Our third session at Flex Summit focused on the critical cultural changes and collaboration practices needed to support successful flexible work.
Flex Emcee Michael Hopkins moderated our final panel of the day to discuss how collaboration technology will impact and support future of work trends. Eric Hanson, vice president of market intelligence at Fuze, Martin Bodley, director of emerging business at Bose, and Justin Pirie, senior product marketing manager at Twilio, all agreed that seamless and functional technology is the key to ensuring team productivity. Nothing is more distracting or disruptive than grainy videos or calls that cut in and out. It’s also crucial that companies fully commit to distributed team dynamics such as embracing the diversity of team members as it relates to generational divides and familiarity with technology and collaboration tools, but keep in mind it’s equally as important to identify when team members are most productive (our Productivity @ Work report can help with that).
Next up was our our fireside chat with Jim Lundy, founder and CEO of Aragon Research and Pavel Murnikov, VP of technology, media networks at Activision Blizzard, creators of some of the world’s most popular online games such as Call of Duty. The two discussed establishing trust and security in a virtual world. Murnikov oversees a distributed team of roughly 100 people who constantly monitor and defend against hacking, bugging, and other security attacks. Building a culture of trust and autonomy is key to how Murnikov manages his team. He does this by adopting and encouraging tools, such as screen sharing, to communicate and ensure that people remain connected on a personal level. In his experience, work cultures that embrace distributed work and flexibility not only have the highest performing teams but provide opportunities to unlock talent.
As the founder of a future of work consultancy, Sophie Wade, of Flexcel Networks, reminded us that successful, collaborative and synergetic work cultures must first establish a foundation of empathy. Developing empathetic skills requires individuals to understand their coworkers’ point of view by identifying their emotions and how they feel motivated. The best way to drive empathy in the workplace is through consistent check-ins and to put yourself in your colleague's shoes to recall a time when you felt the same way. Empathy mitigates the possibility of coworkers passing judgment and instead provides an opportunity to create deeper bonds with each other. As more industries adopt a distributed workforce, it is now more important than ever that teams find ways to connect with each other on a personal level rather than just a professional one.
Stay tuned for our final post of the fourth and final session, 2040. In the meantime, a full recap of Flex Summit can be found here.