It’s nearly impossible to go a day without reading about how technology is transforming the workplace. From remote work to the Metaverse to Artificial Intelligence, technology has fundamentally reshaped how we work, and there only seems to be more change on the horizon. But whatever changes, people will always be at the center of work. So how do we navigate all the new tools and workflows to maintain humanity at the core?
More than communication: connection.
As we have settled into new workflows including remote, hybrid and in-office situations, tools like Zoom and Teams have become indispensable in maintaining communication. But we all know something is missing.
There’s a connection between co-workers and collaborators that is difficult to capture with the structure of video conferencing. Oftentimes in person, important conversations happen after the meeting as new ideas continue to flow. Within the constraints of a call, those conversations don’t organically happen. As we move forward, we need to consciously communicate and collaborate in meaningful ways beyond the constraints of a call.
Your Call To Action: How can you put in place practices that enable true connection to happen even after the meeting?
Automate tasks, not decisions.
As we’re rapidly beginning to see, tools like ChatGPT have the potential to change not only how we work, but potentially even the work we have to do. But creating content is only a small part of business. What separates a wildly successful business from the rest is the decisions that are made on a daily basis. These decisions aren’t made by machines, and they aren’t made in a vacuum. Wise, tough and game-changing decisions are made through collaboration between the right people with the right expertise, experience and knowledge.
Your Call To Action: How can effective collaboration and decision making easily flow on a daily basis?
Direct the technology, not the other way around.
As technology progresses, it continues to become more honed to fit into the business world. But just because it’s able to fit doesn’t mean it needs to. We will increasingly have to decide whether to adopt new technologies or risk being left behind. As we move forward, the key will be to make sure we’re adopting technologies for the right reasons, which are to make our work better, easier and more efficient. Otherwise it’s just technology for technology’s sake. And only we, in concert with one another, can direct the proper time and place for technology to become part of our work.
Your Call To Action: In your organization, how can you tell that the right technology has been adopted for all the right reasons, and if not, what changes can you make?
New technologies have the potential to change the work we do, how we do it, and even the results we see. But without communication, collaboration and human control of crucial decisions, it will never live up to its billing. As it turns out, the more technology there is, the more important we become.