We have been talking about a digital leap for years, but exceptional circumstances have made the changes in working life more concrete. Discussions about remote work often focus on the actions and resilience of an individual. However, one of the biggest questions is how to build a thriving digital cooperation culture that supports teamwork.
This change is reflected in different everyday phenomena. Many feel that the work efficiency has increased, concentration has become easier, or meetings have become shorter and more effective, as any additional chatter is left out. At the same time, people are tired, busy, and have a “meeting bloat”. Calendars are filled with meetings one after another, and taking breaks is forgotten. In addition to efficiency, there is the need for informal virtual coffee breaks and remote after work.
In terms of cooperation and teamwork, interesting changes can be seen. Here is a summary of three major transitions that have and will have an impact on how people work.
FROM FACE-TO-FACE TO DIGITAL
One of the myths that the COVID-19 has broken is related to face-to-face encounters. We have noticed that the same work that was previously done almost entirely in person can also be handled remotely. Individuals, teams, and organisations have been forced to adapt to new ways of working in these exceptional circumstances – and with great success. New work-related digital innovations have emerged and will emerge in volumes during this spring.
FROM MEETINGS TO COOPERATION
Even before COVID-19, many talked about a “meeting bloat”. Lately, this phenomenon has just intensified. Communication and cooperation have become digital, as conferences and informal forums have been transformed into virtual meetings. People’s calendars are getting full of various meetings. We still strongly believe that work is most effective when we are in the same place at the same time.
A great deal of digital cooperation platforms are already available and more are on the way. It is increasingly easier for us to communicate, regardless of time and place. This means that, at best, I can participate in a team discussion or my organization’s strategy works when it suits me – without a meeting. Cooperation independent of time and place will be increasingly used as a method of working.
FROM EFFECTIVENESS TO HUMANITY
People’s resilience is now a great concern. How we use the time we share is crucial. Working as closely as possible is not the most effective way at this time. Effectiveness depends on people’s energy level and their resilience.
The team must also take informal breaks together, feel the mutual significance of their work and sense of psychological security. Togetherness can be experienced while being physically in the same room or through a virtual connection – with cameras on and hearts open. A human connection can also be reached digitally.