Working in an increasingly global and hybrid world means that many of us collaborate with colleagues who live in different time zones on different coasts or who live in different countries and speak different first languages. But hybrid does not mean we have to settle for substandard work relationships. It’s true: The days of only building relationships around the watercooler are long gone. But now, there are better ways to connect through innovative technologies.
The good news for professionals is that there are new tools to foster connection with colleagues that previously would have required big budgets, multiple travel days, and a bilingual production team. Here are three game‐changing technologies that not only make hybrid work manageable — they make it better!
Interactive software can be used for real-time presentations with participants located anywhere in the world. Simple questions can be posed to poll opinions or increase engagement in any virtual presentation. The interface is user-friendly and easy to customize. Participants join these platforms from any browser on a device of their choosing, such as a smartphone. No downloads or extra signups necessary.
The feature that makes these tools more valuable than in‐person work is that anonymous participation fosters greater transparency. When participants know that their responses are completely anonymous, they are much more likely to provide honest feedback. While responses to tough questions might be hard for leaders to hear, getting real reactions will drive improved decision‐making for the entire organization.
Most of us know translation tools are available but using these tools can seem daunting at first. Improvements in translation technology means that accuracy is greatly improved. By using the cut-and-paste function, any presentation can immediately be improved by adding a word or phrase in another language, which will immediately increase inclusion. Instead of defaulting to an all English-language presentation, anyone can diversify the message by adding relevant languages. This tool can help you communicate in more languages than is humanly possible to learn. Adding a one‐sentence translation of the presentation title or translating words of welcome will signal to global partners that they are valuable and welcome members of the team.
Interactive Presentation Software
Interactive presentation software used to be for tech‐heavy folks. However, these days, anyone can use it and benefit from more effective virtual presentations. Instead of predictable presentations, interactive-software users insert themselves into the slides and energize presentations with a wide selection of graphics and images. While the learning curve is higher for these tools, the time is worth the effort. In addition to improving real-time meetings, some software applications can be used to record videos that allow viewers to watch on their own time. This function will save hours of time that otherwise would require real-time meetings to convey.
Mix and Match
Used alone, any one of these technologies will have an immediate and positive impact on virtual interactions but using these in combination will make the hybrid experience even better. Translation functions can easily be implemented to create bilingual polling questions. Screenshots of bilingual poll results can be shared as graphics in presentations. Using these latest technologies is also a great way to retain employees from digitally native generations, such as Gen Z.
There is no need to muddle through these evolving times. Instead, you can leverage new technologies to increase employee engagement, improve connection across global relationships, and gather meaningful data to drive successful decisions in 2022 and beyond.