Digital Workplace Maturity Model

1 July 2021

The digital workplace maturity model guides organisations on how to drive more strategic value out of their digital workplace: increasing engagement, innovation, efficiencies and productivity.

As businesses aim to satisfy the ever-growing demands of their employees and customers, the way they interact and engage with them also has to evolve. The power balance in the employer-employee relationship has shifted more towards the employee as they want the ability to work from anywhere and to be able to stay connected through smart devices.

Digital Workplace Definition

The digital workplace is central to this engagement. There are numerous definitions of the digital workplace. At ClearPeople, we define the digital workplace as "connecting people to content, communication, knowledge, and collaborative areas across internal and external communities. It is an ecosystem of connected tools and technologies designed around users' needs that gives them the space and freedom to work securely anywhere and on any device".

Organisations are benefiting from the digital workplace through increased productivity, cost savings, a more mobile and agile workforce, and generally increased flexibility and adaptability. With organisations collaborating more globally and with more diverse and global staff, employees can now work from anywhere in the world.

The digital workplace also creates its own challenges, including security, managing employee and employer expectations especially in terms of always being “on” and if implemented incorrectly, it can have a negative impact on the engagement and productivity of workers.

Different organisations have different priorities and requirements and thus there is no “one size fits all” approach to this technology evolution, but there are key stages in how you can optimise the benefits of your digital workplace. Maturity frameworks are commonly used to depict how processes and technologies mature over time. They enable users to quickly recognise the maturity of a specific solution. They can also help by guiding organisations on how to be more proactive and how to re-interpret their corporate culture around the digital workplace.


Deloitte’s Digital Workplace Framework

Even though this framework is over ten years old, it has concepts that are relevant today. The digital workplace framework includes four layers covering the following components:

  1. Use: collaborate, communicate, connect

The digital workplace is all about the employees’ ability to do their job by collaborating, communicating and connecting with others. The goal is to forge productive business relationships within and beyond natural work groups and to enable knowledge sharing across the organization.

  1. Technology: the digital toolbox

Technology enables the digital workplace. Each organization already has a digital workplace toolbox with different tools. The key is to adopt the right tools for your employees to do their jobs.

  1. Control: governance, risk and compliance

The effective use of technology in the digital workplace is underpinned by appropriate controls. This means you must support the digital workplace with appropriate governance structures and management processes. Information flow and use must also comply with your organization’s policies and industry regulations.

  1. Business drivers: measurable business value

As with any core initiative, it is essential for business needs to drive the digital workplace. To deliver the necessary benefits, the direction of your organization should guide the direction of your digital workplace.


ClearPeople's Digital Workplace Maturity Model

We have evolved an intranet maturity model (Razorfish, 2006) into our own digital workplace maturity model that illustrates how connecting people, processes, systems and information in a mobile-first, cloud-first world can drive more strategic value out of your digital workplace. This framework can be used to depict how the basic intranet evolves from department-driven efforts into a unified digital workplace.

The model covers the following key areas:

  • Sponsorship: Funding and executive sponsorship. 
  • Culture: This has a great impact on the design, evolution and success of any digital workplace.
  • Governance: Organisational structures, policies and procedures.
  • User Needs: Specific needs of users and considerations driving the user experience.
  • Technology: Use of technology solutions.
  • Metrics: Criteria established to measure ROI and usage.

Digital Workplace Maturity Model

Stage 1 – Information Publishing: This is your classic intranet, primarily used for communication and information sharing, meeting the most basic of employee needs such as the dissemination of news, providing corporate information, policies and relevant templates for each department. They are usually sponsored by department managers, lack formal governance models, rarely include significant functionality and it is not measured against clear business objectives.

Stage 2 – Interaction: This is a more sophisticated self-service intranet where employees are provided with information and services that enable them to better manage their work and they can contribute to the digital workspace through the available tools. Formal governance models are introduced. Because they provide well-designed experiences relevant to core tasks, users quickly adopt the intranet. Measurement is focused on saving employee time or money if a physical process is replaces with an online process.

Stage 3 – Collaboration: This is where the real meaning of the digital workplace starts to develop, focused on communication, collaboration and social tools so that employees have a single interface through which they can work together and share knowledge with one another via multiple devices. This could include integrating some applications into a single interface.

Stage 4 – Unified Experience: The focus of this stage is on encompassing all the digital technologies people use to get work done into one single, consolidated platform. This is where the big and repeatable business ROI is found, by getting the digital workplace to work for you as well as spending less time to create more valuable outcomes. Together with modern approaches and cutting-edge AI and automation technologies, the future digital workplace is a reality today.


Stages by Purpose


Stages 1 to 2

Stages 3 to 4

Key objective

Provide employee information and possibly insight into the organisation

Get work done, build relationships and facilitate knowledge sharing

Communication style

Push one-way communication, potentially with some feedback mechanisms

Enables employee-to-employee communication and user-generated content


Must switch between Teams, Intranet and other collaboration tools

Seamless, fully integrated experience


Authoritative knowledge

Expert knowledge, explicit knowledge, metaknowledge, imperative knowledge and collective intelligence



Broadcast, as well as communication targeted by geography, team and role


Links to external applications

Key applications either integrated or information surfaced within the Digital Workplace



What is 5 minutes a day worth to you?

At work, we spend significant amounts of time trying to find stuff and on mundane tasks. What if we could save each of your employees 5 minutes each day, and next month find another 5 minutes to save? What if we could save up to one hour per day by automating, speeding up or completely removing these tasks from your workforce’s day altogether?

Technology is the major play in the digital workspace, but it is our belief that the future is one where technology adapts to our needs and abilities, not one where we are having to adapt to technology.

Atlas does just that, using smarter technology to help you do things faster. Think of the below use cases where Atlas could save you 5 minutes:

  • Quickly pick the right area for collaboration with colleagues
  • Automatically and cleverly create new collaboration areas
  • Automatically tag documents and images
  • Guide me on relevant processes and procedures
  • Suggest relevant information to me based on what I do
  • And loads, loads more.

Learn more about Atlas


Author bio

Katya Linossi

Katya Linossi

My job is to shape the vision, strategy, culture and performance of ClearPeople. Other than being passionate about making workplaces more inclusive, I enjoy planning our next travel adventure (post pandemic) or trying out a new recipe.

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