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Contextual Intelligence, Ethics and Well-Being

By Jeff Frick

Shared pain builds camaraderie and strengthens ties as we rally around a cause.

Workplace professionals grabbed internet megaphones and started sharing best practices almost immediately in the spring of 2020 as the digitization of work took a step-function leap forward. This open-source ethos of sharing continues today because as much as we have over two years of experience, the future is still undefined. A learning mindset and all that implies, has never been more important. 

Welcome to Work20XX, a show focused on work, and the future of work, where we bring you the professionals to provide insight, direction, and specifics actions leaders, line managers, and individual contributors can use to navigate these sometimes choppy waters.

Maribel Lopez, Founder and Principal Analyst, at Lopez Research, has been doing her part on this path of discovery.  Maribel has been working in ‘technology enablement’ her entire career, founding Lopez Research in 2008. In this far-ranging conversation, we discuss how organizations are completely rethinking the importance of and prioritization of well-being as an objective which digital workplace systems weren’t originally built to do. Now that all devices are connected and data is at our fingertips (literally), the digital work experience is about thoughtful, contextual, and intelligent applications, doing the right things, at the right time, with the right information. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should (cough, ‘surveillance’). 

I was excited to get Maribel’s take on the entire spectrum of inputs impacted by the term-soon-to-be-dropped ‘future of work.’ It’s just ‘work’, the future is unknown. The digitation of work has reshaped the data conversation, shifting the focus from ‘can we get data’ to ‘we have super granular data, now what? What’s proper, what’s really valuable, and what moves us toward desired objectives?’

The ubiquity of data, especially coming from employee surveillance systems and activity trackers, makes the use of that data and its impact on culture and productivity part of the digital workplace calculus. Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should. 

We covered the benefits of asynchronous communications and some meeting best practices. Offices are moving from connected spaces to intelligent, smart assets, adding additional layers of context nuance to the data. Managers need assistance and training in managing their teams and working products in a hybrid world. Flexibility, in time and place, is a high-value component of DE&I initiatives. 

And finally, in our technology-obsessed connected world, the skill, practice, and art of communication have never been more important. Without further delay, a conversation with Maribel Lopez.

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