Why Digital Meetings Alone Can't Preserve Corporate Culture
One of the earliest and most significant trends brought about by the world's shift to distributed work was an upturn in the usage and prevalence of videoconferencing apps like Zoom and Microsoft Teams. Per The National Bureau of Economic Research, over the course of the pandemic the number of digital meetings we've hosted has increased, as well as the number of active participants. That's not really surprising.
From a social standpoint, the pandemic has been rough.
People are isolated. We're bored, exhausted, and many of us are stuck at home. It's not surprising that we'd be hungry for whatever social interaction we could get, even if it's entirely from behind a screen.
But while meetings are an important facet of distributed work, they're ultimately only part of the equation. If you want to keep your workforce truly connected, you have to go beyond touch bases and weekly calls. If you want to preserve corporate culture and prevent people from becoming disengaged, you also need to think about what happens between meetings.
See, corporate culture might be defined in the boardroom, but it's established in the break room. In the day-to-day interactions between staff. In conversations about company updates and announcements.
In a distributed workplace, there's no forum for these conversations and interactions. Instead, people are left adrift in a sea of fragmented messages, notifications, and apps. They'll inevitably find their own avenues of communication.
This is problematic for several reasons.
In the absence of a unified platform, each department and team will find their own way to communicate. People will operate in fragmented silos rather than as parts of a cohesive whole. Instead of flowing freely, internal communication zigzags between channels, platforms, and applications.
In addition to potentially killing employee engagement and morale, this also contributes to the spread of misinformation throughout the company. There's also the issue of temporary workers and volunteers. In many cases, these groups are left on the periphery — they end up feeling like outsiders rather than part of the organization.
How does your organization currently distribute announcements and news?
Maybe you use group emails, or maintain a company portal on your website. Maybe you have an announcement channel on your primary messaging platform. Or maybe you hedged your bets and went with all of the above.
The problem with the above channels is that there's no guarantee people will actually see your announcements. In most cases, there's also no means of knowing that the people who did see them actually understood the information. You're simply firing messages into the ether and desperately hoping someone sees them.
A Flood of Notifications
One of the worst things about a business that maintains too many different collaboration and messaging apps is the notifications. Prior to the pandemic, the average smartphone user in the U.S. received approximately 46 push notifications each day. That number has only increased with the shift to distributed work along with the number of apps each employee must deal with.
As anyone who's been repeatedly interrupted by push notifications while working can attest, this endless tide carries with it endless frustration.
Disconnected Leadership, Disengaged Staff
People need the ability to make their voices heard. They need to be able to identify and reach out to leadership at a moment's notice. And leadership, in turn, needs a means of clear and transparent communication with their people.
A collection of fragmented, disconnected messaging apps does not provide this. Meetings on their own do not provide this. Nor does email correspondence.
Unify Your Digital Workplace With Unio
Open, honest communication between teams and departments. A centralized hub for company news and announcements. A streamlined platform to connect leadership with their employees.
Unio provides all this and more.
Its integrated newsfeed allows people to comment on, like, and share announcements. Intuitive talk, text, video, and file sharing allows people to effortlessly reach out to colleagues with whatever needs they may have. And thanks to BlackBerry Spark, this is all backed by peerless encryption and a reliable, robust network.
In short, it's the perfect tool to define, promote, and preserve your company's culture, no matter where your employees are.