How the workplace is changing and what to think about

How the workplace is changing and what to think about

The workplace has changed: How to embrace this change and cultivate team collaboration

The workplace has changed; the workplace is not what it used to be.  The global Covid-19 pandemic forced changes upon businesses and organisations and in some cases, seemingly overnight.  To survive, businesses needed to implement systems and technologies that allowed whole workforces to work from home.  While some were ready for this change, others weren’t.  But now in 2022, everyone has had to catch up. 

The historical boundaries between home life and work life were removed.  Working from home, yet connecting with colleagues, became possible and commonplace.  Since 2020, technological advances have seeped into everything we do, and new tech eagerly supports this new era of working styles. 

Although the necessity to work remotely no longer exists, this generational working revolution has highlighted many benefits.  While offices are once again open for business, many organisations are encouraging staff to return to the office five days a week.  However, many aren’t, and many don’t want to.  Why?  Here are the three key reasons that will define this new age of the workplace. 

meeting in progress

Embrace hybrid working

Hybrid working is a clear consequence of the pandemic.  The traditional need for all staff to work in one place at one time is no longer the case.  It’s important to consider what people need to be present in an office, why, and when?

It is the responsibility of business leaders to decide what is best for their employees, but also for the business’s agility and performance.  A recent survey by McKinzey found that business leaders who clearly communicated their overall approach and guidelines for remote and hybrid working saw a rise in employee productivity and happiness.  It’s clear that employees want flexibility, so businesses need to embrace this to attract and retain the best talent.

“More than 20% of the workforce could work remotely three to five days per week as effectively as from an office.”

McKinsey

Objectives of the physical workspace

While people worked from home, pre-pandemic office space was unoccupied for many organisations, and often for long periods of time.  Offices may be open again, but many business leaders have realised that the physical space they used to occupy can be scaled down, changed, and re-used in better ways that better suit the business and staff’s changing needs.

The hybrid working model breeds opportunities for reimagined office layouts.  With hybrid working, there are different ways for staff to collaborate and meet and new ways for office space and people to work together, better.  Some organisations have reduced office footprints dramatically in favour of investment in technologies that allow their staff to work more flexibly, visiting smaller physical office spaces to collaborate on specific target activities.  Remote working for the rest of the time can be seen as a hugely positive move for businesses and for their staff’s wellbeing and enthusiasm towards their work.

 

The employee’s perspective

Recent studies have found that more than 20% of the workforce could work remotely three to five days per week as effectively as from an office.   What’s more is that many people prefer to work from home at least some of the time nowadays.  Historically, it has often been perceived that people who work from home are less productive, but the truth is that this is no longer the case

Phased returns to work, and to offices, combined with hybrid working policies becoming commonplace, means there’s a real challenge for business leaders to create a workplace that is compatible with their staffs’ changed attitudes to remote working.  It’s certain that those who can and want to work from home, will need to be able to.

There is, however, the question of human-to-human interaction and a sense of team morale.  Being a part of a team requires real, meaningful connections in a structured way that provides stability and inclusion.  Hybrid and remote working practices have shown to increase inclusivity of global and decentralised workforces and remote working has allowed businesses to become more agile and attract the best talent.  So, the challenge now is to increase collaboration and connectivity online amongst teams, regardless of where employees are based.

People in a meeting

Environmental sustainability

Finally, but not least importantly, we should take into accout the environmental impact of remote and hybrid working.  We all know that a massive benefit of remote working is the reduction of commuting, road congestion and thus, carbon footprint.  Although this will never, and should never, be totally removed there’s more to it than that.  If businesses are limited to only recruiting talent that is based within a commutable distance from a physical office, the organisation misses out on recruiting the best people with the best skills to fit the business need.  Surely it’s better to have the right talent working remotely, than convenient recruitment that adds to an organisation’s carbon footprint, and doesn’t (*ahem*) get the job done as well?…

The good news? 

Making these connections happen seamlessly whilst maintaining staff learning, development and wellbeing criteria are available and easy to implement.  

Contact Procreation for an informal chat or to arrange a demo of our online platform and all its features and applications for the evolving workplace.

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Hosting exciting online events: features you shouldn’t miss out on

Hosting exciting online events: features you shouldn’t miss out on

Hosting exciting online events has never been more important

In recent years we have all become very familiar meeting online and attending webinars, online events and online training.  What’s key now is to make every virtual experience appealing and exciting for attendees.  Attendees now expect more and spending time creating exciting experiences has many benefits, as it will not only encourage greater attendance but will also improve engagement of those who do attend.

Online training has been proven to be a highly effective way to educate, and we’ve recently looked at some simple ways to incorporate interactivity into online training.  With the wide variety of online learning and presentation solutions available on the market today, it’s important to consider the options available and make the best of the features available. 

