Design Your Work Environment to Manage Unintended Tech Consequences

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Remote work has given many of us the opportunity to adapt to new ways of interacting with our colleagues. The ubiquity of collaborative technologies throughout the pandemic has amplified the push toward virtual work, by allowing teams to collaborate even when physical offices are closed. The market for collaborative technologies grew nearly 25% in 2020 alone, and with continued growth and demand expected, experts predict it will be a $50.7 billion industry by 2025. However, as this new gold rush for collaborative technologies increases, organizations risk developing a blind spot to the impact they have on relational dynamics between managers and employees. In our recent research, we looked at virtual interactions among managers and employees in a Fortune 500 multinational organization. We explored how managers navigated work with employees across different locations and time zones using various collaboration platforms. Our analysis of platform activities of nearly 1,200 employees along with interviews of 64 managers turned up important insights about the transformative impact of new technology on organizational behavior.

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