Top 4 ways to utilise communication skills to thrive in a digital work environment

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Embracing the future of work takes more than using online tools, it requires an intentional shift of communication. In this feature, BBC Maestro’s Richard Greene talks us through four means by which working relationships can be built up in a workplace that has undergone drastic evolution in recent years. Read on to find out more…

The digital revolution, hastened by a pandemic, has changed the way we interact with each other and ushered in a new era of work, with remote and hybrid environments becoming the norm. What has not changed, and will never change, is our core, primal need for community.

We are inherently “social beings”. We thrive emotionally, intellectually, physically and, indeed, spiritually, when we are together and often suffer burnout, loneliness and even worse when deprived of a certain quantum of human contact.

Every day we head further down the path of an isolated work reality, this void increases … as does the need to enhance human interpersonal communication through intentional and often new techniques.

This shift has presented professionals with a wealth of opportunities, including increased flexibility, access to a wider talent pool, and the potential for an improved work-life balance.

These are helpful on a human level but as the traditional office setting gives way to laptops and virtual meeting spaces, it is crucial for leaders to adapt their styles of communication and find ways to retain their influence, in lieu of face-to-face time.

1. Fostering Relationships through a Screen

The move to remote work has brought about a decline in traditional workplace relationships, and their natural progression. However, research has shown that social support from coworkers can contribute to being happy and satisfied in the workplace.

A survey by Red Thread Research earlier this year found that organisations with more connections are 5.4 times more likely to be agile, 3.2 times more likely to have satisfied customers, and 2.3 times more likely to have engaged employees. By prioritising strong relationships, professionals can foster collaboration, share ideas, and work towards common goals.

Harvard Business Review said it best: “social capital can only be sustained with connection and relationship maintenance”. When working remotely, professionals face the challenge of effectively communicating and forging a sense of unity within their teams.

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