How we interact with technology defines the work we can do and, therefore, how we think about our work. That means that we may end up thinking inside the box, until the box is updated. David Vallance took a deep dive into the world of interfaces, which haven’t changed a wild amount since 1984. The majority of computers still work with a screen, keyboard and mouse. Sure, we now have tiny touchscreen computers in our pockets that are more powerful than anything available in the 80’s, but there are some downfalls to the screens we know and love, and here are some ways to avoid them.
Staring directly in to a single computer screen in each of our homes, we can risk becoming siloed and disconnected from our teammates. As mentioned in Vallance’s piece, 93% of communication is non-verbal, and while Zoom and other VC technology can help to bridge that gap, they can still limit our ability to pick up on social cues. We already had a look at how the casual chat has taken a hit, and how to bring back that spontaneity and off the cuff interaction here, but we understand there can be fatigue. To fight the issues of working in isolation, a bit of variety can make a world of difference. Make sure you are using a full arsenal of tools to keep in touch, and you never know when inspiration can hit, or how a new form of collaboration can help your team to do great work.
Stay in contact, but keep it varied.
I love Slack and Zoom, but every now and then getting tagged right in a Paper doc sparks more curiosity for me than a link sent on, or a screen share, or just fit into my schedule a little better. Variety seems to be helpful in engaging your brain, and without coworkers strolling by, we have to put in the effort to create the variety. Routine is great, but within that, we still need a little spontaneity and change.
If you’re a Slack addict, try to add in more video meetings, if you’re a Zoom pro, try collaborating on a doc instead every once in a while, and you’d never know what can come out of it. The more varied the time or the medium, the higher the chance someone can hit their stride. If your week of meetings is the same every week, there is a chance you slip into autopilot and the smallest changes can prevent that, so keep an eye out for opportunities to shake it up a little. Check out how Dropbox Spaces can help you create new, well, spaces for your work, so you aren’t seeing the same screens for every project.
We can’t help make your computer VR compatible, or work via voice command and hand gestures, but Spaces and Paper can help you to stay in touch with your team in lots of different ways.
How are you finding working from home 12 months in? What changes have you made to how you work?