Chrome collar: The future of work pt. 1

by Cameron Edmond02 Dec 2013
Workplace trends come and go, but with technological advancements across the board giving rise to new methods of communication and work these trends are flaring up quicker than ever. While the biggest of these, teleworking, is hot on the lips of every entrepreneur and consultant, two more distinct topics are being addressed by other professionals: video conferencing and supercommuting.

Video conferencing
Video conferencing as a delivery and meeting service is rising in popularity. The Global View: Business Video Conferencing Usage and Trends survey by Redshift Research and Polycom found 96% of business decision makers view video conferencing as an integral part of removing barriers and improving productivity between teams in different locations.

The survey covered 1,205 business decision makers in 12 countries.

The research found that video conferencing is already in full swing – with 56% of respondents claiming to use video conferencing at least once a week. The report concluded that by 2016 video conferencing will become the main form of communication in the workplace, overtaking email.

Anita Bennett, people and development director of law firm AdventBlance, told HC that video conferencing has a wide range of uses beyond meetings between colleagues. AdventBalance’s entire workforce is dispersed internationally, and so video conferencing has become a crucial element for L&D. The organisation will host on-going training, which is conducted through WebEx Video Conferencing.

“[Employees] join together and share the session. It really becomes more interactive for them, it allows that information exchange to happen regardless of where they are located,” she explained.

Bennett also detailed how AdventBalance will use video conferencing for recruitment, giving more freedom of location to HR. Additionally, onboarding and induction is often conducted through video conferencing.

“Our lawyers don’t necessarily need to come into the office for their onboarding session – we can show them our processes and systems [through video conferencing].”
The normalisation of video conferencing highlights the need for HR to be well aware of the do’s and don’ts. Polycom found the following areas to be the most annoying for respondents when video conferencing:
  • Mobile phones going off (58%).
     
  • Attendance from inappropriate places, such as public transit or stores (52%).
     
  • Multi-tasking or looking distracted, such as typing on keyboards, obviously looking at something else, etc. (51%).
     
  • Inappropriate background distractions – including colleagues, music and other noise (50%).
Considering the international nature of video conferencing, keeping in mind cultural annoyances and distractions is also important. The following were found to be annoyances in some areas and not at all in others:
  • Not wearing business attire. Annoying in India, Singapore, Germany and Poland. Not annoying in the UK, France, Russia, Australia or The Netherlands.
     
  • Pets in the room. Annoying in India and Poland. Not annoying in The UK, France or Germany.
     
  • Using the “A-OK” sign. Annoying in Brazil, France, Italy and Russia. Not annoying in The US, Spain or Portugal.
     
  • A child in the room. Annoying in Russia, Belgium and Poland. Not annoying in The UK, France or Australia.
Although these areas were highlighted by Polycom, Bennett stated she had not experienced any cultural clashes within AdventBalance of that sort.
 
Keep a look out this week for our coverage of supercommuting, the jet-setting, globe-trotting way professionals will be living in the future.
 
 

COMMENTS

Most Read