Digital collaboration

Digital collaboration - a new way of working

4 min read | The workplace has changed, and so must the way we work. How do we do that?

Digital interaction, where users meet through a digital interface, experienced a tremendous acceleration during Covid. We know this from our own experience, from our own businesses, and we can also lean on Microsoft Team's explosive increase of users from 145 million reported in 2021 to 270 million users in 2022 - Microsoft Teams Revenue and Usage Statistics (2022) - Business of Apps

In this time, we have heard many positive experiences; we travel less and it provides opportunities to have more varied meetings as the world becomes smaller. It really is easier to get to meetings when the travel time is non-existent.

At the same time, we have heard about the challenges; problematic sound & video and calendars full of back-to-back meetings with few breaks. Definitely there are more meetings than before as it becomes the primary collaboration channel in lieu of face-to-face opportunities and meeting physically.

Epsis has never had all our employees in the same location, so in many ways Covid did not provide a massive impact, while at the same time it made those who did sit remotely feel more involved; it levelled the playing field as everyone was forced into using the same digital collaboration channels. There were no “water-cooler conversations” taking place that were not deliberately planned.

As the crisis passed, the workforce in most companies has been allowed to return to the office. Some have chosen to embrace a new hybrid working life where people can work from anywhere. Many of the rest are resisting this change and are actively working to get as many people back in the office as possible.

During this process most companies have been forced to focus on the technical aspects of the digital solutions we need to collaborate and how we communicate effectively via these digital channels.

Most companies have used their traditional way of working as a blueprint for working digitally and attempted to move it into a digital space. By this we mean; existing meetings are just moved online, other collaboration and communication channels have just turned into more meetings and informal collaboration around the water-cooler has been replaced with some additional optional meetings; which were quickly abandoned when online meeting overload became just too much. Despite all these collaboration efforts, many people notice that many things do not work as well as hoped. It has become evident that to become effective in this new way of working, we cannot think as we did before.

Employees, the market and the company are not the same as they were before 2020. Surveys done by EY for NHO's annual conference show that as many as 8 out of 10 want flexibility in where and when they work and the numbers are higher for young future workers. Up to 6 out of 10 responded that they are considering changing employers if they do not get flexibility (

The workers have changed, and so must the way we work. So how to do it?

1. Map work processes to utilize the digital world and capture best practice
2. Look at the current roles; should they be changed and does it make sense to move some tasks?
3. Distinguish between the need for synchronous and asynchronous collaboration
4. Structure the implementation of work (people task switch 20 times a day).
5. Build common information views using current data to ensure shared situational awareness

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