What’s the difference between teams that work their best together and the ones that, unknowingly or not, could do better? In this article, we explore the attitudes and tools required for smarter collaboration.
New technologies and old thinking
Collaboration technologies have come a long way since the days of clumsy conference phones and screeching faxes. Today, dedicated platforms provide great productivity enhancers such as video meetings, direct messaging and live document sharing.
Yet for some companies, the office-centric thinking associated with those old technologies still exists. The kind of thinking that says our work practices – when we work, where we work, how we work – need to be based on the office.
But simply duplicating the workplace remotely isn’t the right way forward.
“Force-fitting a design created for a different environment exacerbates fatigue, and fatigue impacts many talent outcomes,” says Alexia Cambon, director in the Gartner HR practice. She goes on to cite decreases in performance, inclusion, and company loyalty.
As we transition to hybrid work environments, we need to adopt a more human-centric approach to kitting out employees.
A laptop on the kitchen table was always only ever a temporary fix. And a desktop at work won’t be enough now. Let’s examine what’s required to drive better wellbeing, performance, and smarter collaboration.
Make meetings really count
Research shows that we’ve never spent so long in online meetings. The number of annual meeting minutes on Zoom is now over 3.3 trillion and more than 44 million of us now use Microsoft Teams every day.
In this area, smarter collaboration is all about setting boundaries on your time and getting your individual workspace right.
That means starting each meeting with a clear definition of what needs to be achieved and setting a clear deadline for the end of the session.
It also requires making the best of available tech, for comfort and productivity. One of the most effective ways to combat fatigue is to add a second monitor, so you don’t have to switch between windows and constantly refocus your eyes.
It’s also a proven productivity enhancer when it comes to tasks such as spreadsheets, graphic designs, architectural plans, and other detailed work. Look for displays with low blue light technology, such as ThinkVision monitors certified as TÜV Rheinland Eyesafe.
Quality of sound is also very important. The latest Lenovo laptops, desktops and workstations have enhanced audio features that provide microphones for 360 degree reception and a 4-meter far-field performance. However, if you’re in a working environment with others around you, a headset is obviously the way to go and there will be more and more of these in office settings.
Make the most of collaboration platforms
While most computer set-ups are easily adapted to platforms such as Teams and Zoom, consider the advantages dedicated hardware could bring.
ThinkSmart View is a collaborative smart device for individuals, tackling administrative tasks that waste a PC’s resources. The device works with a PC to ‘divide and conquer’ so you can simultaneously use your PC for productivity and ThinkSmart View for collaboration and administrative tasks. Think of it as a personal productivity assistant.
As per most modern devices, ThinkSmart View has a touchscreen interface making it intuitive and fast to use, with one-touch access to videocalls, voicemail, chats, meetings, and calendars.
Hybrid meetings are becoming the norm
Forward thinking businesses are also transforming individual rooms at their offices into dedicated conference spaces, to better facilitate hybrid meetings.
In these instances, the simplicity of technology such as the ThinkSmart Hub comes into its own. No time wasting setups required. Just a full HD touchscreen with one-touch meeting starts.
Participants can even stay at a safe 2m distance if required, thanks to a 360 degree microphone wrap around and powerful speakers.
Recent research by Dynata now shows the most desired investment by employees is for better video-conferencing technologies in the office, which one-third of the sample named as an investment priority.
Want to know more?
Visit our ThinkSmart page to learn more about smarter collaboration and the devices that make it possible.