Is it possible that the crystal ball of myth and magic constitutes the world’s first example of digital signage? Think about it: glowing glass; displaying “visions” of far away; revealing information related to what is and what could be; and answering questions. Maybe those seers were onto something…
Maybe you feel you need something similar when considering the potential for how this technology — and its underlying, unifying platform — can help benefit your business. No matter how you once defined digital signage — on premise displays, kiosks, or today’s addition of desktop and mobile screens — it’s no surprise that it’s helping to create a modern workplace experience. Employees — people, really — are drawn to interesting, engaging images, video and multimedia. Our brains are wired for it, processing visual material 60,000 times faster than text alone. This digital signage “megatrend” is engaging and informing the workforce across industries:
- A security company reinforces its mandate and culture by displaying content on proper log out procedures, password changes and related best practices.
- A creative design agency lights up its screens to spotlight design work and its portfolio, to motivate and inform its talent.
- A waste removal company builds on its live training with regular safety broadcasts, keeping this critical behavior top of mind for its workers.
- A science lab uses its screens to share testimonials and news — including the winning of a Nobel prize! — to improve social engagement and ensure everyone is well aware of the latest scientific achievements.
These organizations are also moving beyond simply “broadcasting” to reaching all employees on their screens of preference. Today most digital screens can be logged into, which instantly enables the secure delivery of personalized and interactive content. Let’s have a more in-depth look at how a few companies are imagining (or reimagining) the potential to expand the number of screens — and start to connect the dots back to your own situation and needs.
Any company can use digital screens to stimulate active collaboration and creative energy, having a major impact on employee experience by ensuring that relevant, multi-device communication reaches not just the office workers, but the entire workforce. A workplace experience platform makes it easy to update the content on the fly, and to also target particular employee audiences that you’re looking to inform and influence. Some ideas to drive innovation and boost productivity would be:
Workplace Experience, Inc.
Get competitive: “Gamify” your sales and service department’s work with leaderboards that showcase top reps, teams and departments. If they can visualize progress, they may be inspired to put in the extra effort to reach the next goal.
News they can use: Make your displays even more relevant, with content feeds and targeted information from external sources that are hyper-specific to your industry. Think of it as your own news channel.
Living the live stream: Showcase town halls, processes, products, events in real-time, bringing those key moments to key audiences among your workforce.
Put in a good word: Display quotes and testimonials from satisfied customers and clients, motivating your staff and reinforcing success in your mission.
Meet the next level booking system: Digital screens can ease internal communications when it comes to room reservations, cancelations and coordinations.
See the innovation at work: Highlight a problem on screens, and encourage cross department problem-solving through an open sharing of challenges and potential solutions.
Promote good behavior: Digital signs — on a wall, in the hall, on a desktop or mobile screen — can reinforce company expectations. Use them to list goals, values, important notices and safety procedures.
Workplace Experience, M.D.
Effective and efficient communication in healthcare settings can literally save lives — and there’s no easier way to communicate than with digital displays. 75% of hospital patients recall at least one message seen on a digital sign. Digital signage in waiting rooms creates a more relaxed, informative environment, easing anxiety, and has been shown to reduce perceived waiting room times by 35%. With the pandemic limiting the number of patients in some waiting rooms, these messages can go mobile, making patients aware when “the doctor is ready to see you now.”
During a diagnosis, digital signage can add an important visual component, displaying images that help patients better understand potentially confusing medical terminology and metrics. Doctors can use the same display to visualize prescription recommendations most relevant to a particular patient, with side-by-side comparisons of brand and generic drugs. The explosion in telehealth during the pandemic suggests new opportunities for these data displays to extend to the shared doctor-patient screen, as well as directly to the mobile screen of either the health care professional or patient.
Workplace Experience University
In education, process can often get in the way of innovation. Digital screens are helping to revolutionize the types of information that can be shown and shared. Colleges are using digital signage to connect and unite multiple campuses through consistent messaging. Some have turned wayfinding into digital screen scavenger hunts, helping to welcome and familiarize freshmen to their new surroundings.
Educators can feed content to these displays, designed to offer brief quizzes on subject matter, and support messaging with animated gifs and memes, speaking to their audience in a familiar screen language. Targeting can deliver content to specific groups within the student body, such as sports teams or areas of study. For example, economic students’ screens can be set to display live feeds of current exchange rates and news from the Financial Times. On campus geofencing can trigger details of school functions (sporting events, contests) as well as reminders for homework and upcoming tests, and visualizations of study strategies to succeed at both.
School settings must be safe settings, so digital screens are coming to the rescue as a communications tool in crisis situations. With one or two clicks, admins can turn digital screens — on a wall, on a laptop, in a student’s hand — into a school wide emergency messaging system. Activation triggers can pop up safety-first alerts and map routes to safe locations (and around troublesome ones), adding an important visual element to disaster preparedness and helping schools to protect students and faculty.
What Will Your Experience Be?
It’s hard to think of COVID as having many “benefits”, but it has proven that employees are more willing to listen and engage with the right type of company messaging. We all feel the need to be clearly communicated with, and this is a perfect time for organizations to think through how they can best create a “connected employee experience.”
As these examples and ideas have shown or suggested, digital signage is a dynamic, interactive medium for information that creates an immersive, attention-getting — even entertaining — experience for the workforce. It’s now easier than ever to get your content or information to your entire workforce. A unifying workplace experience platform connects people to the screens that they use the most, to deliver the most relevant content or information to the right person via the right device — anytime and anywhere.
For organizations beginning to think about some return to the physical workplace, digital technology will play a key role in a safety-enhanced workplace experience. Virtual reception devices in the lobby will provide temperature screenings and arrival alerts. Dynamic wayfinding on kiosks and mobile will guide the way to available rooms and desks, enable check-in via QR code scan, and be coordinated with safe timing, social distancing and scheduled cleaning protocols.
As these examples have hopefully helped to demonstrate, the question is not how (or if) to use a digital workplace experience platform… but when do you get started? When it comes to creating a modern workplace experience through digital signage, it’s not important to be a first mover. What is important is to use the best tools that keep your business moving forward.
You don’t need a crystal ball to see the future of your workplace experience. The best way to predict the future is to make it.