It was rightly said by poet John Donne, “No one is an island”. It is true now more than ever — today we get to know major events from any part of the world almost instantaneously; while shopping online, we simply send a screenshot to get our friend’s go-ahead on the dress; and we adore the picture of a newborn baby on our phones just minutes after the baby is born. We can keep on stacking examples that show how communication is central to all our lives.
Organizations are not an exception here, communication is indispensable, be it for a small-sized business or an enterprise. And Steve Jobs knew it.
Choosing communication over working in a bubble
In 1986, Steve Jobs, CEO and Co-Founder of Apple Inc., acquired a major shareholder for the computer graphics division of Lucasfilm. He later renamed it to Pixar Animation Studios.
In the year 2000, he relocated the company to a place that had three adjacent buildings. The original plan was to place computer scientists, animators, and Pixar executives in separate offices. Jobs shot down the idea and instead of the three buildings, he chose one vast space with an atrium in the center. The idea was to put the most important function at the heart of the workspace — communication. He wanted a space where people could easily connect, interact, and collaborate with each other. He saw that atrium as a common platform to bring people together.
For Jobs, ‘being in the bubble’ was a major challenge. Later, he moved meeting rooms, cafeteria, and coffee bar to the center of the building. To some, it might look like a waste of space, but Steve Jobs knew that when people connect, ideas sprout. With effective communication and collaboration, people can breathe life into ideas.
But today we don’t have the huge atrium to communicate
On one hand, the amount of information employees exchange is tremendous. We are in a state of information fatigue. While on the other hand, accessing critical information at the right time and right place is becoming increasingly difficult. Most times information is locked behind email addresses, stifling collaboration, and action.
Add to this equation a pandemic. The pandemic has distanced us socially and increased the complications of effective communication, but, at the same, also mandated the need to communicate. Thus increasing the number of overwhelmed, overworked, disengaged, and burned-out workforce.
A way out of this conundrum is, of course, technology. As we work in the modern way of remote work, we need a similar digital web of connections as in our personal lives. Organizations need a digital work platform that leverages the best of cloud, data, AI, and more, and is devoid of disparate, technologically-deficient tools that slow down work and inhibits communication. A digital collaboration and communication platform that is more than just a set of different features, but is a bundle of value with a long-reaching impact on how you work and collaborate.
5 roles of a modern collaboration and communication platform
A collaboration platform could impact the quality of work and the morale of the employees, alike — and happy, engaged employees produce better work. It could aid in bringing strategic business changes in a more planned, consistent, and sustainable way; you will be able to keep everyone in the loop as you progress. And it could secure the future along with keeping you ready for today; you will not have to create and implement a business continuity plan each time a shift in the work climate occurs.
It could make work enjoyable, meaningful, and productive for all in your company if it plays these roles:
1. Cultural wavemaker
A collaboration platform must allow you to be in a state of constant evolution, keep your culture active, enable new ideas and perspectives even when the teams are distributed. It must foster a positive, open-minded spirit of communication that surpasses the many screens by which your teams are separated now.
Humans are wired to resist change. Each collaboration tool comes with a learning curve and resistance to traverse the curve among your employees. Hence, the platform must not tire your employees with its sheer scale and complexity and make your employees feel they are on an uphill expedition each time a new feature is launched.
3. Power charger
The work platform must facilitate growth, not inhibit it. In your growth trajectory, multiple ideas and opinions will sprout and co-exist as you define the way ahead, the platform must not crumble under their weight. Instead, the platform must nurture your processes and communication for you to succeed.
4. Problem solver
The platform must not make solving a problem a bigger challenge than the problem itself. You must have effective, well-defined, transparent processes and accountabilities to resolve tensions that stand between you and your common goal.
5. Community builder
The platform must not create virtual cubicles for your teams. It must offer robust collaborative tools for real-time interactions, file sharing, audio/video calling, and more to enable and encourage ownership and community participation among your diverse people.
Google Workspace has been this modern collaboration and communication platform for us
Google Workspace’s cloud-native, AI-driven work tools — with inherent simplicity, knowledge, security, and collaborative culture — have played all these 5 roles for us.
Even though we were reaping the benefits of working on the cloud, the real magnitude of the impact was felt when the pandemic struck. Because of Google Workspace, we were able to confidently and quickly take the decision to ask our employees to convert their homes into offices. Quicker than this decision was how our workforce adapted to the modern, 100% remote work. Because we were primed for years with the elements of modern work — real-time collaboration, access to data and files on any device, power to share information instantaneously, video conferencing to connect with distributed teams, and more — this overnight change didn’t overwhelm us. We could continue delivering exceptional services to our clients without any escalations and missing deadlines.
Google Workspace as the cultural wavemaker
Google Workspace built with Google’s own philosophy of connected working and meaningful, real-time collaboration resonates with how we want to work. We are able to crowdsource feedback and surface cross-team issues and ideas, even with our distributed global teams.
Did you know? For 92% of Google Workspace users, real-time collaboration has become the standard for document creation for their team, compared to 78% of O365 users.
Google Workspace as the humanizer
The workforce of tomorrow uses Google Workspace — 140M+ students and teachers are using Google Workspace for Education. Many of our majorly millennial workforce already have used Google Workspace, thus saving us time in training them on Google apps and tools.
Did you know? 77% of Google Workspace users are comfortable with the technology within 90 days, compared to 66% of O365 users.
Google Workspace as the power charger
It has broken the invisible barriers of disconnected and locked-in apps. In dynamic cases with urgent deliverables, we have had multiple team members working on the same document and getting the task to completion in just a day or two.
Did you know? 95% of Google Workspace users are able to easily work with multiple people in the same document versus 84% of O365 users.
Google Workspace as the problem solver
Flexibility is key to how we work. We are able to access our data and apps securely from any device, tag the right team members on documents, share files on the go, drop a chat message, or get on a video call — based on the task at hand.
Did you know? 75% of Google Workspace users say it has made their team more innovative, versus 55% of O365 users.
Google Workspace as the community builder
We organized a multi-day, virtual, company-wide employee event with Agilites joining in from over 6 time zones and the event saw zero tech glitch — all because of Google Workspace’s connected apps.
A final thought
Steve Jobs once said — “Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.”
Enable your teams with a work platform that lets you get great things done.