The current wave of digitalization has important implications for manufacturing companies. In this article, we suggest applying the theoretical lens of value co-creation as a comprehensive approach to explore the potential of digitalization trends. We use it to identify the potential of better integrating shop floor workers in the shaping of digital solutions and managerial actions. Insights from two case examples show how improved consideration of cognitive needs and the provision of opportunities for social connection to a community of workers makes them feel more valued, confident, empowered and integrated. This can balance other forms of frustrations and negative emotions, leading to a better perception of the overall relationship experience at the shop floor.