Digital signage in the modern workplace. What are the challenges?
Digital signage is part of the digital workplace. The challenge is to create a communication solution that attracts as many employees as possible. How do we do this?
Recommendations by Lars Neckman
Digital and communication strategist
It can be difficult to find the right level of ambition for digital signage. Internal resources need to be allocated to achieve a dynamic channel. The principal area of responsibility is planning and producing relevant, topical content for the displays. I think that other resources also need to be allocated within the company to take the channel to the next level.
Our own needs change just as our customers’ user experience changes over time. Digital signage should be a living channel in constant development. If possible, let someone with UX experience look at the channel from a different perspective to capture the user experience. When you use the signage for live events, you should also appoint someone to be permanently responsible for the technical side of things.
Remember the local offices
It is usually head office that takes the initiative for digital signage. In a large organization with lots of offices and employees, the challenge is to make information available to all. Employees need to know where the organization is going, why it is going there and how it will get there. Central information provides a general picture of the organization, and local information focuses on what is happening in each office. Make someone in each location or country responsible for local information. We are always most interested in what is happening nearest us, what we can relate to most. Relevant information may be what is happening in the organization, joint activities, new employees, targets achieved, etc.
Activity-based working has become a big office trend, especially in large organizations. As an employee, you can choose where you want to sit and choose your zone according to your task. A flexible workplace makes it more difficult to communicate targeted information as it is difficult to know who is sitting where. Digital signage can be targeted at the entire organization or at a specific department. Examples of targeted information are sales figures, IT news and waiting times for customer service, i.e. information that supports the local department. In my opinion, the purpose of digital signage is to improve the organization, which makes it worth spending extra time locating where employees choose to sit.
Link content to smartphones
Having digital information displays means that an organization has made an investment in terms of both time and money. Employees receive brief, concise information on what is happening within the organization. I think this is such an important information channel that it should also be available away from the physical workplace. Just look at how many people are working from home during the Covid-19 pandemic. We have found new ways of working and there is sure to be more flexible home working in the future. Exploit the potential of this channel and make it possible to see the content flow via a smartphone as well.
Sound or no sound?
Think flexibly when you plan your investment in digital signage. Sound may often be found disruptive and it may therefore be easy to rule it out. Don’t limit yourselves to only planning for the display to be used for one purpose. Depending on its location, you can use it for multiple purposes, for example live events or webinars. Try to clarify internally the areas in which there may be sound. On certain displays it might also be possible to connect to a meeting spontaneously. You mostly won’t want sound but it is worth discussing this subject anyway. In large organizations it is good to have a certain level of flexibility in case your needs change.
About Lars Neckman
Passionate about communication, digital workplaces and digitization. Many years of experience at Telia, where he contributed to a shift from a culture of teleconferences to the establishment of the digital workplace, with the focus on internal communication and flexible content.