Recently, I sat down with Ray Wang for a conversation centered around how technology is supporting the future of work, including some discussion of how RingCentral Ventures is playing a role in shaping that future.
Highlights from my conversation with Ray include a discussion of whether or not there are new norms for video conversations. I believe that there are no “rules” per se; the increased flexibility of a non-office work environment can help with working a bit non-traditionally, too. Eating lunch? Why not turn off your camera for a bit? Things that used to be disruptive, like taking a phone call during a meeting, no longer have to affect others, and, on the RingCentral platform, we enable seamless device switching so that you can stay or join meetings regardless of your location. Transcripts and meeting summaries further facilitate keeping up with the conversation in case you do have to step out of the meeting.
While the future of physical offices remains a bit in the air, Ray and I agreed that we will be living and working in a virtual or hybrid environment for a while, so the key to our success is going to be augmenting our technology environments to make them as similar to in-person ones as possible, perhaps even via new features such as the ability to pick up on body language. In this and other ways, technology can supplement our existing human connections – a somewhat poignant observation acknowledging that, absent an in-person return to the office, today’s tech has given us the gift of being able to stay connected when, even just a decade ago, we would have had far fewer options.
To build on the successes that technology has brought us during these last couple of trying years, RingCentral Ventures focuses on what the future of work may look like ongoing. In choosing start-up partners, RingCentral Ventures focuses on taking the technologies that we know and use today and making them more advanced, more encompassing, and more problem-solving for users.
In concluding our interview, Ray asked me to predict what business communications will look like in 5 years. I predicted what I aim for RingCentral Ventures and its partners to deliver: technology tools that will help us to feel more effective in our work, that will drive outcomes, and that will remove work that we do not want to do via automation so that we can focus on work that is more exciting and more innovative.
For my full interview with Ray, please watch the video below.
For more on RingCentral Ventures, please read my LinkedIn post here.