By Mark McSpadden, Vice President, Global Product & UX
It’s a new year and a new world of work, powered by videoconferencing, Wi-Fi hotspots, and smartphones. But long before “hybrid” work became hip, these digital tools were already essential to getting the job done. What’s new? “Zoom fatigue,” extreme home working, and quiet quitting. It’s time to find a better balance.
With one week left of January, a lot of our NY resolutions may already be broken – but here’s some I hope you’ll want to keep in 2023 and beyond.
1. Find your best balance
Today, people use a mix of human and digital connectivity to perform their roles. Digital technology makes it possible for us to work from home while remaining connected with co-workers. Digital collaboration tools can help us work more productively.
But we can’t build the new world of work out of digital connectivity alone. To flourish, we’ve got to nurture the human connections that underpin our relationships and allow us to collaborate, learn, inspire, and support each other. Travel has a vital role here, bringing people together in person and strengthening human ties.
Companies that find the right balance between digital and travel can benefit from employees who are more engaged, more productive. They can build cultures that are more resilient, more agile, and ready to respond to the challenges of today’s volatile economy.
2. Make more time for face time
Whether it’s an occasional office visit, a regular trip to headquarters, or a few days per week at a co-working hub, many “commutes” are becoming more like business trips. For a growing number of us, travel is becoming a more fundamental part of our work lives.
For 2023, plan for presence. Be intentional about the number of days per week or per month you will be in the office. Schedule regular team gatherings for creative face-to-face bonding.
3. Make face time better
Being in the office can be an opportunity to disconnect from the screen and connect with colleagues. Remember the water cooler and coffee machine?
As commutes become more like trips, digital tools can help capitalize on these events with more moments for connecting in person.
- Use internal social media platforms as travel hubs where colleagues can see who is available to connect in another city or travel together to an offsite.
- Tools like the Amex GBT Mobile app let you grab a flight link and share it through an enterprise messaging app like Slack or Microsoft Teams. This creates opportunities to connect during a trip or share a ride to save on carbon.
Find ways to capitalize on precious in-person time. Adding moments of human connectivity can enrich the time we set aside to meet and make the most of every trip, whether it’s a commute across town or a week at headquarters.
4. Boost your well-being in bursts throughout the day
Digital connections may make us more productive, but they can also be a source of stress. Extreme home working means more meals “al desko” and video calls.
Grabbing some fresh air during breaks or lunch with the kids may be easier when we work from home. It’s also an opportunity to be more mindful of our mental health. Check in with your work’s mental health benefits, or set aside time to establish a meditation practice with a mediation app.
Think about how you can take advantage of remote work to disconnect and weave well-being throughout your daily routine.
5. Make 2023 the year you win at video calls
Let’s face it, videoconferencing is here to stay. When your work connections have to be digital, why not resolve to make them better?
- Curate your home office environment with décor that inspires creativity or reflects your personality. Check out Zoom’s How to Nail the Zoom Background blog for some tips.
- Think about spicing up your video calls with a background shot of a local landmark, a holiday scene, or your favorite sports team.
- Invest in some equipment to make yourself look better during video calls. A ring light for professional-grade lighting and a digital single-lens reflex-quality webcam can do wonders. “Why John, I didn’t know your eyes were green!”
Upping your on-camera game can help break the ice, show more of your personality, or maybe just improve your profile.
Make 2023 the year you build a connection strategy that strikes the best balance between digital convenience and the richness of human presence. Make the new way of working work for you!