This week, we explore the latest in Hybrid Workspace thought leadership, from chartered occupational psychologist, Dr Gwenllian Williams. With over 20 years’ experience in business consulting and a PhD in Psychology from the University of Stirling, Dr Williams has the perfect blend of knowledge and experience necessary to offer a unique insight into the psychology of work – and to assert how businesses can adapt their creativity to a hybrid working environment.
Her latest piece ‘The creativity conundrum. Fives essentials to reigniting creative energy in the new normal’, breaks down the challenges of creativity in a hybrid working environment and the necessary conditions for effective creative expression within the new structure of work. Dr Williams lists several challenges that we hear regularly from our clients, across multiple industries. We advise organisations on how to resolve these issues by nurturing spaces in which all voices are heard, all ideas given equal space and creativity goes hand-in-hand with inclusion.
Dr William’s makes the often-overlooked point that, for hybrid working to be effective, it must be embraced by all participants. Hybrid workers must actively strive daily to navigate its challenges in a creative manner using a mix of technology and strategic thinking. We are at a crossroads where we can make the choice to divest of old office habits and create a more efficient, flexible future. However, as our clients often tell us, workers can be resistant to change, particularly without the right structure in place and concise guidance and support from leadership. That is why we encourage leaders to focus on finding creative ways around the challenges of hybrid working to identify different ways of cultivating high-functioning teams. Technology is a key element of this ‘creative approach’ to hybrid, to quote Dr Williams.
Discussed in Dr Williams’ previous blog, visibility is an integral aspect of hybrid working that must be given serious and holistic consideration. It affects the way that teams collaborate on creative tasks day-to-day. Organisations must ensure that those who are largely remote or home-based have sight of what is happening in the office. “We are human and prefer to look at a face than a screen, creating a challenge for those inputting virtually. Inclusion etiquette is a must and office updates critical,” says Dr Williams. Whilst conventional solutions go some way towards bridging this gap, for true humanised collaboration, workers need more. They need to communicate and collaborate simultaneously, with tools that empower them to have a voice even when they’re away from a physical office space.
Connectivity and Collaboration
Conventional collaboration platforms are limited to one person talking, looking at one document. Dr Williams’ advocates the re-creation of the much-underestimated energy of standing around a flip chart. This humanised, back-and-forth collaboration is something our customers say they sometimes miss out on within a hybrid work environment. The use of interactive digital whiteboards and screen sharing help to recreate this experience, but all in attendance must contribute to make this work. Screens on, mute off.
Dr William’s believes that ‘standing around a flip chart creates energy, interruption, ‘what if’ questions and ‘another thing’ ideas.’ It is because humans feed on the energy of others – both physical and cognitive. Therefore, it is essential that organisations use technology creatively. This means merging digital and physical environments to ensure that virtual participants have their voice heard in the meeting room. An ability to contribute to discussions and designs from home and public spaces can be made seamless with the right tools. Synchronised devices and styluses and multi-device sharing capabilities empower remote workers to feel that their ideas are valued. However the leader of the meeting still needs to be alert and skilled in pulling in the thoughts of all present, capturing their ideas and feeding back. The right tool allows leaders to do all of this without seizing control or dictating to their team.
How Laduma can Help
At Laduma, we believe that the new breed of Hybrid Workforce needs a new breed of Hybrid Workspace. One singular platform where you can bring all your favourite applications and tools with you to do your best work together.
Teams need to work fast, efficiently and with freedom, having access to the tools they need in one place. With the help of Laduma, you can pull meetings, notes, reminders and specialist tools into one central platform for frictionless collaboration from any location.
To find out more about how we can help you improve the creative process of your hybrid workforce, take a read of our comprehensive hybrid workspace insight guide