• English
  • Deutsch
  • Coronavirus General

    How to combine mindfulness in a remote workplace

    April 2020

    The coronavirus Covid-19 is presenting massive challenges for the global economy, not least because millions around the world may be in voluntary or enforced quarantine for weeks or months to come. Indeed, Google made its Dublin office work from home as a precautionary measure. Coinbase and Twitter also passed similar policies for their global workforce, instructing employees who were showing any flu-like symptoms to stay home.

    Even during challenging times such as now, the ultimate focus is on maintaining resilience and digital readiness. One of the best ways in my opinion to achieve this is through synergy of mindfulness with digital connectivity and smart technologies, which can enhance activities like collaboration and online meetings.

    As the coronavirus sounds alarms everywhere, this revolutionary technology of immersive remote working promotes safety, while also not compromising on work quality. Whereas improvised “working from home” sessions rapidly turn into boredom and loneliness, these disruptive technologies positively impact without disrupting the company itself.

    The digital age has profoundly changed the very nature of work. As teams (especially now at times of the coronavirus) are spread far and wide, collective decision – making and teamwork have become all the more essential to the success and survival of business. Many companies recognize in these days that collective intelligence – the capability of a group of people to solve complex problems – is an important source of competitive advantage. How can a company ensure that its collective intelligence is greater than the sum of its parts?

    The challenge lies in creating a culture of tolerance and acceptance where all team members feel emotionally safe to share opinions and ideas and, in turn, be receptive to colleagues’ viewpoints. An effective strategy in my opinion to unlock the potential of collective intelligence is mindfulness – a state of being present in the moment and leaving behind one’s tendency to judge.

    Subconscious contributions:

    Collective intelligence is not depending on team members’ IQ, knowledge, or ability to think logically or on the team’s composition. Instead, it is largely driven by team members’ unconscious processing: their emotional intelligence and emergent properties such as trust, emotional and psychological safety, and equality of participation.

    A lot of organizations already apply approaches that faster collective intelligence. They are increasingly proficient at setting up diverse teams, breaking down organizational silos, and implementing open information systems. However, companies often do net explicitly recognize how these efforts relate to collective intelligence and thus they fail to capture the full benefits.

    Companies must fundamentally transform how cross-functional teams interact and collaborate. This requires bringing forth collective intelligence through mindfulness. Most people who regularly practice mindfulness have an intuitive understanding of its connection to collective intelligence.

    Companies that adapt mindfulness training and habits to suit their culture will also be able to fully realize their collective intelligence and reap the rewards of new ways of working, cross-functional teaming and technology.

    A big factor enabling this transformation is the 5G revolution, which is just around the corner. Faster data speeds, high-speed remote work and intelligent connectivity are some the numerous benefits that the 5G upgrade will provide.

    The roll out of 5G networks will also allow artificial intelligence (AI) to be fully exploited. Many organizations feared the onset of AI would mark a steep decline in the required workforce. However, a 2018 report by Forbes suggests that it will create 58 million new jobs by 2022, which will lead to further advances.

    This virtuous circle in my opinion will positively impact the economy while introducing tools – which, returning to the coronavirus, could most probably spread awareness about diseases faster than the infections spread themselves.

    In China 200 million students have been studying online. As 5G and AI improve immersive technology will in my opinion only accelerate in its usefulness. This will be crucial in terms of education. Immersive classrooms will in my opinion soon feature a highly immersive learning environment where students are fully engaged with their peers and the teacher.

    With these developments, immersive education is predicted to become a 700 billion US-Dollar industry by 2025, with 93% of teachers “excited” about harnessing XR for teaching. The several instances of immersive education include game-based learning, virtual field trips, skills training, and now tele-education, just to name a few.

    Another major impact of remote learning is that it enables experts to connect from all around the world. Meaning students living far from universities have equal access to a comprehensive education.

    In the word of Steve Jobs, if we strive to maintain an innovative mind-set and keep searching for opportunities while facing every challenge, the future is going to be a bright one. Consequently, even epidemics will not hinder us from progressing and adding value every day.

    The lesson is clear: remote learning and a mindfulness work environment will become vital tools, even as the present crisis passes.