“Experiential telework”, distancing or “excellisation” of collaboration ?

“Experiential telework”, distancing or “excellisation” of collaboration ?

Monday, May 26th, in this post-crisis hybrid in-between, we decided to program for Scenary’s 10th creative expedition a theme on THE issue that has occupied our days (and sometimes) our confined nights: tele-working.

Ironically, we welcomed regulars from the community, HRDs, anthropologists, researchers, media experts or experts working on the zoom platform, with an introduction to the theme that can be described as immersive: each participant was invited as soon as he or she entered the virtual meeting room to participate in a spontaneous and intuitive co-reading of a piece of theatre text composed of a series of tirades with no assigned characters (1). This session promised to be rich in exclamations and experiments.

Having all been eyewitnesses and physical witnesses of the digital transformation of our professions, we wanted to make an impression and show a break with the dissatisfactions of collaboration that took place during the great confinement of 2020: (Re)discovery of our collaborators through a rectangle of juxtaposed vignettes, whole days badly seated in front of a small screen, reign of the excel board and the binary, (em)confusion between the domestic and professional spheres, and increase of inequalities in the distribution of household tasks … And beyond the disappearance of paper balls sent to a colleague, … the reunion of acolytes at the coffee machine, or even the body warm-ups at the beginning of the seminar … with in the background, a crucial question: how can we continue to choreograph our professional life, our relationships, for more joy, motivation, creativity and envy and avoid dehumanization despite teleworking?

According to the ANI (national interprofessional agreement), and as shown on the site of travail-emploi.gouv (2), the first definition of telework, dating from 2005, states :

  • “Tele-work is a form of work organisation and/or performance, using information technology within the framework of an employment contract and in which work, which could have been carried out on the employer’s premises, is carried out outside these premises on a regular basis. The fact of working outside the company’s premises is not sufficient to confer the status of teleworker on an employee. (…) For the purposes of this agreement, a teleworker is defined as any employee of the company who, either immediately upon hiring or subsequently, carries out telework as defined above (…)” ANI, 2005

Digitize + excel or recreate + remotely increase our collaborative abilities?

Digitize + excel: to think of another telework, at first sight, it is essential to emancipate ourselves from the notion of digital and information technologies that make our social relationships even more normalized, and put our creativity in excel or assimilated spreadsheets behind our screens;

(Re)create + increase: the question of distancing or distancing ourselves from our working relationships, could be seen as a creative constraint, a necessity of the period, which pushes us to rehumanize our relationships of collaboration and creation, despite the distance. It can be an increase in our creative and exploratory capacities (3), notably by (re)introducing or ritualising the notions of body, multi-sensoriality, adventure, and sharing in the process of collective creation.

It is still necessary to identify the situations and conditions for which the co-presence dear to Stanislas Nordey (4) is indispensable, in particular by distinguishing between the exploitation, exploration and design phases.

“It is not important to get out first, what matters is to get out alive” (5).

Bertolt Brecht, a playwright well known for his concept of distancing, which consists of using various theatrical processes to create a distance between the performance and the spectator in order to develop the spectator’s critical mind, immediately warns us. He reminds us of the need to think about technological tools through situations of experience with the sole aim of living more, vibrating more, in short… coming out alive.

In spite of the abundance of advice on how to organise oneself well and make a success of telework (6), to motivate oneself, inviting us to a blissful positivism of telework through digital ice-breakers and remote work coaches (7), Too few initiatives or tools really rethink telework as bodies connected at a distance (and not only minds) by emancipating themselves from screens, enhancing spaces, playing on audio, or putting confusing experiential experiences at the heart, and valuing humour, playing on hypocrisies. Is there a “Throwing laundry” mode, or “Washing tiles on Skype”?

Experiential telework invites us to change our approach, to divert and rethink the tools we are given to use such as videoconferencing. It also encourages us to let go of these tools when co-presence at a distance or nearby is necessary, and this includes returning to spaces of living design, such as the Story Room (8). Distance working needs double empathy, experienced designers, bodies and a change of scenery to help organisations rethink themselves in the flesh.

Here are a few examples of distance initiatives that inspire us to put the issues of space, body, change of scenery, etc… at the heart of our thinking:

