In early 2020, we were abruptly forced out of our offices and into little improvised home workspaces. The sudden transition plunged us into uncharted territory and left us navigating on the go. Little did we know, the onset of remote work and other hybrid arrangements would introduce many new opportunities and challenges that would redefine how we work today and in the future.
Rediscovering value in collaboration
Knowledge-sharing is key—this we knew pre-pandemic. But knowing is a whole different story from doing, and before COVID, maintaining open communication and breaking down silos have been pain points for organisations the world over. When the pandemic came, collaboration took a hit. According to a study by Gensler, employees who work full-time at an office spend their time collaborating almost twice as much as their counterparts working full-time at home.
One positive outcome of the pandemic was a reminder of the critical role collaboration plays in business. If we take a step back and look at the big picture, the data tells another story. On-site employees may be collaborating at twice the frequency of home-based employees, but their rate also dwarfs that of pre-pandemic workers. Office-based employees are engaging in collaborative communication more than ever, while those working within hybrid arrangements have maintained their pre-pandemic rate. We’re now seeing companies working together, internally and externally, to keep business moving and growing.
The Ortus Club, an international marketing company, specialising in high-level knowledge-sharing, witnessed this hunger for collaboration across industries and sectors as more executives than ever attended their virtual events during the pandemic. Through fast adaptation and foresight, they were able to facilitate the breaking down of silos and have experts and peers work together to overcome common challenges.
Back to square one
Knowledge is an unlimited resource. It’s an incredibly valuable asset, but it has a limited shelf life. A lot of the best practices, SOPs, and strategies we took as gospel just two years ago are no longer applicable today. The unprecedented circumstances we face today make knowledge-sharing among organisations a crucial ingredient for progress.
Executives are now sharing newly gained information about best practices they’ve found through insightful data gathering, word of mouth, or sheer trial and error. With every first-hand account told and every experiment, successful or failed, the repetition of mistakes is lessened, and results get optimised for the next company. In this shared economy, knowledge-sharing allows everyone to win.
“Knowledge is an unlimited resource. It’s an incredibly valuable asset, but it has a limited shelf life.”
Executives are also using knowledge-sharing events to broaden their connections. There, decision-makers are able to meet both peers that are like-minded and those with fresh and differing perspectives. Communities of practice are formed wherein leaders are constantly learning from one another in a non-hierarchical setting conducive to open sharing and unbiased communication.
Post pandemic communication
As the need for remote and hybrid work arose, digital transformation was accelerated and further opened companies to opportunities in the digital space. As employees of all levels ceased travel and resorted to home-based work, they were afforded the freedom to meet and engage with peers and experts without the usual constraints of physical gatherings.
Before, events had to be scheduled, and RSVPs had to be filled far in advance as guests and organisers had to account for travel, scheduling, personal arrangements, etc. Now, all a guest needs is an hour of free time and a laptop with an internet connection. Meaningful engagements and avenues for knowledge-sharing are more accessible than ever.
The future of knowledge-sharing and cross-company collaboration
The world is opening back up, but the heightened appreciation and utilisation of collaborative efforts is something that should and will stay with us moving forward. Virtual knowledge-sharing is here to stay as it’s created its own lane, addressing its own distinct set of challenges.
The return to face-to-face events will be welcomed, but they won’t replace what we’ve built in this pandemic. The enhanced interaction, personalised feel, and immersive atmosphere of physical events aren’t easily replicated in digital settings. Events will hybridise, one way or another, with live streaming and other methods, and we’ll be able to enjoy the best of both worlds. One thing is for sure, knowledge sharing has become part of the norm and is essential for companies rebuilding and organisations looking to make a name for themselves.
If you’re looking to host your own event C-level executives and industry experts, contact us through our Host an Event page, and one of our Client Directors will get in touch with you with more information.