What will going back to work look like and how will Digital Signage be used?

As different European countries come out of the lockdown restrictions (at the time of writing) many businesses will need to think about how to build a safe working environment for their employees, which is compliant with local measures. These are not all the same across regions and countries. How can a global organisation keep their staff up to date taking everything into consideration?

Find out in the attached video in a session I covered earlier or download the presentation here 

What does the current COVID environment look like?

COVID is a word that cannot be escaped it would seem – how long will it stay with us? What impact has this had in ‘Going back to work’ activities? What does digital signage look like now and how can digital signage solutions help?

August marked the ‘return to work’ for Signagelive employees in our HQ. Just like you and many others we are going through the process of understanding before, during and after what measures need to be taken to ensure employees are safe and more importantly feel comfortable with all the new changes. If anyone has been involved in return to work measures then they will know how much is involved in getting things right. 

We already know through numerous studies that: 

  • Up to 70% of employees are not engaged at work
  • Up to 80% of workplace communication contains jargon
  • 31% of employees never participate in a company’s intranet

Do not forget that:

  • 75% of the workforce will be Millennials by 2025 – technology is like bread and butter to them
  • 42% of Millennials are likely to quit a job if the employer has substandard technology
  • 83% of Chief HR Officers say the employee experience has become critical to their organisation’s success
  • 66% of those say a superior employee experience drives quantifiably productivity gains across the business

Employee experience of a connected office in 2020

What could digital signage do for my employee engagement?

When done well digital signage can provide:

  • Up to 25% productivity improvements as a result of better employee engagement
  • Up to 59% of individuals who see digital signage messages want to learn more about the topic shown
  • More than 45% improvement on brand awareness 
  • Digital health and safety communications reduce workplace injury by up to 20%

What do they want to say?

Who do they want to say it to?

Those two questions are sometimes harder to work out than figuring out the technology to take that message to the right place at the right time.So how can we use the above data to help ourselves? COVID has done some of the work for us. One silver lining of the pandemic is that employees are more willing to listen and engage with corporate messaging. They feel the need to be clearly communicated with. This is the perfect time for organisations to improve their messaging. 

A prime real-life example of this happens to be a Signagelive customer Kinaxia logistics where during lockdown in the UK they extended their communication reach to their furloughed and work from home employees with the use of the Signagelive Broadcast Player. All of those employees stayed in contact through this period by leveraging not only their internal screens but also making use of the newly developed Broadcast Player to access company information on their mobiles, tablets etc. Their internal team was able to see the uptake of their messaging in not only how many instances were opened but also on what devices (Android, Mac etc).

Some really encouraging statistics from their use of the Broadcast Player:

  1. Kinaxia has 1,800 – 2,000 employees
  2. When launched initial uptake in first couple of days 18% viewed video – 2% engagement (in marketing terms that’s very good by the way)
  3. By July a CEO message was sent with 1,358 unique devices connected – so 80%-90% of employees viewed the player URL

Timing is everything

‘Going back to work’ is a perfect time for organisations to embrace technologies and solutions like digital signage to improve communication and employee engagement. Generally speaking, those organisations will fall into 3 areas:

  1. They have no idea how, but do know that they need to improve how their employees interact with the business
  2. They’ve done it before but it hasn’t worked – either because they were focused solely on HR emails or intranet or indeed the wrong technology
  3. They know exactly what they want to do, they just need to be shown how to do it.

Of course in a perfect world, number three would be the preferred for a lot of our partners and us. However,  personally for me number one is a particular favourite. 

Continuing with the same theme of ‘Timing is everything’ – digital signage can be the perfect organisational tool to ensure that your message gets to the right person at the intended time. Some of our customers do this on a global scale, taking into account different time zones, different languages, branding guidelines, and different viewing devices. 

If you are in the office then utilise the existing screens for your content with intelligent scheduling. When out of the office use the Signagelive Broadcast Player to target users on the mobiles, laptops and tablets. In or out of the office the message then remains consistent and on point and more importantly targeted to the user depending on the time.

What does it look like?

The same as with shoppers, our employees also have a journey they go through in their workplace interactions. Given we spend so much of our time working (remotely or when on site) it is crucial especially now to understand where this interaction starts and the shape that it can take.

Let’s call this The Connected Employee Experience 

A key question to get us started on this is, What do employees really WANT in this new era? 

  • Simple, secure, centralised access to services
  • Ability to access any app, on any device, any time, from anywhere

Let’s take Alice as an example of the kind of interactions she might have with an organisation in her working day.

Touchpoints of a day in the life of a home worker

Whether starting working from home, then getting into the office following health and safety measures, booking a room and then extending the session for a longer period of time etc.

What do the above touch points all have in common? Cloud technologies! Again COVID has helped in this area tremendously. Previous sceptics of the cloud have realised that without its power of scalability and ease, business operations would not have been possible during national or local lockdowns. The additional benefit is the cost savings which cloud technologies inherently provide. Does anyone think that Zoom would have been as successful during the lockdown period if we had to have clunky hardware and software installed prior to getting it running? Use the power of cloud to provide the ability to securely scale digital signage networks and easily manage employee communications.

For us at Signagelive Workplace Communication was already a ‘hot’ topic prior to COVID, but now 90% of our enquiries and projects which we are working on are exclusively focusing on employee communications in the digital era. 

Some examples of employee touchpoints in The Connected Employee Experience can be:

  1. Sensor data – link building management systems to your digital signage – sensors automatically change the screens (dashboards/alerts) depending on the status
  2. Check-in to spaces with QR codes (these have been around for a long time and now seeing a resurgence in their use in digital signage)
  3. Office Maps with wayfinding (colleague finding) integrated into digital signage so it can all be managed in ONE PLATFORM
  4. Meeting room booking (O365 or Google) integrated into the client’s digital signage
  5. Kiosks for visitor management systems – managed in ONE PLATFORM
  6. Last but not least, transform your existing screens into high quality workplace communications – showing KPIs, health and safety messages, news, targeted messages

Final thoughts

One thing is for certain, regardless of how many new gadgets, temperature sensors and hand sanitisers are installed, what cannot be forgotten is the communication with employees. Whether we want to admit it or not the pandemic has elevated digital workplace communication from a ‘nice-to-have’ to a ‘must-have’ status. So ensure you have the right technologies to help you deliver these important messages.