 24% reduction in distance travelled by road per head, and a 15% reduction in CO2 emissions per head, compared with 2006/07. It also achieved a 5% reduction in distance travelled by rail and CO2e emissions per head in 2010/11 compared with 2006/07. Its flexible working strategy has been supported by a £650,000 initial investment while the potential annual direct cost savings from business travel avoidance is £2.5m.
- In its 2010 CSR report, Cisco makes an explicit link between using collaboration solutions internally (principally WebEx and telepresence) to host a staggering 19.3m hours of virtual meetings. This represents an annual saving of 47,000 tonnes of carbon emissions a year and a general reduction of 12% of Cisco’s output in greenhouse gases since 2007.
- Capgemini’s carbon emissions have fallen by 12.6% since 2008 as a result of its TravelWell programme, which included providing technology alternatives to non-essential travel. It has also achieved WWF UK’s ‘One in Five Challenge’ (reducing business flights by 20% in five years). A founder sponsor of the challenge, Capgemini achieved this in the first year, reducing flights by 4,508.
I hope these posts have made you pause and think about how you can help your own organisation. You can contact me if you want more help.
There are more examples and details in ‘What is the financial value of investing in digital working.
Tags: benefit, best practice, digital workplace, research, value
This is the fourth in my series of posts showing examples of the savings organisations have made by shifting work to a digital workplace. It draws on my previous posts on how you need to plan your strategy, governance, and management of content, tools, and services for a digital workplace. This is essential to transform your intranet into a digital workplace. The previous posts covered productivity savings, reduced absenteeism, and lower staff turnover.
I will be using examples from the Digital Workplace Group‘s report ‘What is the financial value of investing in digital working?‘ that show what organisations taking the right approach can achieve. This example covers how less, better utilised, physical workspace can save large amounts of money and impact on your organisation’s financial bottom line.
How to make the savings
- Transform the physical workplace into a digital workplace where employees can take advantage of its benefits.
- Dedicated versus flexible workspace – do you need the same workspace every working day?
- Reduce the number of buildings you need if more people are working at home or away from their dedicated workspace more often.
- Increase occupancy rates by matching the workspace to the people who actually use it rather than have empty desks while people are working elsewhere.
- Lower your costs by accurately forecasting your physical workspace needs based on trends in digital working.
What can be achieved
- Traditional offices are expensive, inefficient, inflexible, and difficult to scale (particularly down).
- About 60% of a company’s desks are vacant at any time.
- The average business could save $2,500 to $5,000 a year in property and related costs for each half time teleworker.
- Savings from real estate reduction through new ways of working programmes are making the headlines globally: Cisco ($1.1bn), BT (£60m), Deloitte ($30m),
IBM ($450m), US Patent & Trademark Office ($19.8m), GlaxoSmithKline ($50m) and more.
- Investment in the digital workplace is a prerequisite for enabling employees to work effectively while reducing office space.
- BT’s Agile Worker programme saves approximately £6,000 a year for every full-time homeworker at BT. In 2009, with 10,168 homeworker par ticipants, BT saved approximately £60m, largely based on reduced estate costs.
- On any given day, more than 115,000 IBM employees around the world work in a non-IBM office. 40% of the IBM workforce operates without a dedicated office space. The employee/desk ratio is currently 4:1, with plans to increase the ratio to 8:1 in field locations. IBM calculates that it saves $450m a year in reduced facility infrastructure and associated initiatives through agile working.
- By transforming its sales team from office based to mobile, YELL reduced its property costs by £1.5m ($2.5m) a year and drove efficiency through reduced downtime.
- Through its Global Workplace Initiative, HP has increased its office space utilisation from an average of less than 40% to nearly 80% in just three years. The ratio of employees to desks ranges from 2:1 to 20:1 and varies by job, location, and other factors.
There are more examples and details in ‘What is the financial value of investing in digital working. My next post will cover the environmental benefits.
Tags: benefit, digital workplace, engagement, research, value
This is the second in my series of posts showing examples of the benefits and savings organisations have gained by shifting work to a digital workplace. It draws on my previous posts on how you need to plan your strategy, governance, and management of content, tools, and services for a digital workplace. This is essential when transforming your intranet into a digital workplace. The first post ‘Great examples of Digital Workplace productivity savings‘ covered productivity.
I will be using examples from the Digital Workplace Group‘s report ‘What is the financial value of investing in digital working?‘ that show what can be achieved if your organisation can take the right approach. My second example is how reduced absenteeism can lead to savings in your time working and show on your organisation’s financial bottom line.
