The digital renaissance of work: a phygital adventure
The evolution of the working environment in the digital age does not concern, as far too many people think, the workstation, the intranet. A tool should not be expected to work in a context where its assumptions are not valid and, as such, rethinking the work environment without taking into account the transformation of the work context, of the very nature of work, is not very useful and, in addition, will not work. It is not a question of building a new work station but a station for a new job.
Not a new job, but a job for a new job
You may remember that three years ago I commented “The Digital Workplace», By Paul Miller, founder of the IBF (Intranet Benchmarking Forum) and Digital Workplace Group, noting that beyond the tool dimension, the Digital Workplace was above all a way of seeing and experiencing work.
Released two years ago but still relevant, “The Digital Renaissance of Work: Delivering Digital Workplaces Fit for the Future“, From Paul Miller and Elizabeth marsh, tells us more in depth about the transformation of the way work is thought and done and, of course, its impact on the working environment itself.
The world of work is experiencing its renaissance under the impetus of digital technology, a bit like the invention of printing paved the way for two centuries of innovations and major progress in fields as varied as science, art, education. In a world where information circulates freely, is accessible to all and where all individuals are networked, it is the way we live alone, in society and at work that is being radically disrupted.
People are giving new meaning to work. New expectations, values, convictions, the possibility of having an impact by being either an employee or independent, impact of the mobile: there is both a need and an aspiration to work differently, even to reinvent what work is.
Because, paradoxically, there have never been so many opportunities to do things, to work, to have an activity even though there are fewer and fewer jobs. Outside of the company, this leads to major changes:
on how we are both very autonomous and very interdependent from others
on the frontier of the company which is less and less tangible
in the workplace which is becoming an obsolete notion as an assigned physical space
on how to engage, to express your leadership
on how to manage the excesses and risks – because there are – that go with this reinvention of work
on how we must learn and train, before entering the world of work and then in the company, to be successful in this new paradigm
on the nature and the way we design our tools and workspaces
“The Digital Renaissance of Work” is a book in two distinct parts.
In the first, Paul Miller tells us with many examples of this change which is more than a change in work and affects society as a whole. I find its comparison with the Renaissance era and what it represents more as a cultural and human revolution made possible by technology than a technological revolution very relevant. Of course you have certainly read a lot on these topics since time, but the analysis is crystal clear, irrefutable, lucid (even on the bad sides) and can only lead to an irreversible awareness. Paul Miller does not sell us a vision of the future, any concept, he describes the world as it is around us and as some (many?) Still refuse to see it.
A new paradigm of work, new work environments. Technology does not change work, but changing work needs a new approach to the working environment. This is the subject of the second part, written by Elizabeth Marsh.
This part will delight all those who are working on their digital workplace and intranet project and say to themselves “where do I take the subject?”. It delivers a complete analysis grid of the needs that a digital workplace must cover with scoring tools to assess the existing and project into the future. A sort of little bible for the intranet director who, in my opinion, should allow everyone to take stock and build their project.
It continues with an analysis of the business cases of a digital workplace for those who need to justify the investment.
It ends with an analysis of the causes of organizational and human success and failure of such a project.
On this subject, we have two types of books: those that talk about Men and those that talk about technology. This one manages to talk about both very well and in a smart way: without mixing them. On the one hand what is happening, on the other a very analytical and structured way of responding to it. Too often mixing the two together is rather confusing and it is difficult to come out with a clear idea of what to do after the book is finished. Elizabeth Marsh’s part is, on this point, certainly the most successful I have read in a book (otherwise you have also Jane McConnell’s Annual Digital Workplace Study).
A book that perfectly transcribes the “phygital” side of the subject: it is both what happens in people’s lives and on their screens. The two are inseparable.
I would add another good point: unlike many books on the subject, Paul Miller does not limit himself to talking about collaboration but really has a 360-degree view of what digital means, not only at work but in “the world”. working life ”. A vision that is as managerial as it is almost sociological. I appreciate.
Article originally published on Notepad, Bertrand Duperrin’s blog.
Bertrand Duperrin is Digital Transformation Practice Leader at Emakina. He was previously Consulting Director at Nextmodernity, a firm in the field of business transformation and management through social business and the use of social technologies.
He regularly deals with social media news on his blog.