The rise of the connected screen

A person leading a business meeting
(Image credit: Shutterstock/fizkes)

The surge of connected screens across city landscapes is a testament to the power of dynamic digital communication. From the allure of digital billboards to the interactive displays at bus stops, these large format display screens have revolutionized how messages are conveyed to the public, blending aesthetics with functionality to capture attention and engage viewers like never before. Yet, as this digital transformation permeates public spaces, its adoption within the professional sphere—specifically in the workplace—lags. This disparity presents untapped potential that could redefine organizational communication and operations.

Public engagement vs. workplace communication

The contrast between the "screens that sell" in public domains and the "screens that communicate" in workplaces is stark. While the former harnesses cutting-edge technology to deliver captivating content, driving engagement and influencing behavior, the latter, despite being readily available, often remains underutilized, if not entirely overlooked. This discrepancy highlights a significant gap in how we value and leverage technology's potential to foster connectivity and engagement across different contexts.

In city hubs, connected screens serve as powerful tools for advertisers and communicators, dynamically showcasing content that resonates with a diverse audience. These screens are not just displaying information but are engaging with viewers, adapting to contexts, and even personalizing content based on real-time data and interactivity. This level of sophistication and engagement in public spaces underscores people's developing expectations for dynamic and relevant communication, a standard many workplaces have yet to meet.

Mark McDermott

Co-Founder and CEO of ScreenCloud.

The potential of connected screens in all workplaces

In the workplace, a connected screen goes beyond simple communication and advertising. It’s a network of smart displays linked to each other, making it easy to share information, sync projects, and engage employees interactively with fit-for-purpose content. When correctly implemented, these screens can be effortlessly integrated with commonly used workplace tools and platforms, ensuring that important communications reaching information workers are also delivered to frontline staff in a consistent, engaging design and format.

Employers have the opportunity to harness the power of connected screens to improve safety, streamline operations, transform internal communications, and enhance employee engagement. Despite the proliferation of digital tools and platforms in professional settings, a significant portion of the workforce remains disconnected from the digital dialogue, primarily due to the traditional reliance on email, intranets, and physical meetings. This conventional approach to communication overlooks the fact that a vast majority of the global workforce—80%, to be precise—does not operate from behind a desk, and many do not have access to company email.

Connected screens have the potential to bridge this digital divide, providing a direct and inclusive channel to communicate with the entire workforce, including those on the factory floor, in retail spaces, and within logistics operations. These screens can transform how information is shared, moving beyond the static and fragmented communication methods of the past to create a dynamic, engaging, and unified digital ecosystem.

Implementing smart workplace strategies

It's crucial to emphasize that the partnership between digital screens themselves and the content displayed on them plays a vital role in the efficacy of this technology in the workplace. While it's true that digital displays capture 400% more views than static displays, underlining the indispensable role of the technology, the content conveyed through these mediums is equally critical. This balanced focus on both innovative technology and compelling content is foundational to implementing smart workplace strategies.

Following this understanding, it’s essential for IT departments to work closely alongside other key departments, such as communications and HR, to ensure that the full potential of digital signage is realized. This partnership is crucial in crafting content that is not only visually appealing and technically functional but also resonates with employees, delivering messages that are relevant and engaging. By working together, these departments can create a cohesive strategy that leverages the unique capability of digital screens to capture attention, while also ensuring that the content displayed is tailored to meet the needs and interests of the workforce. This interdisciplinary approach is key to maximizing the impact of digital signage, making it a powerful tool for enhancing workplace communication and engagement.

Embracing a connected future

The path to creating smart, connected workplaces is not solely about integrating technology. It's also about creating a synergy between innovative digital displays and the content that flows through them. Digital screens are already ubiquitous across our workplaces and are tools that are readily available yet strikingly underused. This represents a significant opportunity for transformation. As we look to the future, the transformation brought about by connected screens in public spaces serves as a blueprint for what's possible within our organizations.

By bridging the digital divide between public engagement and workplace communication, we unlock new realms of operational efficiency, employee satisfaction, and organizational success. The future of work is unmistakably digital, and as we progress, connected screens will play a pivotal role in shaping this evolving landscape. For organizations ready to embrace this change, the potential to cultivate a more connected, engaged, and productive workforce is well within reach.

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Mark, Co-Founder and CEO, ScreenCloud.