Working from home? Here are 5 tips for a more human digital experience

working 2020

(Ali Yahya, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: So-Young Kang, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Gnowbe

  • As working from home becomes the norm, it’s a good opportunity to re-evaluate how we connect digitally.
  • A tech-driven approach can miss the nuances of human contact.
  • Here are 5 suggestions for creating a richer and improved online experience for workplaces and classrooms.

As working from home becomes the new normal, and everyone is scrambling to find virtual solutions such as Zoom, Google Hangouts or Microsoft Teams, it’s a great time to pause for a moment to ask ourselves:

Who are we designing these meetings for? What is the purpose of the interaction? And what are the various technologies and platforms that can help us best achieve that purpose?

It’s time to redefine digital. There is a tremendous opportunity here to take a human-centered approach to designing impactful experiences versus taking a reactive approach, grabbing whatever solutions are available and stitching them together.

As meetings, conferences, events, classes and workshops are cancelled, it’s time to take a step back and reflect on some fundamental questions. For example: if we are designing for a cancelled training class, what was the purpose of that class? It’s likely to be a combination of learning new things, connecting with like-minded individuals, and sharing knowledge in a sustainable, referenceable way. So given this purpose, how can we design a virtual experience that may best fit these objectives in a human-centered way? What technologies were designed to promote learning new things, connecting and sharing in a more sustainable way? Which technologies were designed based on the science of learning, and which help develop 21st Century skills?

When we take a tech-driven approach, we often miss the subtle nuances of the powerful human experience. Take video conferencing, which is now a critical part of our daily work. The purpose of video conferencing is to chat and meet virtually. It wasn’t designed for structured, sequential learning experiences, as learning requires reflection, application and sharing. You can’t connect with people on the conference call or webinar after the webinar or even keep track of the conversations when the call is over. Video conferencing is useful for having virtual conversations at a predetermined time in a synchronous way. It’s not ideally designed for asynchronous communications; for example, watching 60-minute recorded webinars is not usually enjoyable or interactive.

So what is required to connect the dots that will enable participants to have an integrated experience – both synchronous and asynchronous – that better aligns with how humans naturally engage and connect with each other? Here are five tips for redefining the eway we use digital in a socially connected way.

1. Connect the various experiences together in an integrated experience and try to minimize people jumping from platform to platform. For example, at Gnowbe, we are helping connect webinars to virtual events to online courses to virtual workshops, all on one integrated platform so that the individual’s experience is digitized, captured in one place and easily referenceable in the future.

2. Encourage relationship-building and connecting with fellow learners by embedding conversations within the context of the content and encouraging sharing and dialogue. Social connections are critical now more than ever with physical separation.

3. Create an inclusive environment in which everyone can participate. The power of tech is that if used properly, you can invite all to share their views digitally in ways that you can’t even do face-to-face given limited time.

4. Design content in agile ways. It may not be perfect the first time. Allow room for rapid creation and iteration. Find authoring tools that are easy to use and flexible. In order to make it even easier to author content, we launched a mobile, authoring tool to complement web-based authoring which now enables anyone to curate on-the-go.

5. Track, measure and refine. Keep track of the engagement and experiences of the individuals to further refine the content in agile ways.

With greater physical distancing, digital has now become a critical tool to enable social connections. Crisis creates opportunities to innovate. Before we jump to react, let’s take this opportunity to redefine digital using a more human-centered approach. Humanity calls for it.

During this time, we are offering anyone use of Gnowbe’s microlearning platform to amplify, track and measure COVID-related training and content to keep everyone safe. We have also launched free programs on infection prevention and business continuity planning in multiple languages. Please feel free to contact me personally at if we can be of service and help during this time.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Commission Vice-President Rehn exaggerates Eurozone’s growth prospects

Industrial policy: recommendations to support Europe’s leadership in six strategic business areas

Number of MEPs to be reduced after EU elections in 2019

5 ways to break down the barriers for women to access leadership roles

A Sting Exclusive: “On the road to Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement”, by Ambassador Katakami of the Japanese Mission to the European Union

AI can help us unlock the world’s most complex operating system – the human body

5 amazing schools that will make you wish you were young again

Healthcare guidance apps to professional’s continued education?

