Remote collaboration needs a place, not just a tool. Learn how a virtual office like ivCAMPUS can improve productivity and creativity by nurturing work connections and spontaneity.
Remote collaboration has become an essential part of modern work, as the number of companies implementing a remote or hybrid work model increases every month for improved productivity and employee satisfaction.
However, it is imperative to also shift our mindset when it comes to remote collaboration. While technology helps us create a work environment that gives workers the flexibility to work from anywhere they want, we need a place to work, not a tool.
When companies were forced to adopt a remote work model due to Covid-19, the go-to solution was videoconferencing software such as Zoom and Microsoft teams. But using a solution that was designed for video calls simply made employees feel overstressed because they had to change their behaviour to fit videoconferencing.
The solution to this problem is to develop a place that fits our needs and behaviours rather than trying to adapt our work processes to mould after existing software. We used to connect with our colleagues around the watercooler and knock on someone’s door when we have a question, and therefore shouldn’t leave behind these behaviours because we are moving to remote or hybrid work.
In fact, the better we preserve the important bonding and communication behaviours from the traditional office, while removing the unnecessary things, the smoother the transition of the workforce. This is why we believe that knocking on someone’s door and spending time in the coffee room for a chat are behaviours that should be preserved, while unnecessary movement should not.
A remote work environment that is provided by a virtual office such as ivCAMPUS is different from using a tool for remote collaboration. Colleagues need to have a place to go to work, even if that place is now found in the virtual world, hosted on servers.
Communication tools have been created long before businesses started implementing hybrid work models. However, a tool is simply a tool. You use it when you need it and that’s it. There’s no habit, no bonding, and no sense of community as you get with a virtual office. There is no sense of going to work and spending time with your colleagues. There is no company culture and no sense of a higher purpose.
It is also worth mentioning that written communication has disadvantages compared with talking to each other. For example, it is more time consuming and inefficient, it can lead to misunderstandings, and there’s no room for innovative ideas and creativity.
We consider that we need to bring these feelings from the physical office into the virtual one if we want to have a productive, happy, and bonding team of people.
Another argument for having a virtual work environment where we come together with our colleagues in the same way we did in the physical office is to maintain the “we” mindset that is generally nurtured by a shared working space. If we keep working as we did in the past, by sitting alone at home and sometimes connecting through videoconferencing with our colleagues, then we have a “me and the others” mindset.
If someone asks us to bring our most creative ideas at 15:30 on Wednesday for half an hour sharp, we might consider them to be joking. However, this is exactly how the work process is unfolding for businesses that rely on videoconferencing software for their remote or hybrid work models.
Videoconferencing requires scheduled meetings for, basically, everything. For example, if someone wants to raise a question that can be answered in 3 minutes, they need to schedule a 15 minutes slots to discuss it and get an answer. This is highly inefficient.
And while this model of working might be suitable for some people, the majority of workers need spontaneous moments to feel that spark of creativity. Creativity comes in the most random moments as we go through our daily work activities, and nothing can defeat having the option to ask one’s coworkers to join in a productive collaborative session.
When everyone is working from the same location, it's easy to bump into each other in the hallway or grab a quick chat over tea or coffee. These microinteractions can lead to the kind of impromptu brainstorming sessions that are so essential to generating new ideas. A virtual office software should be designed to mimic those encounters as much as possible, while giving the flexibility of working remotely.
We are naturally spontaneous, and we thrive in moments that we do not predict. This is why the best bonding is done in the proverbial “watercooler moments”. ivCAMPUS is a virtual office where spontaneous interactions can take place in many ways, just as it was the case with the physical office.
A virtual office should not feel like a tool remote workers use to connect their teammates, but rather feel like the new place that the business is using for work. The place where people come to work without thinking too much about it, just as they did in the physical office. The virtual office helps them connect, interact, and have amazing collaborative sessions. But it also brings them together and maintains company culture.
All in all, a virtual office experience that is immersive and natural is beneficial for all aspects of work, from productivity and collaboration to engagement and communication. It allows for a better work experience for everyone involved and helps to create a sense of community among team members.
“Going to your own office at CAMPUS seems just as natural today as going to the physical office every day used to. The cohesion among colleagues is finally restored there. The only difference is that the office is now in the cloud and everyone can be present there without restrictions - no matter where they work from.” - Ulrich Dausien, founder of Jack Wolfskin
Using outdated solutions for new challenges is not always effective. The shift to remote and hybrid work requires a modern solution that addresses the limitations of traditional videoconferencing platforms. That's why we developed ivCAMPUS as a go-to solution for virtual collaboration and made it a place to work.
We recognize the importance of fostering social connections and community within a virtual office environment, just as in a physical office. ivCAMPUS serves as an alternative to popular videoconferencing software like Zoom by combining the benefits of both physical and virtual offices. Our virtual office allows for an immersive and user-friendly experience for employees, regardless of their location.
"For us, there is no better place than the office to collaborate. Event-independent communication, integrating someone ad hoc into the conversation in the coffee kitchen, receiving guests in a representative manner - all no problem: no matter where we work from - we are together in the virtual office every day." - Dr. Alexander Bode, Kommunalcampus eG
We've digitized office interactions to enable seamless collaboration, socialization, and integration into company culture, just as in a traditional office. With ivCAMPUS, employees can access an immersive virtual office from anywhere, at any time. Furthermore, stakeholders and partners with different CAMPUS can also visit each other in their offices.
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