Research has shown that before lockdown happened, and the majority of us were working in offices, many remote workers felt isolated – both professionally and socially. The physical distance between colleagues was often hard to overcome, with those working from home feeling they were not only missing out on learning opportunities but ad hoc conversations with co-workers as well.
Once the pandemic struck, however, more of us were forced to work from home and businesses had to use technology, such as meetings online, to help teams to collaborate and work together. This has meant that existing home workers were put on a similar footing to those who were now forced to work from home. What can we learn from this, then, to make sure those who continue to work from home don’t begin to feel isolated again in the future once lockdown is lifted and we are all back in the office?
There are pros and cons of video meetings
During the time we have all been forced to work from home, we have found that there are not only great benefits to using conferences online software, but there are also some cons too. The biggest benefit to online meeting and conferencing software of course, is that they ease collaboration by making everyone equal no matter where they are working.
Businesses started using free video conference software more and more, not just for formal meetings, but virtual check-ins, coffee catch-ups, after-work drinks, and even social events. However, this has become a bit of a double edge sword with some employees complaining that virtual meetings and check-ins are now happening too often, leaving them working longer hours to make up for it, and neglecting domestic tasks that they also wanted to undertake.
Lessons for the future
With lockdown beginning to ease, and people starting to flow back into the workplace, what lessons should we keep in mind in order to create a constructive and more productive work environment for everyone, then?
#1 Digital platforms should continue to be used as a way for remote workers to join in both informal and formal meetings in the workplace.
#2 Established collaboration habits should be encouraged to continue as they can help to distribute tasks, create transparency and make sure remote workers feel included still
#3 A habitat of inclusion should be created so that all workers are aware of the challenges faced by those who have chosen to work remotely – so that they can be mindful of them.
Applying these lessons to the future workplace will certainly open up opportunities for staff to make the best of both worlds – both when they are working in the office and when they are working at home. Meeting Rooms free video conferencing software is ideal for this, as it enhances collaboration and innovation through the provision of such useful tools as a multi-user whiteboard. Check out our full list of features on our website today.