In this week's Insider News, we're sharing opinions on Zoom calls from some prominent CEOs, the differences between teams that feel more and less connected during the pandemic, and a Harvard study on the health benefits of new transportation initiatives.
Prominent CEOs across many industries are calling attention to the fatigue and lack of creativity they associate with Zoom calls. Concerns that video calls and meetings lead to a sterile work environment and reduce productivity are leading many companies to look forward to a return to the office.
But, companies also recognize that remote work will be part of the new reality going forward. A survey from workplace consultant Korn Ferry says that just 14% of employers say returning to the office every day will be mandatory. While many employees enjoy working from home, surveys show they also want to be able to meet with their colleagues, which may lead to creative workplace solutions in the future.
The great Covid-driven teamwork divide from INSEAD Knowledge
In a June survey of 500 global professionals, INSEAD Knowledge found a close split between teams that felt that their connection had declined since the start of the pandemic (45%) and teams that saw an increase in connectedness (31%), while 24% said they experienced no change.
The survey findings pointed to 3 key indicators of a team's success at maintaining strong relationships:
- The use of technology platforms to stay connected and in communication, like Zoom and Slack.
- Developing new routines for virtual interactions, like shorter, more frequent meetings and virtual coffee or tea breaks.
- Giving genuine, human connection equal priority to work and efficiency by encouraging authenticity and compassion.
A TRECH Research Project study led by researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston University and other academic institutions found the Transportation & Climate Initiative (TCI) would create $11.1 billion per year in health benefits to the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions by 2032 because of reductions in air pollution.
In addition, the initiative would save 1,100 lives, prevent 4,700 cases of childhood asthma and result in meaningful progress toward reducing community health disparities. TCI is a regional plan developed by a bipartisan group of governors in Conn., Del., Me., Md., Mass., N.H., N.J., N.Y., Penn., R.I., Vt., Va. and the mayor of Washington, D.C. that aims to cut carbon pollution from the transportation sector and transform transportation across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.