  • The voice as narrative immersion and openness to bodily mobility: The national theatre La Colline has created a play for a spectator and an actor entitled Au creux de l’oreille, like a poetic reverie in the texts of an author read and commented https://framaforms.org/inscriptions-au-creux-de-loreille-1584460820. Also, there is an audio tour Visiter la nature avec les oreilles: reportage nature en version podcast https://www.birdnote.org/blog/2019/07/sound-escapes.
  • The body as body warm-up and diversion of the vis(age)à-vis(age) of the interposed screen: by playing on transitions, diversion of juxtapositions thanks to choreographies: https://www.instagram.com/stories/highlights/17852377267934224/ or visio danced by Mehdi Kerkouche’s troupe via Confinected https://www.instagram.com/tv/B-ReqSEhbGB/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
  • The second camera to multiply angles of view and ubiquity: the screen can be used as a “small mouse” view, or give depth of field, like a magnifying glass, or a window on details of collaborations that allow to understand another point of view thanks to a camera filming a change of perspective (global perspective and zoomed) in Ivo Van Hove’s Les Damnés https://www.theatre-contemporain.net/video/Ivo-van-Hove-Les-Damnes-Extrait-70e-Festival-d-Avignon
  • Reclaiming one’s home thanks to a virtual co-presence: thanks to a hologram from elsewhere like the hologram of an artificial intelligence voice Hatsune Miku giving a concert at the Zenith of Paris in Japan, or by recreating a virtual atmosphere that incites dreamlike dreams. Ex: TeamLab : https://www.teamlab.art/fr/
  • Using walking as a collective time of co-creation: Walking therapy, proposes a walk in Avignon with audio guides and portable stools to attend a mobile theatre play in the city.
  • By working on object-totems as a concrete and synesthetic incarnation: in particular by the materialization of the connection of my colleagues via a character animated by Schulze & Webb or Aurasens an armchair that makes music feel through touch by Usine IO and VIA)
  • By recreating co-life scenes from a distance: with the remote mobile camera and in particular Portal by Facebook, which offers a wizard with a smartdisplay allowing the follow-up of the interlocutor, including interlocutors entering the field of vision https://portal.facebook.com/fr/#portal-demo
  • By reinventing the screen for live theatre: we can mention the Mondes Sauvages Company: Confined theatre, live session on Chekhov’s Zoom OURS (teaser) https://vimeo.com/417986151?fbclid=IwAR35ZvZ4rUbx1WdmFGdMB7OVwS7Tk2EbsqgifGj1KBEQjkvuBizZ4lWM83c

…and other innovative and experiential proposals such as Multi-Aroma Shooter, Kantoor Karavan etc…

“A good experience is better than a long speech”, so without further ado, here are the answers to the 3 challenges proposed that day to Scenary, the experience design community.

  • Let’s make tele-work a road trip!

- The benches that talk: the osmosis of the distant and the face-to-face

Street furniture becomes a support for meetings and creativity. To connect both remotely and close to oneself, to one’s parks and gardens, and to create a relationship with people in the surrounding area in times of confinement, this play tells the story of the bench and other connected benches.

  • Let’s recreate the conditions of a reincarnated collective!

- The Blur! A new way of living work

The Suspens company thinks its company rhythm at the rhythm of its employees. No more endless meetings or aimless coffee breaks in the hallway, instead, Blur moments in the agendas. A Monday morning starts with a walk in the forest in the corridor before returning to a meeting, the morning coffee break in the vegetable garden to prepare lunch, a meditation to finish the Friday evening meeting. “Make the most of your blurry moments!” That’s the first thing you hear when you join Suspens.

Let’s make teleworking a multi-sensory experience!

What does it remind you of? Back to you studios! 🎤

What is an online “creative expedition”?

It is a sectoral or social theme viewed through the prism of experiential design:

17h00–17h30: experiential guided tour (virtual)

17h30–17h35: presentation of the community

17h35–18h00: presentation of the theme, tools and inspiring stories

18h00–19h00: 3 creative sessions

19h00–19h20: sketches

19h20–19h30: conclusion and aperitif of the gratitudes

Fondre, by Guillaume Poix, Partition ouverte pour des jeunes gens qui ont froid, Éditions THÉÂTRALES https://www.editionstheatrales.fr/files/bookfiles/fondre-ned2019-extrait-5da5c8167056e.pdf

Methodological guide on telework https://travail-emploi.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/guidetlw_repe_res_anact.pdf

Whether telerobust or telefragile, teleworking can destroy the company https://www.xerficanal.com/strategie-management/emission/Olivier-Sibony-Telerobuste-ou-telefragile-le-teletravail-peut-detruire-l-entreprise_3748650.html?fbclid=IwAR3ptt_zNKeE2F4NftT0yeVYqcx3ADa_cvBAVJ1Y8XAZf2XtsTlnkyDPE6w

Faire théâtre, Stanislas Nordey https://www.franceinter.fr/emissions/l-heure-bleue/l-heure-bleue-14-mai-2020

“Bertolt Brecht, the son of a bourgeois family, studied philosophy and then medicine.

Telework Guide http://preprod.utopies.zagett-projects.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/GuideTeleTravail-V5.pdf

Remote work coach and warm-ups https://www.mural.co/blog/online-warm-ups-energizers?utm_campaign=Intercom%20-%20Onboarding%20Email&utm_source=email&utm_medium=email&utm_term=warm%20ups&utm_content=onboarding-free-trial-email-warmups

La Story Room, home of experience design in virtual visit https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=tKi1Zs629yv&fbclid=IwAR0oLLLVl-y_blQdIg9ZykRv2WBwFLh8E0MotzfD6wHHTRwVw6NYTD_bF4A

We make (and teach) experience design for transformation, innovation and strategy, the perfect mix of innovation management, design and living arts

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