Work-Life Strategies & Solutions

On the Evolution of Work Systems in the Digital Economy

Why I Love Working in a Digital Workplace

How did your transition back to work after the holidays go? For those who work from home and have yet to take down their holiday decorations, returning to work can pose a greater challenge. In this post, Lisa Duncan, co-founder of Flipside Workspace, briefly describes how an online collaboration platform that includes an immersive virtual environment facilitates separation between home and work as well as prime us, mentally, to go back to work. As an avid gamer, I’ve experienced how rich, virtual environments can transport us into a different world and put us in a completely different mindset. So I think Lisa makes an excellent point about the value 3D virtual environments can offer to remote workers.

Lisa Duncan | Alternative Workstyle Enthusiast

Flipside Workspace conference room meetingIt’s my first day back after a fabulous and disconnected vacation.  I love these times where I get to fully disengage from work – energy, creativity, and inspiration swirl around me giving me months of “work” just to catch up with my thoughts. Only the heartiest of ideas make it through memory and grit into execution, a kind of Darwinian business process.

Today I was excited to get back to work, to catch up with my colleagues and exchange ideas. I was ready…sort of.

You see, I work from home and it’s after New Year’s.   Two weeks of fun and festivities means many decorations are still hanging in the house and the onslaught of stuff from a household racing out the door each morning to school or work is still scattered about.  So many distractions.

I love that mental separation of “go to work”.  I need that mental separation.  But where is…

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3 responses to “Why I Love Working in a Digital Workplace

  1. Mike January 12, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    Nice post, Lynn. And, Happy New Year! 🙂 What are your thoughts on how the visual “coolness” of collaboration software affects productivity? Can too much realism diminish productivity? Think back to the old DOS (you’re too young to remember these, I bet) software. Those forced you to focus on the immediate task. Modern software has lots of new capabilities but does it have unnecessary distractions?

    • Lynn Patra January 13, 2015 at 6:03 am

      Happy New Year Mike! 🙂 Thanks for commenting!

      I think there’s a variety of individual subjective experiences with regard to visual graphics of collaboration tools. I’ve met people who insist on the real deal (the traditional office environment) because they prize being able to reach out and literally touch someone (the human element). Others find bustling offices of the real world to be distracting and so I think this is where collaboration software like Flipside can provide something in between working completely by yourself in silence (which I do quite well with actually) and providing human interaction that can be adjusted to your preferences. For instance, one of the issues of the open-office plan is the only way to reduce the volume of noise is to wear earplugs or earphones. However, when you’re videoconferencing or using collaborative software, the intensity of audio and visual elements is more comfortably within your control.

      With regard to how Flipside mimics the office experience in a 3D world, I think this will especially appeal to younger workers by providing a sense of fun and engagement which can put people in the mood to be more productive. And yeah, I think reality can be boring, lending to a humdrum quality that many of us associate with the 9-to-5 lifestyle, so collaborative software like this one gives us a change of pace. (Given that, it’d be interesting to compare people’s experiences with rendered environments to more realistic virtual reality, as in “telepresence,” when the latter becomes more affordable.) Issues of distractability, of course, will vary from person to person. My father (who’s in his late 60’s), a doctor, hasn’t used computers for his work and so the idea of using modern technology overwhelms him due to its complexity. He doesn’t even email.

      As a matter of fact, yes, I do remember DOS (I was born in ’75 so I don’t remember the specific technology from around then). I learned computer programming in DOS when I attended high school in the early 90’s and created an animated game of billiards in action!

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