Thanks to mobile technology, we have a lot more freedom to decide where and when we work these days. Your backyard can become an office (yay, wifi!). You can vary your work schedule from day to day— from the early shift to the late shift, or anywhere in between. You even can have a full-time job in another country, making office visits via Skype.
This trend has definitely produced some positive results. A Gallup study called “The Engaged Workplace” reported that, free from distractions, over two-thirds of employers report increased productivity among their telecommuters.1 Additionally, it seems that employees find the shift motivating. According to Global Workplace Analytics,2 36% of employees would choose working from home over a pay raise.
Heartened by these numbers, employers are loosening the reigns, providing their workers with more choices, and patting themselves on the back for facilitating such a modern workplace.
But are we really as progressive as we think?
Every silver lining has a cloud
Turns out that that while we're moving in the right direction, we still have a long way to go.
The Gallup study revealed that 87% of employees worldwide are not engaged in their work.1 In other words, the vast majority of workers are bored, uninspired and unproductive. Employee disengagement has escalated to pandemic proportion.
How can this be, when research has clearly shown that the fluidity of work has boosted satisfaction and made us more productive?
One reason is that while we collaborate more than ever, the way we conduct meetings hasn’t yet caught up with where and how we work. The fallout is disastrous. Over half of all employees admit they zone out during meetings.3 Remote workers have it worst: they rarely have visual access to meetings, leaving them “in the dark” when teammates are whiteboarding or working together on deliverables. And it’s close to impossible to preserve the products of these workgroups, so the fruits of our labor are often lost … making us inefficient, waylaying project deadlines and delaying action.
How to ignite engagement
At Prysm, we are actively changing the way we “do” meetings — from the way we think about them to the technology we use to power them— and we are using our own product, Prysm Visual Workplace, to help. Rather than giving presentations, we focus on enabling conversations and injecting some life into what can otherwise be a dull, one-way stream of information.
We recently had an extended marketing meeting where we made great use of Prysm Visual Workplace in one of our huddle rooms. Because we were able to see all of the information in one place, we could brainstorm, analyze, find solutions and plan in real time. And because the content and context of our session was preserved in the cloud, it was easy to pick up exactly where we left off the next day.
When we wrapped up, we were all excited about what we had accomplished in a such a short period of time and agreed that it would have been a much longer, less effective meeting without our solution.
A new way to work
Looking ahead, we’ve just moved into a new collaborative workspace and will be sharing how our teams are adapting to and benefiting from the workplace changes we are making — and how Prysm Visual Workplace is helping.
The bottom line is that today’s workplace is in transition, and we’re all feeling the growing pains. We know what we want this new age of work to be, but most companies are just now beginning to understand what it will take to get there.
We’ve recently identified and classified some common problems in a new ebook, called “Six Realities Disrupting Todays’s Workplace, along with ways you can overcome them.” Download your copy here.
1 “The Engaged Workplace,” Gallup
2 Global Workplace Analytics
3“Digital, Disparate, and Disengaged: Bridging The Gap Between In-Office and Remote Workers,” a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Prysm, June 2016