We’ve spoken about the benefits of how online communication software (Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Slack, Hopin and many more) has enabled us to remain connected, productive and in-touch with our new world, however, has it become digital exchange overload and yet another platform for instant messaging and a distraction you could do without. According to Dr. Brower it may seem the case,
“More virtual meetings have caused more exhaustion and cognitive dissonance because it’s harder to feel connected, and it’s harder for us to read body language.”
A common theme we have experienced at SPACE and believe is undoubtedly true across the industry is the yearning for physical, social, and sensory interactions. The subconscious in us all, longing for our 3D world to remerge has gently been simmering away and almost at boiling point. As a design studio creating physical environments you see, smell, touch, hear, taste, and move through we appreciate the frustrations many are facing with the single plane canvas these applications offer.
So, what can we learn from our new relationship with these platforms and what should we be mindful of stepping into 2021? On reflection of the past nine months and speaking with colleagues here are some of our stop, start and continue virtual comms tips you may or may not relate to.
- Relying on Microsoft Teams for all internal comms
- Checking on chats in the same way as your inbox – this will only make for duplication!
- Being frustrated if you get kicked out a call at that crucial moment, it happens to us all – this as my IT Manager explained will most likely be down to your broadband not the software!
- Turning your status off ‘available’ if you require some head down, concentration space
- Using the phone (‘it’s good to talk’ remember that?) as you would in the old world – that quick call you’d make after a meeting or for a catch-up with a work pal, lets reignite that!
- If feasible suggest a walking meeting instead of a virtual meeting – outside off course.
- Setting an out of office notification if you are away from your WFH desk
- Using Group pages for social, cultural, design inspiration links – most likely if you have found it of interest there will be at least one colleague who will also!
- Checking in with colleagues regularly to see how they are doing – a simple ‘hey, how you doing?’ can make someone’s day.
- Being prepared for a Teams meeting in the same way you would an in-person meeting.
- Being flexible in what form of comms you can offer to clients and colleagues alike.
So, will the virtual become the mundane and the physical become the novelty experiences within the workplace – I for one sure hope not! Inevitably, it will be a balance of both. I would like to hope it does not shift too far into Minority Report realm, so we are hidden in single plane sight. Stand true to the elements and bring on the sensory experience overload come 2021 (optimistic I know) so we can once again tap a colleague on the shoulder as ask if they’d like that Friday bacon roll (other vegan options are available) and have a natter over freshly brewed caffeine goodness.