The Store Operations Digital Workplace is coming...

There will be 3 complimentary strands to our Digital Workplace - Technology, Environment and Behaviour, as all 3 work in harmony.

Technology - Utilising the Systems we have and exploring

Does everyone have 365? Does everyone know they have 365? Sharon is running a quick poll to pick up those who still need support, and working with IS to resolve issues. Already we have had colleagues come over and say they didn't realise they had it! This is the link

365 Lync - Once everyone is on 365 (and is aware that they are), we can showcase what it can do and how it can work for us. Simon is happy to run a session showing how Lync can be used in the workplace, especially linking the Field Team with the Office, and the Stores. We would like to show how it works on different devices, such as Ipads. (Lync can be downloaded from the App store).

There is a Microsoft Lync Corporate video that we could share -

Before we run this session, we would like to have Lync Headsets avaliable for teams to begin using straight away. Sharon and Rich B are finding costs for USB headsets. This will allow our teams to use Lync for meetings and conference calls.

We also want to share how tools such as Yammer, MyPlace, LinkedIn, and Instant Messaging can help us connect with colleagues around us quickly and smartly. There may be some barriers to work through here - as the use of these tools will require a change in behaviours. We could set up a Yammer Group, and set up a Lync meeting for those who want to see what the tool can give them. Examples of where Yammer has been used successfully may help such as all the feedback we have just received on the New Colleague Uniform project.

Technology - Reviewing the tools for field based and Office Based Teams

We plan to review the tools that Field Based colleagues are given. Currently those that are field based, may be given a Laptop, a blackberry, a dongle, and an ipad. A recommendation may be that they receive a Windows tablet and Windows Phone instead. We would need to check that all applications can be used on this recommendation, and that the cost is favourable (which seems very likely).

Environment - Hot desking and collaborative working areas

With many of our colleagues now hot desking - we need to look at how we can make this process easy and smart. A short term process is to use the blue hot desk flags. Other ideas are to use an online desk booking system (the same as we do with meeting rooms), which field based colleagues could go on the system and book a hot desk for the next day, rather than coming into the office and hoping there is one free. The booking system idea has been very successful in other businesses. We also need to look at how we make the land lines work for Hot Deskers. Many companies have handsets that allow you to log in, and this means your extension number travels with you where ever you are seated. Handsets that allow you to plug a headset in and have a mute button would also be useful for conference calling. IM and Lync will also be a helpful tool for Hot Deskers.

We also want to look at the working areas that we have - a suggestion is that we purchase an Interactive whiteboard. These are between £700 and £1500 and would allow us to play videos /media, show presentations, show applications (therefore we could train users on applications as a group), use Microsoft programmes, connect to the internet, video conference and use as a white board. There are some of these on Blue Fish. We could install one of these outside Steve Carson's office. There is also a space where the lockers currently are called the 'Fish Bowl'. This needs to hold 4 hot desks - though another suggestion is that we make it a multi functional area that could be used as a Store Ops War Room, and maybe mount a projector on the ceiling which could project presentations etc onto a back white board (the one that currently has the Change Programme on it). Being ceiling mounted - it should not interrupt the hot desk function, and could be bookable as a meeting or hot desk space, the same as the Digital meeting room.

We are adding a video conference facility into Steve Carson's office and the Digital Meeting room. We also need to look at where else video conferencing should be avaliable in our estate so that RGMs and AM's can use the facilities - maybe connecting to a Windows Tablet in the stores via Lync. Perhaps at the DC's?


All of the above needs to be complimented with a team that uses these concepts and tools happily and naturaly, where they will enhance their working day. We need to identify any barriers that may be in place.

At the forefront of our minds, we should think about how the stores function and how we can make their lives easier. If there are ways to avoid taking colleagues away from customers and half way across the country to attend a session that can be held in a smart, digital way and still provide the same outcome - we should use them.

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