Meetings can be hosted online using collaborative technologies such as video conferencing. However, standalone video conferencing tools are no longer sufficient in keeping teams productive. The modern office requires collaboration that goes beyond a video call. There are two emerging trends that video conferencing alone cannot easily address.
1. Collaborative workspaces – Open-plan offices are becoming more popular as they encourage collaboration and creativity. Some companies are even taking this a step further by creating dedicated collaborative workspaces where employees collectively brainstorm and work on projects.
2. Activity-based working – This is a trend that boosts productivity and creativity. Activity-based work involves creating a workplace that encourages employees to move around and interact with one another, rather than sitting at a desk all day.
What are the implications for your organization?
As we move toward an in-office and remote workforce, physical separation can challenge collaborative and activity-based workspaces. This is where technology can either hurt or help us.
Collaborative tools such as video conferencing allow us to meet, but this is not good enough anymore. Employees must find creative ways to collaborate on specific tasks such as brainstorming, design, workflows, project management, workshops and more. And to do that, they must discover ways to create collaborative and activity-based workplaces whether they are physically in the office or working remotely.
Video conferences alone are not enough to fulfill this growing desire. Virtual meeting rooms try to bridge the gap by simulating a real meeting room, but seeing oneself in a fake meeting room is not quite the same. Built-in apps such as FlatFrog Board in Microsoft Teams facilitate real-time team collaboration, which is moving us in the right direction. Another important component is the in-room collaborative digital whiteboard, which is comparable in size to a regular whiteboard but with hybrid work capabilities. This sort of digital whiteboarding allows you to have a virtual working environment.
Video conferencing tools are crucial but not sufficient when teams move to work remotely. They must also use apps that encourage real-time collaborative workspace interactions and activity-based working. These two trends are part of the new norm, and organizations must embrace them if they want to remain productive.