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Today we are announcing Connections, the latest in our collaboration Insights offering. Collaboration Insights by Webex provides 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.
I’m excited about the amazing innovation our team is bringing to market. But I’m even more excited about taking another step forward in supporting employee well-being through inclusive collaboration.
Let’s face it. Employee well-being has long been an issue but only recently has gotten more attention due to workplace demands during the pandemic. Stress and burnout remain major issues. In fact, the American Psychological Association’s ‘Stress in American Survey 2021’ found Work at the top of the list of ‘sources of significant stress’, with 66% of those employed citing work as a top stressor, a continuing upward trend.
In a growing talent crisis, known as the Great Resignation, people are leaving the workforce in record numbers. People are rethinking their personal and professional priorities at the same time companies are planning their return-to-office strategies. While many businesses 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 re-imagine 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 in their work? Meaningful connections have 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.
Successful collaboration hinges on the quality of relationships. But building relationships takes time. We are making it easier to get to know the people you work with – whether they are inside or outside your company. Connections, our latest Insights feature, provides a dynamic view of your work network, based on familiarity and connection strength. In other words, who I 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, even your company or manager.
Connections insights make getting to know the people you are collaborating with easier and discovering opportunities to reach out. For instance, What’s New shows me when a top collaborator is In The News. I can access the specific article directly from my dashboard. Choosing whether to take action – like reaching out to say ‘hey, I read your article…’ – is up to me.
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 my 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 I see that my manager and I haven’t had a 1:1 in a month, that’s an insight I can act on.
As a mentor with multiple mentees, you can proactively take action and set a goal to meet with each person monthly. An Insight box will gently suggest it may be time to reach out if the strength of a connection starts to weaken. You decide what action, if any, to take. Connections is currently in trial with select customers with general availability planned for January. IT admins manage deployment, including whether to turn Connections on for the entire organization, just a few people, or no one, in line with your company’s strategic direction and policies. And as always, Insights are designed with data protection and privacy in mind and aligned to GDPR requirements.
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. Meeting insights allows 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. 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. Meaningful interactions matter. You’re in control.
Together, these innovations represent a milestone in a much longer journey. Hybrid work represents 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.
To learn about more of our latest innovations, check out What’s New in Webex.