How to make the savings
I posted on how to encourage people to be more engaged with their organisation:
- Policies that encourage you to move to a digital workplace
- Recognise and reward the right behaviours that make a DW succeed
- Working styles that encourage productive and effective working
What can be achieved
- Studies indicate significant costs to employers from absenteeism. For example, average direct and indirect costs of all categories of absence are estimated at about 35% of payroll.
- The value of reduced absenteeism from half-time telework is estimated at an annual $1,900 per teleworker.
- Improvement in overall work-life balance, and reduction of stress, are key factors in reducing absenteeism enabled by new ways of working.
- The digital workplace produces significant and sustained reductions in absenteeism and the direct and related financial gains from this are dramatic.
- A study showed 63% of BT homeworkers take fewer sick days than office-based people
- And 74% of BT homeworkers have a “good” or “very good” work-life balance
- Surveys showed 4% of US people have called in sick to work because they couldn’t face their journey to work
- US Dept. of Labour estimated 3% to 5% of the workforce was absent on any day in 2010. So, any slight improvement means large sums of money saves.
There are more examples and details in ‘What is the financial value of investing in digital working. My next post will cover declines in staff turnover.
Tags: benchmark, benefit, best practice, digital workplace, governance, research, strategy
I have recently been enjoying reading through Jane McConnell‘s latest Digital Workplace Trends Report for 2013. It is a feast of appetising information on the latest trends in the digital workplace. It gives great hints and tips. It is also very topical in view of the news about Yahoo! homeworkers and the known benefits of the DW that I have posted about recently.
The Digital Workplace Trends Report 2013 is very helpful for anyone who is involved with the digital workplace, whether you are starting to think about it, already planning how to transform your intranet, or wanting to check if what you have implemented is along the right track.
The real beauty in this great treasure trove of DW information for intranet practitioners will be:
- Trends – seeing how areas have stalled, accelerated, and the reasons why
- Layout – key findings shown as bullet points, graphs and bar charts to easily see key data
- Case study examples – a great addition and fascinating to read about real examples
- Dip in and out – choose to read one section, many, all sections. Whatever you decide this report will suit your needs.
If this was a printed instead of a digital document it would already be well-thumbed through with the corners bent by the times I have been reading sections again and again to learn more each time.
Don’t miss out on this unique research about the digital workplace.
Tags: benefit, best practice, digital workplace, engagement, money, research, value
This is the first in a series of posts showing examples of the benefits and savings organisations have gained by shifting work to a digital workplace. It draws on my previous posts on how you need to plan your strategy, governance, and management of content, tools, and services for a digital workplace. This is essential when transforming your intranet into a digital workplace.
I will be using examples from the Digital Workplace Group’s report ‘What is the financial value of investing in digital working?‘ that show what can be achieved if your organisation can take the right approach. My first example is how improved productivity can lead to huge savings in your time working and show on your organisation’s financial bottom line.
How to make the savings
I have posted on what you need to do to make productivity savings:
- Usability: clearly labelled content that’s easy to find
- IT capability: right tools to make best use of digital workplace
- Security: confidence in privacy of sensitive content
- Involvement: contribute to plans, make your needs known
What can be achieved
Organisations that have implemented these successfully have found:
- Improved productivity is the benefit that will have the most impact with senior management
- Work that happens in traditional offices is often inefficient
- Employee engagement is stronger with flexible working
- Engaged employees work harder and better
- Increased productivity through people working half the week from home
- Flexible work programmes improve productivity
- Investment is needed to increase productivity through new ways of working programmes
- BT now has 15,000 homeworkers out of 92,000 people who are 20% more productive (I know! I have been a homeworker for many years)
- Microsoft improved productivity by 28 minutes per person per day ($86m) through use of unified communications technology
- UPS homeworkers increased productivity by 17% and job satisfaction by 86%
There are more examples and details in ‘What is the financial value of investing in digital working‘. My next post in this series will cover declines in absenteeism.
Tags: benefit, digital workplace, money, plan, strategy, value
When you are proposing a Digital Workplace to your organisation you need to decide how to present this to your senior managers as well as what the benefits will be. Here are a few tips I have found have helped me and my clients to succeed:
1. Don’t use any technical terms
Find out who you will be presenting, meeting, or discussing your proposal with. Use the language that your audience understands best. Don’t use technology terms or abbreviations.
2. Really understand what your organisation needs
What is the overall strategy for your organisation? What are the key priorities? How can a digital workplace support them?
3. Find a quick win
Try to identify something within your control, needs little time or money to achieve, but will make your senior managers look up and take notice because of the difference it will make when achieved.
