Workplace Ethnography

This may be one of the most insightful and powerful projects you can undertake for your organisation, large or small. The insights will help you enhance your digital workplace culture and well, overall culture. Define better working policies for Human Resources, improve corporate governance and build a solid change management plan for major digital initiatives.

What is a Workplace Ethnography?

Ethnography is the study of a culture. For cultural anthropologists, it has meant going to very remote places on earth and now, sometimes in modern cities, and being embedded to learn about them. Spending weeks and months and sometimes years getting to know a community and its culture. It has been the primary research methodology of anthropologists for over a century. As digital anthropologists, however, and serving the needs of organisations, we’ve developed an ethnographic methodology that works faster in a defined manner. We look at the workplace at both the physical AND digital levels.

How does a workplace ethnography help?

  • Identifies key risk areas for change management
  • Ensures more pragmatic information reaches the IT and IM teams
  • Directly improves Information and Data Management within an organisation
  • Provides greater insight into your Corporate Culture Code
  • Helps mitigate risks in a Digital Transformation or Adaptation
  • Valuable insights to senior management about corporate culture and where it’s going
  • Ensures a smoother digital transition
  • Mitigates corporate risk
  • Helps build meaningful inclusivity and diversity strategies for in-office and digital workers

What is involved in a digital workplace ethnographic study?

  • We talk to employees at all levels
  • We explore how they do their work digitally; the tools they use and how they use them
  • The research explores how different departments work together digitally and physically
  • We use a combination of in-workplace physical meetings and video calls
  • The process can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a month, depending on how many interviews we conduct, where and the size of the organisation.
  • Clients are provided with a comprehensive report that can be valuable to the senior management, Human Resources, internal communications teams and operations.

Who does a workplace ethnography and why?

  • Many organisations do an ethnographic study at the start of a Digital Transformation. It helps inform the change management plan and gives the executive sponsor critical business insights.
  • When forming a digital business strategy, it helps an organisation understand where the roadblocks to change and impacts on corporate culture both physical and digital may be.
  • Sometimes when just trying to better understand corporate culture better.
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