Blogs - Posted on June 13, 2024

How to Achieve Human-centric Communications and Collaboration in Enterprises Today

How to Achieve Human-centric Communications and Collaboration in Enterprises Today

An Owl Labs survey confirms what most business leaders suspect – the way we work has fundamentally transformed. Out of the total workforce, 16% have transitioned to remote work, while 62% have opted for a hybrid approach. Only 22% of employees still exclusively work from a traditional office setting. These statistics only confirm that there is a strong interest among employees in working in hybrid setups.

Furthermore, in a McKinsey survey, a whopping 58% of respondents said that productivity rose because of hybrid work arrangements. 54% reported that inclusion and diversity at work improved, and 45% saw employee engagement levels rise. Impressively, 36% even cited higher customer satisfaction scores.

Hybrid working models have brought with them tectonic shifts, which have thrown up new challenges in terms of communication and collaboration. Since teams now work in physical and digital spaces, there is a growing need to strengthen human connections and bring out a sense of belonging. In this blog post, we shall outline simple pillars in human-centered communication and collaboration, which, if adopted by companies, will help them negotiate this new terrain.

The Challenges of Hybrid Work and Technology Dependence

Misinterpretation, Lack of Contextual Cues, and Difficulty Building Rapport

In a hybrid work setting, understanding each other well through communication is based on using text tools and video calls. This makes people more likely to misunderstand because they cannot interpret non-verbal signs like facial expressions or body language. For example, it may be difficult to notice sarcasm or understand someone’s interest in a conversation. Building rapport is an extra challenge because casual interactions and shared experiences that typically strengthen it are not as common in a virtual environment.

Decreased Sense of Belonging and Team Cohesion

People working from home may feel isolated from colleagues who are physically present. This could mean feeling out of the-loop or missing out on key social connections. Keeping team spirit and a feeling of togetherness requires deliberate effort to make people at every location feel valued and included.

“Tool Fatigue” and Information Overload

This implies that continuous bombardment with notifications and the need to navigate between different platforms can lead to information overload and a feeling of being overwhelmed. This “tool fatigue” can negatively impact one’s focus and productivity.

Lack of Flexibility and Adaptability to Individual Needs

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to hybrid work. Some employees prefer complete remote working, while others benefit from in-office collaboration. Organizations have to be flexible and adaptable toward the needs and preferences of their individual employee to garner maximum employee satisfaction and well-being.

The Pillars of Human-centric Communication and Collaboration

Empathy and Understanding

Empathy represents the understanding and sharing of the feelings of others. It involves actively listening to others, being present for them, and working to see things from different points of view. We use empathy to connect better, communicate better, and even find common ground when opinions are different.

Emotional Intelligence

One’s level of emotional intelligence encompasses the capacity to recognize, control, and convey feelings while proficiently handling interpersonal connections. A heightened EQ can augment cooperation through the development of self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, and social acumen. Those with elevated EQ possess exceptional proficiency in interpreting both verbal and non-verbal cues, adeptly navigating conflicts, and establishing trust as well as psychological well-being.

Flexibility and Inclusivity

Human-centered collaboration thrives when it makes room for diverse viewpoints, different styles of working, and different needs. Flexibility allows teams to make adjustments in processes, timelines, and methodologies as the situation arises. Flexibility and inclusivity make sure that the voice of everybody is heard and make them feel a part of the team. Inclusivity taps into the full potential of the teams and leads toward more innovative, original solutions.

Technology as a Tool, Not a Barrier

While technology helps to enable collaboration across distances, it should augment and not hinder human interaction. Human-centered approaches use technology as a supportive tool while emphasizing in-person interactions when possible. It should be user-friendly, and intuitive, and not introduce unwarranted complexity. The focus lies on the human elements of empathy, trust, and mutual understanding – not the technology itself.

Practical Strategies for Human-centric Communication and Collaboration

  1. Encourage frequent, informal interactions: Arrange online coffee breaks, create online channels for casual conversation, or allow time in meetings for informal check-ins. These interactions help to strengthen interpersonal bonds and reduce feelings of remoteness for remote team members.
  2. Prioritize face-to-face meetings when possible: Virtual meetings are convenient, but in-person interactions remain irreplaceable for trust-building and team spirit. Consider holding critical brainstorming sessions or team-building activities in person when they strategically align with project goals.
  3. Create clear communication guidelines and protocols: Define the preferred methods of communication for different types of information – e.g., urgent vs. non-urgent, individual vs. team communication. This prevents confusion and assures that everyone knows where to look for information and whom to contact for needs.
  4. Provide regular opportunities for feedback and discussion: Set up regular team meetings (both virtual and in-person) on projects, concerns, and requests for feedback. Create avenues for anonymous feedback to make sure everyone feels comfortable voicing their opinions.
  5. Choose tools based on functionality and user-centric design: Get away from the latest fad in technology. Communication and collaboration tools should be intuitive, integrated with the workflow currently used, and designed with your team’s specific needs in mind.
  6. Provide training for effective technology utilization: Train your team to effectively utilize technology, allowing your organization to fully reap its benefits. This encompasses training on accessibility features, etiquette best practices, and utilizing collaboration tools to their fullest potential within the platform.
  7. Establish a culture of psychological safety and employee well-being: Foster an establishment in which employees are at ease to contribute ideas, embrace missteps, and provide feedback without censure. Advocate for rest periods, advance a healthy equilibrium between work and personal life, and offer provisions to uphold employee wellness.

Conclusion

Hybrid work models are transforming collaboration. Despite the benefits, challenges in maintaining connections and using technology effectively persist. Embracing empathy, flexibility, and clear communication, along with robust training, is crucial. Organizations prioritizing these human-centric approaches will foster engaged teams and superior customer experiences, redefining collaboration and innovation in a distributed world.

Resurgent unleashes the power of seamless hybrid collaboration. With our expertise in audiovisual, communication, and automation technologies, we design solutions to transcend boundaries for every business requirement. Whether teams are colocated or geographically dispersed around the globe, our human-centered approach empowers you to connect, innovate, and realize your organizational objectives easily. Partner with us as we future-proof your workplace with cutting-edge and user-friendly AV integrations that are designed for the hybrid era. Contact Resurgent today to start your transformational journey where technology facilitates meaningful human interactions and drives your business forward.

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