Our experience with digital transformation in higher education - part two

Monday, July 17, 2017 09:00

Katherine Hockley by Katherine Hockley

We've been in the lower ground floor for nearly two months. Here's how the University of London's digital transformation is panning out so far.

READ MORE: Digital transformation in higher education: part one

  • Working has indeed been more collaborative: it's easy to go to someone's desk and ask a quick question. This has increased productivity as I'm not waiting on an email for something I need relatively instantly. As the internal designer, it's also easier for me to get feedback on designs, as I don't always have to wait for a written response. 

  • It is pretty cool having a huge desk and more space generally in the office.  Now I have all the space for all of my important things, like plasters and a mini fan.

  • Booking a meeting room is so easy. There's always usually one free, and if not the break out areas or Deller Hall are great places to go, regardless of what the meeting is about. Plus, the whole signing in to the meeting room via the tech next to the door makes me feel like I'm in Dr Who, so I'm definitely winning there. 

  • I don't have to eat my lunch at my desk. There has been an active improvement on the food provided to staff, and I'm genuinely turning into a salad convert. We also get a free piece of fresh fruit every day, which is an unforeseen plus. In fact, having written that sentence, I went to get mine:


  • Our lockers are suitable and it's good practice not having loads of rubbish on your desk that you don't need. It also encourages you to print less, which can only be a good thing. Plus, the new tech is fast, so this has improved efficiency for a lot of us. 

  • Regarding the social aspect, I definitely see and talk to a lot more people than I normally would. This has made me feel more at home here, and even running into someone you like at the kitchen can be enough to lift your mood. 

The focus on staff improvement is clear, and makes me feel valued. We are being invested in many more ways than I first realised - it's not just digital transformation, but a transformation in the way staff are treated.  

Overall, I think it has been a huge success. The months of workshops preparing us for this has meant it wasn't a huge cultural shift that ended in us all screaming at our computers in the fetal position under our desks.

If I compare it to my previous office and the facilities and technology offered to us then, I would always choose this version. Would I recommend a digital transformation project to another organisation? Yes definitely, if you are willing to put the necessary time and effort into getting the preparation side right, like we did at the University of London.

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Posted in Higher Education