Four differences between a digital workspace and a digital workplace

6 August 2020

The modern workplace is forcing companies to change the traditional workplace into more of a digital workplace. 

So what is the difference then between a digital workplace and a digital workspace?


What is a Digital Workplace?

Let's start with what is a digital workplace? There are numerous definitions of the digital workplace.

Microsoft’s definition of a digital workplace is “The digital workplace encompasses all the technologies people use to get work done in today's workplace… It ranges from your HR applications and core business applications to e-mail, instant messaging and enterprise social media tools and virtual meeting tools.”


Is Microsoft the best digital workplace solution?


What is a Digital Workspace?

ClearPeople define the digital workspace as an evolving collection of tools that enables employees to be more productive by providing their daily working tools from any device and anywhere in the world. Importantly, the digital workplace solution should be integrated so that users do not lose productivity when switching from one app to the other.


What is the difference between Digital Workplace and Workspace?

Both terms are often used interchangeably and so you could argue they are the same. There is only one minor difference (see point 1). However, we have added extra thoughts on why digital workspace is a better term to use generally.


1. Workplaces are fixed, workspaces are flexible

Workplace: It is in the name, a workplace is a place where you go to work. It is a space where you go to, to get work done, like your office, the lobby, a meeting pod, etc.

Workspace: A workspace is more related to a place where you do your work. This can be your desk, your room at the office, your home office or even when commuting and working on the train.


2. The digital workspace is the virtual version of the physical workspace

What is the digital workspace? We define the digital workspace as a collection of evolving technologies designed around user’s needs that will give them the space and freedom to work securely anywhere and on any device. It can be your laptop and mobile for example, but it also includes technologies such as an intranet, document and knowledge management systems, CRM, chat tools, email, and more. Through integrating, enhancing or developing this mix of systems, servers and apps in the cloud, the Digital Workspace is an employee experience evolution, designed for a mobile workforce.

If you and all your colleagues are working online, perhaps even from different places/locations, then this is your digital workspace. The digital workspace does not require to have staff together at the workplace. They can be anywhere.


3. The digital workspace turns aspirations into a reality

Being forced to work from home has not been easy for everyone. The pandemic has made many people aware of the importance of having the right tools in place in order to get their work done – away from the office. And having the tools is not enough. You may have multiple tools that you are used to when you were working at the office. But if you are not next to your co-worker, it may not be working as smoothly as before.

The digital workplace is defined as “the concept that businesses should use digital transformation to align technology, employees and business processes to improve operational efficiency and meet organisational goals.“

The ClearPeople definition of the digital workspace is not a concept but a proven solution (Atlas) that transforms productivity from aspiration to reality.


4. A digital workspace should be inclusive

For us, the digital workspace has a great impact on an organisation’s work culture by improving the way employees collaborate, communicate and share knowledge. The digital workspace therefore does more than help people with communication, knowledge, and collaboration - it promotes inclusivity. We created specific features to enable inclusivity and made accessibility one of the key pillars of the Atlas vision.



In summary, there are some very slight differences between digital workspace and digital workplace. Generally, both terms are used in the same context and may depend on one’s personal preference. At ClearPeople, we prefer to use the term digital workspace, instead of digital workplace. 


Intranet vs Digital Workplace


ClearPeople are the developers of Atlas - an award-winning digital workspace solution for Microsoft 365. Knowledge, communication, collaboration, and connectivity are beautifully brought together to engage and empower your team, wherever they may be.

Learn more about Atlas or book a demo today.

Author bio

Petula Aardenburg

Petula Aardenburg