The tools we have access to define our remote work experience. When the COVID-19 crisis hit, a lot of people and companies weren’t ready to work from home. In a matter of months –really days — we’ve gone from defining collaboration strategies across offices, to collaboration strategies across hundreds of home offices.
In the pre COVID-19 world, companies were focused on document collaboration. There is no doubt that the productivity tools (Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, etc…) inside of Google Drive give people the edge when it comes to working on the same document, across multiple devices, in multiple languages, in real-time. Then in the midst of the pandemic, in just one week in March, video conferencing apps saw a record 62M downloads as people scrambled for solutions.
Keeping Remote Teams Socially Connected
Today, companies are starting to realize the potential benefits of remote work and are considering continuing with remote work for a subset of their workforce even after the crisis fades. With that in mind, these companies are now asking “how do we remain, or return to being, a socially connected organization?” The ideal of social platforms inside of the workplace are quickly gaining momentum.
The way we communicate within an organization is changing. Partly because the way we are physically working is changing, but also, because of the way people interact today has changed. We need things in real-time, not searching through different versions, or waiting on emails. Platforms that promote real-time collaboration, chat, meetings… and now full business process optimization and interaction will win.
Historically, the social and digital push has been focused on the external processes like PR, marketing, and customer relationship management, but now we look at the internal process. In a recent McKinsey study, respondents say improved internal communication is the feature of social tools that have most benefited their business (source: McKinsey). In the coming years, enabling better communication will be one of the ways these tools could bring about fundamental change to companies, making them more fluid–that is, that work will be project-based and will not necessarily happen within teams or functions.
Google’s launch of Currents earlier this month is in perfect timing.
Currents is a G Suite app that makes it easy to have meaningful discussions by enabling leaders and employees to exchange ideas across the organization and gather valuable feedback and input from others — without flooding inboxes.
Here is how we have seen Current’s start to change the way companies are connecting and communicating:
1. Easy and Immediate Interactions
Currents is designed for immediate interactions. It is a simple interface allowing users to easily tag their posts and attach relevant attachments or images. Once a user posts, others can comment, ask questions, or give feedback in one place. Individuals who post can also track analytics on how people have interacted with their thoughts.
2. Promotes Leader Involvement
37% of remote workers believe working from home can result in less visibility and access to leadership (source: Indeed). Currents gives leaders another opportunity to engage with their employees more directly allowing them to take a pulse on their organization and understand what is important. Posts from leadership can be given priority in the home stream, improving visibility across the organization to drive alignment.
3. Find Relevant Information When You Need It
Currents connects employees to useful and timeline content that is personalized to their role and interests. 75% of remote workers say they miss out on important information (source: Igloo Software). So giving employees access to relevant content keeps them connected to the organization and creates more learning opportunities:
- Content remains on Currents over time, so users can revisit and engage at a later date.
- Tags and streams make it easy to find and discover content of interest.
- Content in the home stream is ordered by relevance so it’s prioritized for what is most important to that individual, or users can choose to sort it chronologically.
4. Manage and Curate with Ease.
Admins can shape discussions in the organization by creating a custom stream to promote specific content to a targeted set of employees or the entire company (Hello, great way to use social to promote and support technology changes in the future). Additionally, admins can measure engagement across the platform with metrics to track usage and understand what content is resonating across the organization.
- Admins can delegate content management responsibilities to a new role called Content Administrator.
- These Content Admins can easily create custom streams, manage tags, define leaders, moderate content, and track usage and engagement with metrics.
For those of you with G Suite sku’s the Currents magic is at your fingertips. Now is the time to respond and not only take advantage of these new generation technologies that promote team collaboration that will replace email as the default channel for workplace communications. But, also use social to drive organizational change. Social tools influence the flow of information across a company, which enables change in how people work and eventually, new forms of organizations, that are more project-based, self-organizing, and less hierarchical.
And finally, you want to get this right from the beginning. Rolling out Currents as “just another channel” is not the right way to use the power of this platform. No matter where you are in your Social journey, Wursta can help.
Our veteran Collaboration Design team can partner with you early on to help you design your social strategy or evaluate platforms. We can help you plan for the implementation that should include the voices of your people and focused on long term engagement. And of course, we can use our structure approach to change to execute proper onboarding and training on the platform.
Contact us for a free Collaboration Design consultation or to learn more about Currents.