Already in 2016  the following line was found in the WiWo: “Digitization at the workplace: home office usually better equipped than office”. The hosting service provider Host Europe carried out a survey of 1,000 knowledge workers and came to the conclusion that there was a large discrepancy between digitization in the home office  and takes place in the workplace. I would like to get to the bottom of this thesis. You are welcome to say in advance Articles on the digital workplace and the Definition of the digital transformation read.

Digital transformation  Workplace vs. home office

Already on mine Round tables the representatives of the union have shown that home office has already established itself in most German corporations and that virtually every knowledge worker can work at home at least one day a week. I am also allowed to work from home on a regular basis and, like many employees, I have set it up accordingly. A big screen, plants, a quiet corner and lots of light. In the following 2 sections I will deal with the results of the study and mix them with my own opinion.

digitalisierung am arbeitsplatz
Result of the study – home workplace and workplace in the company (own illustration)

Digital transformation  In the home office

If we look in the first part of the picture, we see WiFi, tablets, laptops, smartphones and even the cloud. According to the study, this is what a typical home office should look like. In conversations I also notice that many homes are equipped with, in some cases, the latest technologies and that even many younger professionals often want to work from home, because things simply work better from there. Digitization seems to be well advanced in the home office and People digitize themselves voluntarily and often even at their own expense . But what about in return in the workplace?

Digital transformation in the workplace

If we look at the other side, we notice that the  typical workplace compared to home office apparently not quite as advanced  is. I can still remember that when I was a consultant I often worked on-site at customers and even got a very old laptop with Windows XP. The pc was slow and the work very tedious. I was usually happy to be able to work remotely from my home office again. If you have too high a discrepancy between home office and workplace, it can happen that employees like “ taken back to the stone age “feel.
Nevertheless, I have in the roundtable from the participants from medium-sized companies and corporations lots  positive examples found. For example, laptops or thin clients are standard in corporations and small companies, and smartphones are actually more widely available than they were in 2016. I think that a lot has changed rapidly since the 2016 study, and clearly for the better.

Conclusion: more digital at home than at work

I think that the digital workplace is now more advanced than indicated in the study. Personally, I can even say that my workplace is just as digital as my home office. However, I also seem to be a bit of an exception. In my environment, the home office is often far ahead of the workplace. For this reason the question can be asked: Why does digitization work better in the home office than in companies? Isn’t it often accused that employees are inhibiting digitization? I can often hardly imagine that, since most of Generation Y and even X happily digitize themselves voluntarily and at their own expense with smart homes, Bluetooth toothbrushes and much more. Generation X usually even has a lot of fun connecting their SUVs to their new iPhone 7 or turning up the heating at home just before the end of the day.
But I have to  limit my observations to IT consultants and employees in the IT industry. However, this study also shows that people apparently are happy to be ready for digital transformation and, as in the Round table well said: Be curious and open to digital change . Overall, however, it has been shown that digital change is currently often advancing faster in the private sphere than in companies and we should ask ourselves: Why? What is your opinion? Do you see it the same way I do?
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I blog about the influence of digitalization on our working world. For this purpose, I provide content from science in a practical way and show helpful tips from my everyday professional life. I am an executive in an SME and I wrote my doctoral thesis at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at the Chair of IT Management.

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