Meeting Tools Aren't Enough for Work From Anywhere
The modern work environment has just started a long term evolution. More employees are choosing to “work from anywhere,” which has a two-fold impact on job satisfaction. On the one hand, having the freedom to work from home, the coffee shop, or even a hybrid of working virtually and also working in the office can have a tremendous positive impact on employee morale. However, the downside to losing out on “office culture” is that it can lead to feelings of isolation, loneliness, and disengagement from the team. “Meeting” tools aren’t enough in this context; we need modern work tools.
You might ask, “What’s wrong with the meeting tools we currently have?” True, there is an abundance of meeting software out there, and from a functional standpoint, they work. Yet, even with all of these video meeting, chat, and collaboration tools, companies are hemorrhaging workers at a rate previously unseen. Approximately 19 million workers have quit their jobs since April ‘21, with 4.3 million handing in their resignation letters in August alone. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed many areas in which employees feel unfulfilled, and instead of staying in a place where they’re unhappy, many are choosing to pursue alternative paths. According to a recent survey, 1 in 4 Americans will be working remotely by 2025, and that number is only expected to increase. With the rise of working from anywhere, employees struggle with feeling engaged or connected to their team at work. Much of this is because they don’t have a “way” or opportunity to relate on a person-to-person level in the fragmented world of modern meeting tools. Jumping from video meetings to a chat service, for instance, contributes to a feeling of disconnection, and beyond that a need for something more. The “before the meeting” and “after the meeting” chats we used to have are history in the world of modern connection tools; the ones where ideas were born and connections were forged.
So where have modern collaboration tools gone wrong? The key problem is not taking the time to ask, “How should we work together in a virtual or work from anywhere world environment?” At the start of the pandemic, video meeting tools got slammed into place because everyone needed “remote,” but that was in a sense putting a bandage on a much bigger problem. Now we’ve seen a massive shift in the workforce dynamics and workers demanding more flexibility, which means we as employers now need to take the time to actually rethink the work environment and standards. Clearly, we have to rethink the “organization of tomorrow,” as yesterday’s tools aren’t equipped for tomorrow’s reality. When the pandemic started, employers were thrust into a situation no one anticipated being in and had to choose solutions that “triaged” and managed to temporarily “stop the bleeding” while working from anywhere. Now we are waking up to a reality in which we have to invest in solutions that actually help heal and build healthy companies for the long-term.
How do we stop The Great Resignation when employees are afforded the opportunity to work from anywhere? Employers and executives should be able to gauge the pulse of their companies at a glance. We should be able to see who’s in conversations and know if they’re busy or if we should be jumping into one and just feel the energy of our organizations in action. The focus should be on “frictionless collaboration from anywhere,” not virtual meeting tools which can only add to the feelings of isolation. Successful organizations want to bring back the concept of management by walking around - but in a virtual setting. Managers & senior-level employees should be able to easily move from “room to room” to have conversations instead of dealing with clunky meeting links. Being able to seamlessly join an onboarding session or drop in to say “hi” to a team allows management to be involved without the stress of interrupting people’s work days. The time before and after the meeting is most valuable. Connections are made in that time “waiting for the host,” which means the team should be accessible during that time, building the rapport that can only happen in a face-to-face session. Instead of “breakout rooms,” previously we all sat at tables for a workshop, so we started with the small group table experience while watching a presentation. The virtual experience should also start in small groups in the larger setting, as going in and out of breakouts is jarring and can interrupt conversations in progress. Facilitators should be able to smoothly move between “tables” to check in or guide sessions.
Successful companies trust LexGo to bring the best of the physical world – knowing where people are, who’s engaged in conversations – to life in a virtual setting like an office with glass walls. With LexGo, you can join your team before and after the scheduled meeting for those moments of connection that forge true workplace bonds. By allowing both employers and employees to experience that “workplace vibe” from anywhere, LexGo improves productivity, collaboration, employee morale, and retention. Ask us today how LexGo can help you combat “The Great Resignation” and help you hold onto your valuable talent in the workplace!