The path to the modern workplace in a zigzag course
Actually, one could think that the journey to the modern workplace follows a logic in terms of the renewal of digital communication and collaboration solutions.
First, talking to each other at a distance is optimized. New audio and video conferencing solutions are supposed to offer better picture and audio quality, more stable transmissions and a few fun gimmicks like virtual applause.
Next, a messaging and chat system will improve internal communication so that less is communicated by e-mail. Via chat systems, employees should be able to share information more efficiently and exchange information more easily.
This is followed by systems that simplify the sharing of files, enable co-editing in documents and create new filing structures so that people can access and find this data from anywhere.
Once these "basics have been created", one thinks about what other add-ons, such as an online whiteboard, can increase the quality of digital meetings and workshops.
Even if this path seems quite logical and sensible, the reality often looks different. In this article we want to show why it can make sense to start with the digital whiteboard first.
Spoiler: With the whiteboard, online meetings and workshops become more productive ASAP, so to speak. - We would now like to examine this provocative claim in more detail.
Online Whiteboard - The latest in digital collaboration tools
Very few companies do not have a video conferencing solution - at best not the latest one and a system that is no longer supported forever by the manufacturer. e.g. with Skype4Business you can talk to each other online and see each other, but do not yet have all the great features that MS Teams offers.
Moving from Skype4Business to MS Teams is often a complex project, as it is a step from a video conferencing solution to a collaboration suite that can do much more. Many organisations are currently facing the challenge of replacing an older video conferencing system with a new one or even a collaboration suite. Usually, however, the existing systems work.
Replacing the old one with a new videoconferencing solution immediately improves the quality of the audio and video connection. But does this have a noticeable effect on productivity in online meetings? The way people communicate with each other in meetings is unlikely to change.
Introducing a chat solution also has a direct effect on the quality of information exchange. Everyone already uses such chat services privately and knows it from 1:1 and group chat from WhatsApp, Threema, Signal etc.. But chat often does not come alone and is integrated into a collaboration suite, which again makes it difficult to start from 0 to 100 with such a solution. The solution quickly becomes complex and overwhelms individuals.
The online whiteboard has a completely different character. It is the tool that few people know from their private environment. It is the latest tool that improves digital collaboration. While the video conference replaces the on-site meeting, the online whiteboard goes one step further and helps to transfer analogue working methods into the digital world and to optimise them significantly.
The online whiteboard replaces the classic moderation case, the flipchart, the analogue whiteboard and even entire project rooms, which are usually characterised by walls full of post-its. By making these analogue elements available in the digital space, digitisation is thus tangible, can be experienced and is usually understood immediately.
6 reasons why an online whiteboard should be implemented early as a tool for the modern workplace
What are the reasons to start with an online whiteboard as early as possible on the way to a modern workplace?
- With a new video conferencing solution, you may see and hear each other better, but this does not yet change online collaboration. With the online whiteboard, new working methods are directly enabled.
- The whiteboard addresses the core elements of collaboration, namely how information is shared. On the whiteboard, information is shared visually, which is much more effective than just the spoken word.
Example: When a task is worded in text, it is quickly read over. If a task is communicated verbally, it is easily forgotten. If a task is on a digital post-it, it is most likely to get done.
- It is almost impossible to conduct a workshop at a distance without a shared whiteboard/facilitation board where participants can collaborate. Therefore, the online whiteboard enables digital workshops, which would not be feasible without it.
- Online meetings, retrospectives and team meetings benefit immediately from the introduction of an online whiteboard, as the sharing of information is visual and people can participate without speaking. This is a great advantage especially for introverted participants and for intercultural teams. People can participate more easily and are more involved.
- With the whiteboard approach, complexity can be visualised easily. It is easier to overview issues once they are presented in an appealing way. This reduces complexity and makes the whiteboard the optimal solution for planning further digitisation projects.
- The digitisation of collaboration on the whiteboard is not abstract, but visual, tangible for everyone. Small hurdles, low complexity and quick access mean that digitisation gets into people's heads.
Using an online whiteboard improves collaboration quickly, but unfortunately often not just like that. In the end, the phrase "A fool with a tool is still a fool" remains valid. The introduction of a modern whiteboard collaboration solution requires training. You need the people in the company who know how to use the whiteboard and can use it to facilitate workshops and meetings. The knowledge of new modern collaboration methods needs to be built up and shared.
This article and the statements it contains are based on numerous customer projects in which we have been able to observe precisely these positive effects through the use of the online whiteboard.
If you would like to find out for yourself how an online whiteboard fits into your strategy for the modern workplace, please feel free to contact us.
👉 Book a consultation now on the topic of online whiteboards as a central component of the modern workplace.