A woman walks while consulting her mobile phone on the beach of Castell-Platja D'Aro, near Girona, this Wednesday.JOSEP LAGO / AF
P The coronavirus crisis has triggered a series of transformations in the world of work that have come to stay . One of them has to do with meetings. The long confinements around a table to discuss content were suspended: now videoconferences are imposed ( calls , as they are colloquially called). Attending a meeting in pajamas and from the bedroom seemed like a great idea, until these, in turn, produced another particular pandemic, known as "Zoom fatigue." Now a new platform called Spot aims to keep us connected with the office in a healthier way: promoting meetings while we walk.
Sitting for hours in front of the screen looking at various faces in small squares ends up overflowing the capacity of the brain, which, in turn in turn, it causes not only mental, but physical fatigue. When it is the platform itself that causes fatigue, the effectiveness of meetings decreases. A study carried out by Stanford University compares the tension of a videoconference with the eternal silences of an elevator ride with a neighbor. Is it better to talk? Do you have to look at the other person? Attendees in a videoconference tend to remain hieratic while trying to assimilate and take note of what is being discussed.
This complicated reality was experienced firsthand by Greg Caplan, an American entrepreneur who, because of his work, was also forced to hold videoconferences systematically, but found a solution to this fatigue . Caplan alternated the videoconferences with walks in which he contemplated the trees while he relaxed with the song of the birds, as he has told the specialized publication Wired . He began to take advantage of these walks to make calls and found that they were much more productive than the Zoom sessions. Suddenly everything clicked: Why not create a platform with which, from the mobile, you can hold meetings on the move? This reflection was the first wicker of Spot .
It would be tempting to compare Spot with a simple phone call or group conference on WhatsApp. The platform relies on technology to offer significant added value compared to other systems when holding meetings. The first thing to know is that Spot eliminates the hassle of using the camera: meetings will be by voice only. And it also automates part of the work to be carried out in the course of a meeting.
To begin with, the platform itself is in charge of transcribing, through a system based on artificial intelligence, what is spoken in a text, which remains as a record, for facilitate that we can walk quietly without the need to write down what is told. Participants may later forward this text to each other or save it as a testimony of what was spoken. Spot also allows you to take notes on the mobile screen during the meeting, knowing that everything noted will be private until you decide otherwise.
The technology of this platform automatically cancels external noises, so there is no to worry about honking or other people's conversations. Everything starts from a call that is carried out from a calendar in the application itself. When the date and time arrive, the attendees connect and participate in it walking or not (the walk, despite being the main promoter of the idea, is not mandatory)
Walking to stimulate creativity
Why meetings with Zoom they tire more than face-to-face
The so-called 'Zoom fatigue' is triggered by different factors. First, the brain is forced to complete the absence of non-verbal communication components. Not having the interlocutor in front of it represents, for this organ, a puzzle with missing pieces and it makes an effort to complete it. On the other hand, the participant shows his face permanently on the screen so that he can feel observed and judged for endless minutes.
But why walk? Unlike the rigidity of a mosaic of faces around a video conference, a walk without cameras in between allows the brain to relax and be much more creative. One of the best exponents of these meetings in motion was the founder of Apple, Steve Jobs, who moved from one point to another in the meeting room for maximum tension of his attendees. Spot collects precisely on its website one of the quotes from the founder of Apple: "Walking is the best for brainstorming, to get to know people better and to resolve issues."
And there is a scientific explanation that reasons why the movement it is so productive. Ken Fogel, a professor at the Professional School of Psychology in Chicago, established a simile graphic: on the phone, you do not have your interlocutor in front of you and it is as if you had a hot potato that you cannot pass on to anyone. In this case, the potato is our emotions and, in some way, the movement manages to transfer and dissipate these emotions in the absence of a physical interlocutor. The service is, for the moment, accessible by invitation, although later it will be available to everyone through a freemium model, free for individuals and paid for companies.
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