4. Find something which will have a big impact
Maybe a difficult and inefficient process? Maybe an activity that can make a big saving in money? Maybe something which affects everyone? It has to make a difference that will get everyone’s attention.
5. Show slides with before and after scenarios
You need to make sure you explain clearly with examples of what is happening now and how it will change afterwards. Your examples need to show money saved, time saved, extra revenue, better productivity, etc. They can be shown words or graphic but they must be clear and easily understood.
6. Be honest about timescales
Senior managers quickly get turned off from a project if the reality is different to the expectation you have set. Make sure you can justify what you are showing.
Tags: benchmark, benefit, best practice, digital workplace, engagement, research, value
For the past two years I have posted about why it benefits organisations who move from a physical to a digital workplace for their employees to use. Many organisations have dipped their toe in the water but few have grasped the full potential benefits that can be gained.
Work is shifting from the physical to the digital workplace. Offices are not disappearing, but they are reducing in size. Their configuration is also changing, and their role in the workplace is being adapted. Work itself is becoming increasingly portable, mobile and flexible.
This fundamental shift represents a huge opportunity for organizations to achieve multiple benefits including reducing costs, improving productivity, increasing employee engagement and even environmental improvements. Yet, many organizations are not taking action and reaping the rewards. This is partly due to a lack of awareness of the opportunities at hand, and also due to some skepticism about the benefits amongst senior and middle-management in many businesses.
The six distinct areas detailed in the report where results from investing in digital working can be achieved are:
- Real estate reductions (ability to reduce costs on office space)
- Productivity improvements (employees are often more efficient when working away from the office)
- Absenteeism declines (staff are less inclined to have a day officially away from the office if they are working flexibly)
- Staff turnover decreases (employees who work flexibly are more engaged, happier and less likely to leave)
- Operations continuity (a good digital workplace infrastructure is key for successful operations continuity and disaster planning)
- Environmental gains (by reducing employee travel there are significant reductions in organizations’ carbon footprint).
I recommend you ask for a copy and use it to benefit your organisation.
Tags: benefit, digital workplace, engagement
It’s now one month since the London 2012 Olympics closing ceremony. Most people found it was a fantastic event and the London 2012 Paralympics has helped changed people’s perceptions about disabilities. But what is the legacy these events have left for how we work?
I posted a year ago about the high expectation the Olympics and Paralympics could help make the digital workplace become less of a buzz phrase and more a reality for how people can work. Organisations with workers commuting or living in London needed to think and act differently while these games took place. People would not be able to commute to work at normal times with the strain on the transport network.
Many organisations did allow their people to work from other locations or stagger their hours travelling to work or the number of days each week they needed to be in their normal workplace. I pointed out it was an opportunity to change how people worked and benefited their organisation.
But I wonder how many organisations are reviewing the impact, assessing the benefits, and deciding that temporary arrangements can become permanent.
Can you help me to find out how The London Olympics and Paralympics has affected your organisation if you have anyone working in London?
- Are your employees were more engaged because they didn’t commute?
- Are your employees happier with a better work/life balance?
- Did employee productivity increase because they could choose how they worked?
- Did the digital workplace enable new and better ways of working?
Please let me have any details or your email for me to follow-up with you.
Tags: benefit, digital workplace, engagement, value
After a fantastic opening ceremony for the London 2012 Olympics there is a real buzz with everyone across the UK! People are energised, excited, and upbeat about what will be happening here for the next two weeks.
And the really important thing is how they will be spending their time, especially their working time, during the next two weeks that will herald the digital workplace becoming more of a reality and less of a phrase that organisations quote.
Last August I posted about the ‘London 2012 Olympics boost to the digital workplace‘. It is an opportunity which some organisations have embraced strongly or grudgingly made the minimum allowance for. The logistics of people travelling to work in and around the London area for the next two weeks will have an impact on businesses.
Employees will need to consider staggering their start and finish times and their journey time will take longer. While some employees have to be in certain workplaces because of the nature of their work, there are many who have the flexibility to work from other places for the next two weeks.
It will be interesting to see the outcome of the next two weeks on people working in a digital workplace!
Will organisations find:
- their employees were more engaged because of not having to commute?
- their employees are happier with a better work/life balance?
- employee productivity increased because they chose how they worked?
- businesses were more profitable?
- the digital workplace enabled new and better ways of working?
I really hope so and expect from my experiences to see that happen.
The Olympics lasts for two weeks but I believe the digital workplace will be here to stay for many business who will see the benefits gained and want to build on the progress made.