The world needs a circular economy. Help us make it happen

Victims of terrorism remembered

Banks cannot die but can be fined

The next generation is key for a European renaissance

UN appeals for international support as flood waters rise in wake of second Mozambique cyclone

UN expert calls for international investigation into ‘evident murder’ of Jamal Khashoggi

‘The clock is ticking’ on meeting the Sustainable Development Goals, says UN deputy chief

A Monday to watch the final act of a Greek tragedy; will there be catharsis or more fear?

Syrian Constitutional Committee a ‘sign of hope’: UN envoy tells Security Council

Coronavirus: Commission stands ready to continue supporting EU’s agri-food sector

Norway is returning Easter Island artefacts to Chile (Will Britain ever return the marbles to Greece?)

MWC 2016 Live: Mobile ad industry still waiting for “revolution”

Brexit casts a shadow over the LSE – Deutsche Börse merger: a tracer of how or if brexit is to be implemented

MWC 2016 Live: Roshan CEO opens up on Afghanistan challenges

EU Commission announces Safe Harbour 2.0 and a wider Data protection reform

Commission sets moderate greenhouse gas reduction targets for 2030

From Russia with love: Brussels and Moscow close to an agreement on Ukraine’s gas supplies

Sudan Prime Minister survives attempted assassination

Monday’s Daily Brief: WFP mulls ‘last resort’ Yemen aid suspension, top peacekeeping awardee announced, abuzz over Bee Day, Ebola threat ‘very high’

EU-U.S. Privacy Shield: Second review shows improvements but a permanent Ombudsperson should be nominated by 28 February 2019

Why helping cross-border commuters is key to fighting COVID-19

Future EU-UK Partnership: European Commission takes first step to launch negotiations with the United Kingdom

Emotional control and introspectivity in times of pandemic

Why economic growth depends on closing the interview gap

The Khashoggi affair: A global complot staged behind closed doors


EU-Turkey relations: EU considers imposing sanctions while Turkey keeps violating Cyprus’ sovereignty

What if Trump wins the November election and Renzi loses the December referendum?

Nicaragua crisis: One year in, more than 60,000 have fled, seeking refuge

Trump after marginalizing G20 attacks Europe and China where it hurts, brandishes currency war

EU-Ukraine Summit: moving forward together in solidarity

MEPs to prioritise environment and climate action in next long-term budget

In Libya, Guterres ‘deeply concerned’ by risk of fresh military confrontation, urges restraint

UN forum to bring ‘big space data’ benefits to disaster response in Africa

The 5 lessons from New York Climate Week to help us combat deforestation

More than four in 10 women, live in fear of refusing partner’s sexual demands, new UN global study finds

Poverty and social exclusion skyrocket with austerity

3 ways to use digital identity systems in global supply chains

EU leads the torn away South Sudan to a new bloody civil war

Gender parity can boost economic growth. Here’s how

Technology can help solve the climate crisis – but it will need our help

An open letter from business to world leaders: “Be ambitious, and together we can address climate change”

Cyclone Idai: UNICEF warns of ‘race against time’ to protect children, prevent spread of disease in flood-ravaged Mozambique

EU-US trade war? EU calls for logic while Trump’s administration is a loose cannon in a dangerous lose-lose situation for global prosperity

This AI outperformed 20 corporate lawyers at legal work

We spend half our time at work in meetings – and that’s not necessarily a bad thing

Is history a new NATO weapons against Russia?

How three US cities are using data to end homelessness

2013, a Political Odyssey: What future for Italy?

The jobs forecast is unsettled. It’s time for a reskilling revolution

The European Parliament fails to really restrict the rating agencies

UPDATED: Thousands flee fighting around Libyan capital as Guterres condemns escalation, urges ‘immediate halt’ to all military operations

More Stings?



  1. Great article. Your blog contains professional content, many thanks for that! This is exactly what I was looking for!

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s