Our partners at Cisco are introducing Connections, their latest collaboration insights offering. Collaboration Insights by Webex provide detailed, personal insights to empower individuals, giving them more control of their work, their personal well-being and enabling more meaningful connections. Inclusive collaboration is at the heart of the four insights groupings: Meetings, Work-life Balance, Focus Time and now Connections.
More focus on employee well-being
Let’s face it. Employee well-being has long been an issue but has only recently received more attention due to workplace demands during the pandemic. Stress and burnout remain major issues. In fact, the American Psychological Association’s ‘Stress in America Survey 2021’ found work at the top of the list of ‘sources of significant stress,’ with 66 percent of those employed citing work as a top stressor.
In a growing talent crisis, known as the Great Resignation, many people are leaving the workforce during the pandemic. People are rethinking their personal and professional priorities at the same time that companies are planning their return-to-office strategies. While many businesses had put a ton of focus on supporting employees during the shift to virtual work, what happens as we move into the new era of hybrid work? We have an opportunity to reimagine the workplace – wherever it may be – and create more dynamic, fulfilling environments that can flex and evolve as the world does.
Enabling people to connect and collaborate in more profoundly human ways is essential. Research indicates that job control, social connections and social support help cultivate well-being. In fact, job control is one of the most important predictors of job satisfaction and motivation. So why not give people more control over their work?
Meaningful connections are proven to help strengthen social bonds, which can help reduce stress. Let’s make it easier to build relationships and create environments with stronger social support to improve employee well-being.
Webex: a healthy workspace, anytime, anywhere
Successful collaboration hinges on the quality of relationships. But building relationships takes time. Webex is making it easier to get to know the people you work with – whether they are inside or outside your company. Connections, their latest Insights feature, provides a dynamic view of your work network, based on familiarity and connection strength. In other words, who you spend the most time with.
Connections are based on all collaboration activity across meetings, messaging and calls – and grouped by frequency of interactions – Close connections (most frequently), Familiar connections (frequently), and Distant connections (intermittently).
It also shows growth and movement within your network, alerting you of important changes, so you can stay in touch. Your data and insights are never shared with anyone else, not even your company or manager.
Connections insights make getting to know the people you are collaborating with easier and help you discover opportunities to reach out. For instance, What’s New shows you when a top collaborator is in the news. You can access the specific article directly from your dashboard. Choosing whether to take action – like reaching out to say ‘hey, I read your article…’ – is up to you.
The profiles only display publicly available information, similar to search engine results when searching a person’s name.
Keeping in touch with close connections is important when building relationships. Connection strength shows trends for your top collaborators. If a month has passed since the last interaction with an important connection, an insight box may indicate the connection is getting weaker and suggest reaching out. For instance, as an employee, if you see that you haven’t had a 1:1 with your manager in a month, that’s an insight you can act on.
How to improve the quality of your meetings
Meetings insights help increase awareness of how you show up in your meeting interactions. Being late, multitasking or scheduling meetings during another person’s off hours all factor into the quality of your interactions. Meetings insights allow you to see your trends, set personal goals and can even highlight potential issues and recommend potential actions.
Work-life Balance insights help you take control of your time by showing time spent in meetings outside set work hours, along with insights into why. Meanwhile, Focus Time helps you make better use of set work hours. Research shows that it takes nearly 25 minutes to get back on track after an interruption. So, when you think about productivity, carving out time for focused work is important.
Together, these innovations represent a milestone in a much longer journey. Hybrid work is a major shift in a work model that has been in place for decades. Technology cannot replace real-world interactions, and it’s just one piece of the puzzle needed to successfully transition to this new mixed mode of work. But it can help people – with support from their organizations – start to take steps toward more balance, flexibility and control in their work.
Please visit this page to learn more about Cisco’s collaboration tools.