Here we take this a step further to see what other key features can be included in your next online experience to make it truly memorable and exciting!  No more boring webinars, e-Learning, training or virtual meetings here!

Video chat virtual environment

How your online experience can stand out from the crowd

Create an environment of your choice

360 immersive environments can be created in any setting; the only limitation is your imagination.  Space, a jungle, underwater, or a more conventional conference setting are all well within the realms of possibility when it comes to online learning and virtual experiences.  Create an environment that will allow your attendees’ interest to be sparked from the moment they log in.  All you have to do is work out what that might be, and then it can be built to suit.

Integrations

Although we have a full collection of presentation, meeting and webinar tools available within our 360 virtual platform, we recognise that it’s important to also be adaptable with other systems. This enables existing organisational processes to integrate, track and report in a new interactive immersive way. 

An example?  Many of our clients work with LMS platforms, we support integration of any SCORM files created in Rise or other LMS systems. Simply create your learning programmes and import into your 360 immersive experience, building a truly memorable and engaging learning journey.

 

Let attendees explore the environment at their own pace

The beauty of using both 3D and immersive 360 virtual environments for online experiences is that the attendees feel instantly empowered.  They won’t simply sit there and be spoken to but will become active learners who follow their own path. 

Attendees can consume the content within the environment in a way that works for them.  Think back to school or university and imagine your teacher allowing you the free rein to absorb your learning in a way that is highly personal.  It’s unsurprising that it’s a phenomenally powerful way of increasing engagement.

Online breakout session

Classroom feature: Video chat within a virtual environment

Video chat and virtual environments are both excellent features, and now they can be integrated simultaneously using the Procreation Classroom feature.

While participating in a Virtual Event or online experience, attendees can now take part in video chat with their teacher/host/presenter, all while exploring a virtual environment at their own pace. Tutors can guide learners through training modules, demostrate products and direct learning teams all from within the virtula environment.

An example?  Take an online learning event.  Presenters can speak, via video to their class, live, with slides and videos, whilst showing them around the environment.  Attendees can then explore this environment themselves, asking questions as they navigate through.  This new feature opens up huge possibilities to expand on collaborative learning amongst peer groups.

Imagine the possibilities

When it comes to virtual experiences for learning, training, meeting and collaborating, the possibilities really are endless and unlimited.  Our tip?  Just imagine what could be possible, and it probably already is!  This might be replicating features that would be at an in person event, or features that are complementary (such as on demand video post event).  From networking and breakouts to live relay plenary sessions, demos, polls and panel Q&A’s, the key to creating an excellent experience for your attendees is to include features that will excite them and encourage their participation at every turn.  Just imagine demonstrating a product online, while your viewers can experience it for themselves, at the same time, in their own way.

Ready to give it a go?

As a market leader in Virtual and Hybrid experiences, we develop and craft solutions to help our clients create, host and manage the best experiences out there.  New features are regularly added to our bespoke platform, so get in touch to find out how we could help bring your next project to life.  Why not take a look at our client stories to find out more.

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The future of work: What will it look like?

The future of work: What will it look like?

What will the future of work look like?

The workplace has been completely reshaped because of the Covid-19 pandemic but what will the future of work look like?  The stay-at-home order shifted workforces to working from offices, to working purely online.  But now, there is a mixture.  Offices are open, staff are back, and we’ve learned a lot.  These learnings will shape both how organisations and employees decide to operate and the workplace will never be the same again.  The future of work will look very different to the past.  Hybrid working is here and it’s here to stay.

The future of the workplace for organisations

The core trends that are driving the change in the way we work, beyond the Covid-19 pandemic, can be simplified as:

  • Globalisation
  • Digital transformation
  • Generational changes

According to Deloitte, in the early 2000’s nearly all workforces across the globe consisted of permanent employees.  However, today the story is quite different.  More than 40% of employees are now considered non-permanent workers.  This is a huge change, why this shift?  Since Covid-19 hit, workers and organisations have embraced remote working, with freelancers and distributed workforces working together like never before – because they had to.

Remote working due to necessity, has unlocked many opportunities for business leaders and created a new era of flexibility within the workforce.  Organisations now have access to talent they couldn’t reach before.  Organisations are realising that with the correct systems in place they can make the most of this flexible and often cost-effective talent pool.  Virtual digital solutions such as Virtual Experience Centers and Virtual Events provide efficient ways of training and educating workforces and connecting businesses with their customers, no matter where in the world they may be physically located. Face to face is, and will always remain important, but working virtually, as we’ve done since Covid-19 creates huge opportunity.

