Balancing off-screen time in a digital business

Agency life

Whether at work or at home, it’s all too easy to hide behind your screens these days. Email, Whatsapp, Skype (although strictly no video, right?!), it’s an easy, quick-communication world without ever having to clap eyeballs on anyone.
As a transcription agency, we certainly know about life behind a screen. We joke about “working all day in our pyjamas” because no one ever has to see us*. We transcribe the voices of people we haven’t met, of meetings we weren’t invited to, of topics we have never heard of before. It’s digitally fantastic but it’s not exactly social.
* We sent a questionnaire to all our transcribers last year and found in fact most people juggle their Take Note transcription work with other work or personal commitments. Transcription 1 – Pyjamas 0.

How to get more face time (no not that one)

We are the first to admit we send and receive a lot of emails, which means we also know the benefits of having time away from the screen. We try to have as much time around a table as possible, whether for lunches, team meetings or department meetings. Through face to face meetings we noticeably gain so much more creatively. We work on ideas that may never have appeared if a relay of concise, considered emails had taken place.

Building relationships

The Take Note brand and the personality you hear behind those emails certainly doesn’t exist without the off-screen relationships and office environment we create as a team. The Tough Mudder challenge we completed earlier in the year was 100% a team effort. The training just as much as the run itself was such a great experience to share and has made us all far closer as a result and which has certainly had a positive impact on how we all work collectively in the office too. Without these experiences, meet-ups and time away from the screen, we’d be half the team of what we are now.

On being digital

Our communication with our clients and typists, both of whom are based all over the world, has to be digital, which means fundamentally, we are a digital business. It would be logistically intrepid to try to bring them all together for any kind of team or client meeting, so we try our hardest, through offering impeccable customer service and regular communication to convey as much of our Take Note selves with them as is suitable (you are all busy people) and to also get to know them as much as possible.
To remain robotically transactional in our communication whilst being a digital agency would be a crying shame. The greatest assets to a human transcription agency is the heart and the understanding you get with every email or message. We can sense the urgency in your words or the importance of impressing a particular client with these transcripts. And as an H2H (human to human) service, you get the reassurance that whatever the topic of audio, we will research key terms, irregular spelling and double proofread your transcripts to ensure they are as accurate in context as much as spelling as possible before they are returned to you.

Our digital future

As digital life becomes more mainstream, it seems more important than ever to engage, face-to-face, with colleagues or clients. We’re seeing management teams playing with the balance of digital working, learning through experience, how important it is (or isn’t) to have in-person or face-to-face meetings for remote workers or international clients or whether your staff can effectively work remotely from home. How technology will impact the traditional work place over the next decade will be an interesting transition to watch.
Do you notice the impact of off-screen time for your business? What ratio of digital to face-to-face does your company have and how do you try to keep the right balance? We’d love to hear your ideas.
Our door is always open for people interested in meeting us or hearing more about the various transcription services we have to offer. If you would like to test out our transcription service for your next audio file, we’d love to hear from you. You can call, email or register with us here .