Reality is Richer Than Your Screen

In our search for more authenticity in our way of living and working, Dr. Marie Puybaraud says the human-to-human interface is still crucial.

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Image via Death to the Stock Photo.

In our search for more authenticity in our way of living and working, the human-to-human (H2H) interface is crucial. The fear of losing this innate way of communicating has made us more attuned to the impact that a barrier of pixels can have between two human beings.

We know a digital revolution is well on its way, yet it’s only been recently that a profound transformation started at the core of business. For so long, we’ve talked about how technologies are changing our way of working. The pool of digital innovations we can access instantly and for free is far more powerful and efficient than what we get from our own employers. And it’s creating major disruptions while employers are losing control over the digital experience.

A counter trend is starting to emerge, though. It calls for more truthfulness in our digital experience. After years of building a close relationship with a screen and falling in love with millions of pixels, we need more reality in our experience and more authenticity in our relationships. Creating visual contact is becoming a priority and is perceived as a privilege. Digital transformation is not just changing what we do – it’s changing who we are.

Table courtesy of the author.

The gap we’ve built between our digital experience and our need for authentic relationships is getting wider and more difficult to deal with. Businesses are slowly becoming more digitally aware, which is a good thing. Workplace standards are integrating powerful technology platforms to support a high level of user mobility, and work-at-home policies are the norm for most medium to large organizations, so IT departments have to support new ways of working. Flexible working hours are a given, and HR directors are getting more involved in workplace-related projects and the decision-making process. And while leaders are imposing higher levels of agility within their team, they still place a high value on face-to-face interactions.

As businesses become more aware, employees also need to find ways to embrace the digital enterprise at work in a healthy way:

  • Be a great “digital leader”

    Embrace new ways of working around new digital solutions. There is an array of new “emo-sensitive” technologies that are going to help us create a better experience of work.

  • Don’t sacrifice H2H for M2H

    Design a work environment that enforces H2H contact: use third spaces to bring people together, create work around clusters for teams, break down visual barriers, maximize space for collaborative work, and encourage teamwork.

  • Do not become an automatic listener

    Cybercare is essential as we become mature digital enterprises. Machine learning is invading the corporate world of work, but data-based decision making is not always the answer.

  • Trust your instincts

    Continue traditional observation methods and base your workplace solutions around a sound combination of the whole pool of data.

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