Two people in a meeting

Benefits for organisations

  • Reduced office space & resulting reduced overheads that can be redirected elsewhere
  • Flexible human resource that switches on and off when needed
  • Global & decentralised workforces & access to new talent pools
…work is changing dramatically today, with huge implications for us all. The three trends steering change – globalisation, generational change and digital transformation – are already driving businesses to rethink the way they operate.
Forbes, 2022

The future of the workplace for staff

With the Baby Boomer generation set to retire from full time working life, Gen X and older Millennials will begin to fill senior positions.  As Gen Z’s enter the workplace, improved digital knowledge and understanding means expectations have changed.  This will welcome a new era for the workforce.  It is becoming, and will continue to become a candidate led market.

As well as compensation and pay, flexibility is not seen as a benefit, but as an expectation.  Experienced workers need time not only to care for themselves, but their families (both older relatives and children.)  Almost every future job is expected to include some degree of flexibility.  Whether it’s a permanent role working from the office for set days a week, and remotely the rest, or a full-time remote position, digital technology is the enabler of the hybrid workplace.

If the hiring organisation has the relevant digital capabilities to manage their workforce, they can hire the right people for the right projects and remain agile.  Younger employees are expected to want to work on several projects to develop their skills and digital capabilities will facilitate this.  Candidates will seek out organisations that make this way of working possible for them.  The needs of this new era of staff will be important for organisations, and organisations with methods of training and engaging with staff virtually, will thrive.

Woman working from home

Ways staff will be able to engage with organisations in the future workplace

  • Remote training and opportunities for upskilling
  • Integrated digital workplace solutions
  • E-learning platforms
  • Virtual Events

What do do next…

For more information on how to prepare your organisation for the future of work, contact us today.  In a no obligation, question and answer only demo, we can demonstrate the excellent ways we can help your organisation engage with the workforce of the future and attract the best talent.

Book a time with one of our team to discuss your next project

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2022 event trends to watch

2022 event trends to watch

What event trends to watch this year…

Over the last two years, all businesses and organisations were impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.  We have had to changed how we work, and this will influence us forevermore.  The ongoing pandemic is easing, but some uncertainty remains.  How should we, and how can we, plan business events and marketing activity moving forward?

Here is an overview of the key 2022 event trends to watch.

New technologies will continue to emerge

Event organisers and businesses alike have relied heavily on digital technologies to enable business to happen.  The rise of new technologies has been crucial.  This is only set to continue in 2022 and beyond as the gaps between ‘need to meet’ and ‘ability to meet’ have been bridged in creative ways.

In a recent analysis and discussion of event industry leaders, Kai Hattendrof, Managing Director of UFI, believes a full economic recovery of the event industry will take place by 2024, and that new digital technologies for the events sector will continue to play a crucial part in this recovery.

Event organisers and businesses have embraced new ways of doing things digitally and this technology is becoming increasingly valuable.  Organisers are adopting a mix of in-person and online events.

The increased use of data is becoming commonplace.  With this data comes the huge opportunity to create insight to design meaningful, powerful activities that deliver a strong and measurable ROI.  It’s important that data policies, security, consent and privacy are considered, well planned and clearly communicated to all.

2022 event trends

Hybrid Events are here to stay

The phenomenal developments in event technology means Hybrid events and Virtual events are now easy to navigate for attendees.  No matter where attendees are located physically, they can move easily between in-person and virtual event experiences.

Socio CMO Andrew Pearson, who spoke at the Event 2022 Event Trends Summit said “Ultimately, the blending of the hybrid event experience means that hosting hybrid events becomes less about servicing two separate audiences and more about merging two types of technologies.”

Hybrid events enable audiences from different time zones and locations to access on demand, and live content, increasing collaboration and offering flexibility.  With Hybrid events, organisers can increase the geographical coverage and audience size, plus cover multiple time zones.  Content can be provided live to some and on-demand to others.
Virtual Events environment

Flexibility will drive confidence

Events are an essential part of most businesses overall marketing strategy, increasing awareness, generating sales and building trust.  The uncertainty of the ‘stop start’ approach of recent years can be reduced with digital and event technologies that support delivery of all types of events, even in times of change.  The flexibility provided by Hybrid and Virtual experiences allows organisers the flexibility they need when it comes to dates, in-person venues, content and speakers.

On demand content is king

On demand content is recorded and hosted post event for attendees to view at their leasure.  This is a great option for a variety of situations, including reaching audiences across different time zones. Content can be quickly distributed directly to the audience who may be working from home, in the office or on the move.

