The digital workplace for everyone is still a long way off

The digitization of communication, especially in German companies, is lagging behind.

  • Employees in production or with personal customer contact often left out   
  • Collaboration via digital channels is still scarce  
  • High costs, IT infrastructure and unsuitable Software are the main obstacles 

A survey, which was conducted by techconsult on behalf of CS, has confirmed that in contrast to office workers frontline workers are still largely cut off from corporate digital channels. Approximately 300 executives from Germany, Switzerland and France participated in the survey held in December 2021. 

The good news is that companies have recognized the problem – but implementation is still at the very beginning. The new white paper “The digital workplace 2.0”, published by Campana & Schott, provides further information on this topic. 

The survey shows that traditional communication channels are still mainly used. For example, 68 percent of executives use email and 60 percent use the phone to get in touch with frontline workers. Intranet (41.3 %), collaboration tools (29.7 %) or employee apps (24.7 %) follow at a considerable distance. Especially Germany is traditional here (e-mail: 76 %, phone 65 %) in comparison to Switzerland (e-mail: 62 %, phone 54 %) or France (e-mail: 66 %, phone 61 %). 

Invest to reduce

High initial costs still make companies shy away from integrating all employees into the digital workspace. According to the survey, other reasons given were insufficient IT infrastructure (29.7 %), unsuitable software (28.7 %) and low knowledge of employees (26 %). 
Many hurdles can be overcome with current solutions.

One way to go: the private device

The use of private devices (BYOD) can be a starting point for faster digitization. These devices match employee preferences and they don´t have to deal with multiple appliances. While in France every third Frontline Worker uses their private device at work, in Switzerland it is only every fourth and in Germany only every fifth. 

Differences in initiation level

The country overview clearly shows and paints a very differentiated picture of the digital workplace for everyone. Most companies are in the conception or planning phase. According to the survey, only 10.7 percent of companies have fully equipped their Frontline Workers with digital tools and devices. 8.0 percent are in the rollout phase, and 16.7 percent have implemented the first use cases and pilot projects. For almost a tenth of the companies, the topic has yet to play a role. 

Once solutions are installed, in almost 90 % of companies, Frontline Workers use the same collaboration solutions and internal tools as employees with office workstations. This highlights the potential for shared applications. The current white paper from Campana & Schott shows which application scenarios are available for the manufacturing industry, pharma, healthcare and retail and which challenges need to be addressed.