Managing workplace disruption has become an overnight priority as COVID-19 pandemic protocols have become the new normal. The boundaries of how far organizations thought wellbeing and flexible workplace policies could stretch have been extended beyond what was ever thought possible. Even organizations like universities and utilities, with more traditional workplace cultures, are directing staff to work remotely in an effort to keep employees safe and slow the spread of the virus. Organizations that already had a substantial work-from-home population are also finding the need to quickly and unexpectedly expand their remote work programs to keep their teams collaborative for an undetermined amount of time.
An icon for office banter for decades, the Water Cooler has become synonymous as a think tank for brainstorming and informal communication in the workplace. Virtual communication has taken over these days, but with so many remote workers there is a big disconnect with impromptu idea sharing. The open office concept can do little for the idea-sharing island created between telecommuters and those who work full time from home. Business leaders are being challenged to keep that water cooler line of communication open with people who may be hundreds or even thousands of miles apart. Companies who embrace communication on multiple levels in their workplaces facilitate connectedness among their team, no matter where they might be.
There’s no question that our world is growing more interconnected and this rapidly growing trend of doing more deals across distances makes videoconferencing an indispensable tool for the modern business.
In a recent Wall Street Journal survey, 76% of those who replied indicated that they participate in videoconferencing. 56% noted that they videoconference at least once a week. Plus, “96 percent of business managers and leaders say video conferencing helps companies defy distance and break down cultural barriers to improve productivity.” (1)