A NEWLY launched communications platform addresses the wellbeing and creativity challenges experienced from remote working.
Watch and Learn is a unique software programme which tackles the business communication problems presented by the coronavirus pandemic.
It provides a single platform for video conferences, messaging via video, voice or text, screencasting and enables the spontaneous chats between colleagues dubbed ‘watercooler conversations’.
Watch and Learn (www.watchandlearn.io) has been developed over the last four years by a UK-based education technology company to enable its teams in Britain and the US to communicate more effectively and harmoniously.
While video and messaging services such as Zoom, and Slack have become essential ways of communicating during the lockdown, they have not been able to replicate the unscheduled informal chats that can stimulate creativity and innovation within a business as well as encouraging bonding, camaraderie and support between colleagues.
Remote working has become the norm for office workers with many listing the benefits of not having a daily commute and better work-life balance.
But it has also left many suffering from ‘Zoom fatigue’ from countless daily video calls alongside using a variety of other communication platforms such as email, texts, WhatsApp and Slack.
And a solitary working environment coupled with uncertainty from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has increased concerns over mental health and wellbeing of employees.
The Bank of England’s chief economist Andy Haldane recently warned that prolonged remote working could threaten productivity, creativity and happiness at work.
Watch and Learn has been backed by Leeds-based Ventures Anywhere, a sister company of UK and US e-learning provider Webanywhere which has worked with blue-chip clients including Twitter, JetBlue, Motorola and Texas Instruments.
It is currently being trialled by public transport provider Stagecoach Group.
Carla Stockton-Jones, UK managing director of Stagecoach Group, said:”Here at Stagecoach our priority is keeping in touch with our people, especially during these difficult times.
“We have chosen to trial Watch and Learn because it allows our people to choose their preferred way of communicating with their colleagues.
“I particularly like being able to send short update videos.”
Sean Gilligan, Founder of Watch and Learn, said: “There is no doubt that whilst there are a number of conveniences, there are numerous business pitfalls when working in isolation from your team.
“Creativity, bonding and the camaraderie you have with your work colleagues is hard to replicate in isolation. Support and wellbeing and those all-important water-cooler moments to discuss ideas and exchange banter are vital parts of feeling part of a team.
“We have spent four years developing the unique software programme behind Watch and Learn and it has provided a great way for our teams in the UK, Poland and USA to communicate and collaborate.
“While we initially developed Watch and Learn for the education technology market – hence its name – it is the ideal communications platform for firms which have switched to remote working during the coronavirus pandemic.” he added.