Yesterday I had one of those first world experiences three times, walking along a pavement I had to take evasive action three times to avoid someone who was walking towards me, but instead of looking where they were going their attention was intently focused on the screen of their mobile telephone.
All three people were in their late teens or early twenties.
Bit of a surprise
So, despite my experience, which is not an isolated incident and also despite their high frequency mobile use, I was surprised to hear that research from Fuze has found that over three quarters (78%) of ‘app generation’ teenagers believe that it’s still important to meet people face-to-face for work.
Video over phones
As well as appreciating in-person meetings, over half (57%) of teenagers also say that they prefer interaction through face-to-face video calls rather than traditional voice calls.
Video calling drives productivity in meetings
The use of video could also be driving greater productivity, with newly released data from the Fuze Communications Index report suggesting that video is a key driver for productivity.
When users turn on their video or screen share during a meeting, attendees stay connected for 87 percent of the time. Without, they only remain connected for 75 percent of the meeting.
With an average meeting time in the U.K. of 36.3 minutes, this increase in face-to-face interaction could translate to an extra 4.4 minutes of engagement.
Adapting to other generations
Regardless of which generation you might consider yourself to be part of if you want to be successful you will have to adapt to the ways an increasingly multi-generational workforce wants to work.
Everyone will have to make sure that they understand how to use the technology that is used in their workplace.
As face to face communication remains important to every generation it obviously isn’t going to disappear from work activities and mastering effective face to face communication will remain an important skill for everyone, regardless of their role or working environment.
It’s just that we will also now need to understand how to communicate face to face across generational divides.
Making it easier
Whilst technology may not be replacing face to face communication there is technology available that can enhance collaborative working and bring all members of the team together, regardless of when, where, or how they choose to work.