Three weeks ago, we discussed the reality of digital transformation (beyond the buzzword), and how we have yet to see the real change come. We also gave recent examples from Slack, Twitter, and Google and how they envision the workplace post-COVID. Today, let’s look at why video conferencing doesn’t equal digital transformation and add some exclusive Work From Home data.
But first, let's recap what happened:
- Microsoft Teams is playing catch-up with Zoom, rolling out virtual backgrounds. Meanwhile, Google Meet is playing a game by itself - launching noise cancellation inside calls. I guess they've chosen to do that instead of improving their clunky interface and adding proper chat/Slack-like features. In case you want fancy noise cancellation in Zoom (and other apps), download Krisp.ai - works perfectly with my AirPods Pro in a super-busy place.
- Zoom has announced a huge (unsurprising) increase in revenue - they now have amassed $328M revenue in Q1, 265,400 customers with more than ten employees, and 769 customers contributing over $100k each. Richard Windsor, Founder of Radio Free mobile, would still prefer to buy Microsoft (Teams) stock than Zoom. One of the most notable trends that emerged from the pandemic is the shift of companies moving to the cloud and cloud calling.
- Businesses are trying to do more to improve the well-being of their employees, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co., based in San Jose, Calif., started giving employees access to meditation and mindfulness services from Headspace Inc. since April. Some 9,000 of the company's workers have tried it, spending more than 500,000 minutes on the app. Don't get me wrong, it's a great idea, but wouldn't it be better to deal with the problem, like overworking your workforce in useless meetings, first?
Today’s Big Topic: Adding Video Conferencing to Your Company’s Suite of Tools Doesn’t Equal Digital Transformation
Right now, we see two extremes:
- One is a perfectly digitalized company that utilizes Slack, collaboration, document sharing (real-time commenting), Docusign, and CRM integrations - let’s call these digitally native companies.
- The second is a late adopter that is sort of on the cloud, and now after COVID, is forced to do video conferencing - let’s call them digital immigrant companies.
COVID has largely unified this behavior; you can find this and a ton of more stats in our exclusive work from home white paper.
I see two very very half-baked opinions out there from digital immigrant companies. The first is, "damn, this is amazing, COVID has helped us with digital transformation, we are done." But you are not done. Having the ability to use video conferencing and connect is the first step of using the latest technology, but it doesn't enable collaboration outside of the medium. In this scenario, most of your teams likely don't comment and collaborate on documents. Instead, they send emails, and no true online collaboration exists.
The second thing I am hearing from Digital immigrant companies is that "wow, this set-up we have with video meetings "is productive." I have spent the last 12 years utilizing video conferences, and I can tell you, just joining video calls is not productive, and there is no sign to show that more internal meetings will make you more productive. Why do you think HPE is buying Headspace app subscriptions for its employees? I bet you it's because their people are frustrated - and giving precisely that feedback - and they have more and more meetings.
While digitally native companies have gone through the pandemic without a lot of scratches, many of them have never been in a FULLY work from home environment. Even though they might have been doing some work tasks in a few areas - they never had to do this at this scale, and so also they are learning and making mistakes.
The fundamental problem of today's "meetings" is that they are just meetings; they are rarely hybrid working sessions, where teams would either quickly align and collaborate with specific outcomes. We now see, for example, that the more meetings you have, the more likely you are to work in these meetings, do email in these meetings, or do other things.
Company leaders must ask themselves this during and after work from home:
Are recurring meetings on the rise? Are there meetings with a large number of attendees? And most importantly, are these meetings necessary? How did this change the dynamic of time management?
- Are my 1:1 meetings up? Do people get enough management attention?
- Are my large meetings (5+ attendees) growing? Is there enough time to progress with strategic work?
- Which teams are at the risk of burning out? Is there a team and communication overload?
If the answer is "I don't know," let us hook you up with a 1-month trial or 90-day pilot of our Time is Ltd. platform - we will tell you. If the answer is "yes," you might need to do something about it.
And when the digital immigrant companies are saying: "Well now our workforce is more productive as it's handling the same or more in the office environment" More meetings doesn't mean more productivity. You don't know if "communicating more" isn't due to the stress and the entirely new set of remote work circumstances. We might already be starting to experience home office fatigue. Fatigue that companies are not able to fully understand or cope with at scale.
So - let's try and do something about the underlying problem and correctly digitally transform so that you can have a productive workforce.
Are you curious about what changed?
News from Time is Ltd.
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Salesforce Analytics: Finally, we can correlate activities, internal communication, and client accounts. What are the successful communication patterns of the best salespeople internally (with colleagues)? And what are the successful communication patterns externally (with clients and partners)?
Use or abuse? Traction or distraction? Well, use but do not abuse. We can show you how. Basic recommendations from our side include: reducing direct messages, setting up channels, and set them up well: team chats, and project chats. Very little has to be shared in direct messages. Setup notifications, snooze them when you need to focus. Move from email to group chats and implement a culture of clear communication.
We are becoming a Cisco Solution + Partner, and this will expand our focus on the product and the Cisco Webex integration. Honestly, we are seeing with our clients that if you dedicate the time to integrate hardware and software well, and onboard the teams properly, it will save you lifetimes.
- Are you looking for innovation tools? Here is the list of the startups that will shape the future of work by the venture capitalist Pietro Inverzzini.
At Time is Ltd., we measure digital collaboration and productivity, without ever sacrificing employee privacy. We provide an advanced analytical SaaS platform that delivers a holistic view of an organization collaboration patterns. We measure your team’s digital footprint to improve communication, productivity as well as save precious time. Our approach only aggregates meta-data from a variety of data sources, to show how your teams work with your collaboration tools so you can get them more productive and motivated.