A transformation is occurring throughout office buildings, home offices and everywhere else we get work done. It’s the result of teams’ and employees’ challenging antiquated methods of communication and insisting on better, more responsive, more engaging and more productive collaboration. The digital collaboration revolution is here, and I couldn’t be more excited.
Recently, I had the common (and miserable) experience of going back and forth with a remote colleague over email, trying to get an answer to a question. With every reply, I found myself asking it differently to try to clarify, simplify and hopefully deliver the question in a way the recipient could decipher. No luck — both of us were frustrated.
Instead of replying in all caps (the internet’s answer to yelling over type) to yet another email, my colleague and I hopped on a video conference call. Something about the immediate connection, using body language and inflection to elaborate our points and sharing my screen so he could see exactly what I was talking about made all the difference. What had taken 20+ messages and half a day with email was solved in fewer than 5 minutes over a video call. Sanity was restored, and our project was back on track.
It’s really hard to have ongoing conversations through email. Threads get disorganized, people get left off of CCs and messages get delayed. As Lifesize’s Sr. Director of Product Management Josh Duncan discussed in our Top 5 Trends in the Digital Collaboration Revolution webinar, while email is a great place to share decisions, it is not a great place to get to them.
As a workforce, we’re opting for ad hoc collaboration with video conferencing and chat over email, which is ultimately making our teams more nimble and productive. In a Twitter chat that Lifesize hosted with Forrester Video Analyst Nick Barber, we learned that collaborative and innovative employees use chat and video 50% more than others.
Millennials, who now account for the majority of the US workforce, are a major driver in this transformation. They’re known for disrupting the status quo, and their disruption has now trickled into the work place. Perhaps it’s a millennial’s propensity for instant gratification — where almost everything from ride sharing to meals and entertainment is available with a few taps of a smartphone — that makes these digital natives expect workplace communications to act the same. They’ve got a strong affinity for digitization, mobility and flexibility. With this, we’re seeing a standardization of mobile work styles, user-driven BYOD tools and persistent collaboration in spite of different time zones and locations.
It’s time to leverage the new technology and embrace the digital collaboration revolution. With the right mix of collaboration tools and good meeting habits, you can host dynamic and productive meetings that your team actually wants to be a part of. For more on productive meetings, check out our guide on everything you need to own your meetings. Don’t let an email, poor collaboration or location hinder your success again!