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#WFH: What Are Your Online Touchpoints?

Transactional touchpoints are operational interfaces that impact how work gets done. These are the organizational charts, procedure manuals, business processes, operational diagrams, performance requirements or anything else that seeks to capture relationships of importance within the organization. This can be the basis for the actual touchpoints but the two should not be confused. Often, they are not the same. Transactional touchpoints include the organization’s business strategy, the political structures and the information systems. Transactional touchpoints include procedures and frameworks. Companies develop these in many ways. Frequently they are distinct to the organization, people, and market. These touchpoints are often entrenched in history and seldom examined.

Actual touchpoints are the interfaces that really happen. These are the interactions between leaders and workers, workers and workers, worker and the organizational infrastructure, and workers and their performance tasks. These are the real interactions. Vicarious touchpoints are actual touchpoints that are observed from a distance. Actual touchpoints are the procedures and processes we really experience, both the good and not so good.

Touchpoints affect the emotional, mental and physical wellbeing of the virtual worker. They can be very supportive and provide reassurance or very disruptive and contribute to stress and anxiety. There can be too many or not enough touchpoints. They can be restrictive or supportive and imagined or real. The challenge is to establish touchpoints that both support the virtual worker and meet the business objects. Although flexibility, responsiveness and connections are important, what really matters in the virtual workplace is results.