Guest Column, latest-stories

Technology blurring lines of communication: New beginnings during turbulent times

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Guest Column: Meenu Bagla, CMO, Cyient Ltd., writes the pandemic has again highlighted the value of human capital in ensuring business continuity and building resilience within organizations 

I happened to switch to a new job in the middle of a pandemic. Besides the personal experience, being a CXO meant that I had the added responsibility of helping my new organization navigate this change and virtually guiding associates who were all new team members to me through this period. It became clear to me from the beginning that breaking down barriers to remote communication and replicating the offline person-to-person approach in a virtual world would be a key challenge for me. Having completed my first 100 days at my new workplace recently, I thought of sharing the biggest lesson for me in these turbulent times:

Technology is blurring lines of communication, and it’s a good thing: As professionals, we have all been raised in a corporate culture in which emails have become the preferred mode of communication. And while there is a definite place for a formal mode like emails for business transactions, it isn’t the best medium gauge a person’s emotions, state of mind, and context. In comparison, a video chat or a voice call allows me to use the tonality, pitch of speech and other non-verbal cues to draw a more complete picture of the person on the other side. In addition to reducing miscommunication, this approach makes the process more effective and creates a stronger bond as well. Fortunately for us, technology has made it a lot easier, and between WhatsApp, WebEx, Teams, Skype and the old-fashioned phone call, we now have a myriad means of communicating to help us.

We are living in an age where one has a range of choices of medium, to communicate. The pandemic has precipitated the adoption of productivity apps and video calls. Emails and phone calls have quickly made way, or should we say we have sacrificed the traditional idea of a workplace. We’re now more receptive to work calls, or emails at odd hours. Perhaps because the tradition notion of working hours has fallen by the way- side. Instead, we now rely heavily on short messages, but more frequent of them. Video conferences have become more focused, and mostly requiring only essential participants. A whole host of apps now promise solution to our work needs, as brick and mortar office spaces continue to shrink.

And finally, while it might sound like the antithesis of everything I’ve just said, I have to admit that I very much look forward to meeting these colleagues in-person once it is safe for us to do so. Until then, it is back to business as unusual with technology as the key enabler.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of pitchonnet.com.

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Meenu Bagla

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