Sunday, February 11, 2007

Lift07: Private lives invading the workplace

Bruno Giussani has posted notes from various sessions at Lift07 on his blog: LunchOverIP. One of the more interesting is his account of a panel with Stefana Broadbent, head of the User Adoption Lab at Swisscom, Fred Mast, professor of cognitive psychology at the university of Lausanne, and Nada Kakabadse, professor at Northampton Business School.

Stefana: There is something in the type of channels people are using. The most fascinating discovery I've made this year: a reduction of voice and increase in written channels (SMS, IM, e-mail, tagging, blogging)...
People that are not heavily online, their average number of contact is about 20. People that are online, it goes to 70 upwards. The difference is obviously that the cost of maintaining contacts decreases. 20 is what you can handle with a one-to-one channel; as soon as you add asynchronous channels, we can handle more.

I love this. Scientific evidence supporting the rationing of voice communications. I‘ve said it before, but will say it again, we have reached a point where voice needs to be scheduled. To do otherwise leads to a dramatic reduction in our efficiency.

And for my colleagues who want to turn off the student‘s laptops in their classrooms:

How do we unplug, asks the moderator? Stefana: that's not a theme. If I unplug, I lose my social intelligence.
Where else in life do we unplug? Sleep, exercise, church, meals, a walk in the woods (though not necessarily). Why would we want to create an artificial environment in our classrooms, one that doesn‘t resemble the world in which we live?

Please read through Bruno‘s notes. It‘s good stuff!

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