Content is the main driver of engagement at events of all types and investing in skills, resources and technology to provide on demand content is set to become a priority for many organisations.

on demand content

Data insights create engaging educational content

Recent developments have created an excellent opportunity to repurpose content from in-person and Virtual events, and to use this elsewhere.  Year-round engagement, learning and education is easier to do today than it’s ever been, and many flourishing businesses are taking advantage of the content they create to educate others at different times.  Professional development training, eLearning pre and post event allow large and decentralised audiences to benefit and learn. 

“Regardless of event format, engagement is the metric that can predict the outcome of an event” says Hopin’s VP of Marketing Strategy and Events Julius Solaris.

User data made available from Virtual and Hybrid events means attendees can be recommended personalised content.  Data driven insights, and improvements will help event organisers engage audiences like never before, improving job performance and career progression. 

educational content

Hybrid workforces

Hybrid working has its’ challenges.  Companies are beginning to understand more about the technologies available to them, and what works best for their business and culture.  Well delivered Hybrid working practices can have a positive impact.  Hybrid working technologies can improve collaboration, inclusivity and communication amongst teams as well as individuals and organisations as a whole.

 

To find out how Procreation can help your business create experiences that embrace today’s technologies and exceed audience expectations, get in touch today.

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The climate crisis: How Virtual Events can reduce our impact

The climate crisis: How Virtual Events can reduce our impact

Hosting Virtual Events will support the climate crisis

How can Virtual Events support the climate crisis?  The 5th June marks World Environment Day but this isn’t just a time to celebrate the magnificent and beautiful world that we live in.  It’s an also an opportunity to look to the future of our diverse and astonishing planet, the climate crisis, and how our actions, every day, can support the Earth’s complex ecosystem for generations to come.  Here we take a look at how Virtual Events can support the climate crisis.

We all make decisions every day that impact the environment in the long and short term; from choosing to buy free range eggs over those from caged hens, to recycling our waste properly, or even taking a walk to the shop instead of driving.  In the business world there is much to be done too.  The global pandemic has forced many businesses too quickly and dramatically change how they operate, and we’ve seen a sharp and intense rise in the demand for virtual experiences as a result.

According to ON24, a typical Virtual Event with 2,300 participants reduces carbon emissions by 3,300 tons compared to hosting that event face to face (in the format we’d have done before the pandemic.)  That’s the same effect as approximately 17,000 trees!

Your event could achieve the same outcome with minimal negative impacts on the environment.

Matt Francis

CEO and Founder, Procreation

What can we learn?

An event hosted annually in New York is a great example.  The live event produced 1,153,291 KG of carbon emissions as a traditional face to face event but, when hosted virtually, that figure dropped to 16,798 KG.  That’s an overall reduction of around 99%.  Not to be sniffed at!  Find out more here.

Yes, there will always be the requirement for human, face to face meetings and events, but the opportunities and successes of Virtual Events and experiences have opened our eyes to the reality of doing business more sustainably from now, and forever.  Here are our top four things to consider…

Top ways Virtual Events help the climate crisis…

Air travel

It may seem obvious (and it is) but less air travel is better for the planet.  We’ve seen attendees and speakers from all around the world join in virtual events without the need to fly there; from training and educational events, to webinars, conferences, product launches and online exhibitions and everything in-between.  Even when we’re back in the room together again, we now know that not all of the content needs to be physically together in the room.  Consider who, and what, travels to your venue and what content (or speakers) could be streamed instead.  Not only is this an opportunity for a more diverse and compelling content stream, but the difference that a few minor tweaks can make can have a hugely positive impact on the environment.

Virtual Events reduce the need for air travel

Waste

Saving money can be a big reason why companies move from an in-person event format to a virtual one.  However, that’s not always the only thing to be reduced.  The waste generated by in person events – including energy, water, paper and food – to name a few – is much higher, naturally, than the waste generated by virtual experiences.  According to an Eventbrite survey, 90% of event creators adopted e-tickets in 2020 Eventbrite; do we really need all of those paper tickets again?  Let’s hope not.

Virtual Events reduce waste

Education and training

Huge numbers of connections and online interactions have taken place between workforces from remote locations around the world during the Coronavirus pandemic. A lot of these interactions have been critical to facilitate the ongoing running of a business that simply couldn’t operate otherwise, but a lot of these interactions have been educational too.  Just because staff are at home does not mean they have to stop learning (cue all schools during Covid driven school closures.)  While some learning will always need to take place in a room, with an educator, it’s something that can often be done remotely instead… as we’ve seen across the globe.  This means there is the opportunity for more educational events to be available than ever before, but not at the expense of our environment.  Do all in person educational events need to take place in person?  We think not.

Education on the climate crisis

For more information on how Procreation can help you create environmentally friendly virtual experiences, get in touch. Give us a call or email us at [email protected]

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