Digital workplaces are the future for governments, they help to increase workplace productivity, support better decision making and support digital service delivery. The importance of the digital workplace environment was set out in the Victorian Government Information Technology Strategy 2016-2020 (IT strategy).
The Strategy states that a good government is to move away from manual and paper processes towards digital information and better service delivery through innovative digital workplaces.
The evolution of the digital workplace in Victoria needs to consider the following external and internal factors:
- Workplaces of the future will be different digitally: The role of government agencies will shift to expectations of government as a platform, which will require a digital first workplace to work in harmony.
- Mega-trends influencing the world of work and expectations of employees including artificial intelligence, big data and the growth of the gig economy.
- The pathway to a digital workplace is currently unclear
The Digital Workplace study conducted by the Victoria State Government. The workplace study is informed by the workplace environment SoD and is the first phase of the initiative.
The current digital workplace environment is limiting staff flexibility and productivity
- Flexibility in government jobs is one of the major reasons that employees choose to work there. Gives them more freedom on when, where and how they work, enabling more effectiveness in their role. Employees state that the suitability of mobile devices, the limitations in accessing applications remotely and the low reliability of connectivity outside major offices prevent them from working flexibly.
- Employees are often frustrated with the slow rate of change when it comes to technology and processes in government.
- Employees note the differences in government departments across different sectors in terms of culture, processes and adaptation of new technology. For example, when interacting with the courts, one employee noted that their paper-based processes prevent a fully digital working style in order to work effectively. Which makes it hard for different government departments to function in harmony.
- Another important issue that the employees raised is remote access. Not being able to check their emails, document and the like on the go makes it hard to work remotely. This leads to less productivity. They also state that service desks are often not available and this makes it harder to process their work.
- Employees often raised the frustration of a slow and outdated briefing process as a major pain point to their productivity and engagement with their role.
The progress that is being made to address these issues
The government is moving towards a more digitized and automated workplace. However there are still gaps that need to be addressed between the state it is at now and the targets set out in the report:
- Direction setting: a unifying strategy across government and comprehensive department plans and funding models will support digital transformation.
- Enabling environment: updated processes and improved process change capability and culture, will support progress Public 6 Digital workplace study
- Digital environment: Outdated devices, inconsistent network connections and varying remote access experience.
Learn how to execute a successful workplace change management strategy at the delivering innovative government workplaces conference, 27th & 28th November 2018, Sydney.