With the temperatures here in Toronto dipping into record-breaking territory last week, and several planes grounded one day, I was reminded of why I shifted to a work flow several years ago which has me office based and working virtually outside of the summer months and what I term shoulder seasons (September/October, and April/May). Having had extensive local, regional and global travel as part of my own work portfolio for more than a decade, I am impatient when it comes to my time getting impacted by travel disruption. My own professional travel fatigue, along with wanting to continue my own global connections and work, is what led me to much of my own early full-time virtual work back in 2004. Today it's the way I do things and the way our business is established. Every day I see more and more businesses dipping their toes into the virtual space, innovating to make it work. And innovation is the key term here, we can't just transplant "old ways of working, leading and conversing" expecting a different result in the virtual space.
This year I am committed to sharing at least two blog posts a month. Some may be an excerpt from my recent book, Effective Virtual Conversations, and others may be new content and pointers to examples of how companies and teams are making virtual work for them. This is in addition to the monthly Effective Virtual Conversations calls I will be hosting into this new year. Next on scheduled for January 15th at 11 am ET - stay tuned at our Facebook page (Effective Group Coaching) for more info.
Today's post is an excerpt from Effective Virtual Conversations about the business case for virtual. Here's what I write on pages 7 and 8 of the book:
The Business Case For Virtual (Excerpt from Effective Virtual Conversations - pgs 7 and 8 Copyright 2017, Jennifer Britton, All Rights Reserved)
"There are many reasons why it is important to take a look at virtual conversations, teamwork and learning, namely:
The Move to Just-in-Time or Real Time Processes - We live in an era of immediate gratification. Recent research points to the "Uber effect," which is the ability to acquire anything real time or just-in-time. This is changing the landscape of what is seen as "effective" in the learning space by professionals. Learners and other professionals are asking, "If I need it now, why shouldn't I be able to get it or access it right away?" On-demand and mobile platforms offer this real-time learning. Internet-based work allows for us to connect and work real-time, no longer necessitating long travel or delays in our collaborative spaces.
Time Efficiency -Virtual approaches provide many benefits in terms of time and budget. They provide a reduction in the amount of time people need to spend away from the office to engage in learning. Why travel if you don't have to?
Reduction of the Carbon Footprint (Eco-Friendliness) - Britain's Open University found that e-learning consumes 90% less energy than traditional courses. They found that the amount of CO2 emissions (per student) is also reduced by up to 85%.[i]
Bringing Expertise Together - Virtual conversations and learning allow you to collaborate and learn from the best across time differences. These peer partnerships span geographic boundaries, changing the way we see the world, how we share information and what we create.
Bringing Peers Together from a Wider Cross-Section - The virtual space allows us to connect people from around the world in similar passions. With Zoom and other video-streaming meeting services, virtual meetings sometimes feel as if we are across the table from each other in terms of our ability to see each other and engage in real-time conversation.
Real-time Learning - With the advent of mobile technologies, smart devices bring conversations and learning to us immediately-from the office to commuting, our phones have created a new window to the conversation and learning ecosystem.
Why Virtual Learning?
Many companies are leveraging virtual learning for a number of reasons including:
What do you see as the compelling business, and human, reasons for moving to more virtual and/or remote work relationships? Share them with us in the comments section.
You can pick up a copy of Effective Virtual Conversations at Amazon or our site.
Have a great week,
Potentials Realized | GroupCoachingEssentials.com
Author of Effective Group Coaching, From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching and Effective Virtual Conversations
Innovation is the key term here, we can't just transplant "old ways of working, leading and conversing" expecting a different result in the virtual space. " - Jennifer Britton, Effective Virtual Conversations blog post 1/9/18
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