GNS-Jeff Willinger-Future of Work with Barbara Rozgonyi

What is the future of the way we’ll communicate at work?

Thanks to Jeff Willinger for joining me to talk about what’s next at work on the latest episode of Growing Social Now! If you attended any Social Media Club Chicago events, you’ll recognize Jeff – and me!!

Together with the board we hosted over 60 events. WOW! In 2023, we’re celebrating 15 years since SMC Chicago’s first-ever meet-up. Thanks to everyone who helped out, presented, served, attended, and shared all the SMC Chicago goodness. It’s always fun to catch up with Jeff and talk about old times, current trends, and of course we gazed into the future crystal ball. Is all we see AI? Nope! Listen in for an entertaining chat that includes shoutouts to SMC Chicago members, Taylor Swift, and of course, Pickelball.

Workplace collaboration has come a long way since the early days of social networks.  The rise of digital technology, along with the integration of AI-powered tools like Microsoft Teams, transformed the way we connect, communicate, and collaborate.

In the latest episode of the “Growing Social Now” podcast, I [Barbara Rozgonyi], sat down with my great friend and fellow Social Media Club Chicago founder Jeff Willinger to delve into the past, present, and future of workplace collaboration.

Jeff is a Microsoft MVP, Digital Experience Director at Withum, and workforce technology trailblazer [as well as a former Growing Social Now guest],  Thanks to Jeff for taking a break from speaking at 365 & PWR EduCon – Microsoft 365 & Power Platform Training Conferences in Chicago to talk about future trends!

Socializing the Future of Work with AI, Culture, Leadership, and Microsoft with Jeff Willinger

Socializing the Future of Work with AI, Culture, Leadership, and Microsoft on Amazon Music

Socializing the Future of Work with AI, Culture, Leadership, and Microsoft on Apple Podcasts

Socializing the Future of Work with AI, Culture, Leadership, and Microsoft on iHeartRadio


The Blend of Physical and Digital Collaboration

One of the key takeaways from our discussion is the growing trend of blending physical and digital collaboration. Jeff believes that this fusion will define the future workplace. Tools like Microsoft Teams have played a pivotal role in enabling this shift. Whether you’re working on-site or remotely, you can seamlessly join brainstorming sessions via Teams’ video conferencing feature. But what truly sets this approach apart is the integration of AI assistants like Microsoft 365 Copilot.

AI Assistants and the Power of Microsoft 365 Copilot

Did you know Forrester Research predicts that 6.9 million US knowledge workers will be using Microsoft 365 Copilot in 2024?

Launched in 2022, Microsoft 365 Copilot is Microsoft’s AI assistant that has the potential to revolutionize the way we conduct meetings. Using voice recognition, Copilot captures and summarizes key decisions and follow-up tasks during meetings, eliminating the need for manual note-taking. This automation not only boosts productivity but also ensures that important action items are not missed.

It’s important to note that the goal of AI assistants like Copilot is not to replace human workers but to complement their efforts. By taking care of routine tasks, AI frees up employees to focus on more strategic and creative aspects of their work.

Company Culture Remains Central to Employee Engagement

While technology continues to advance, Jeff emphasized that no technology can succeed in isolation. Company culture, fostered by effective leadership, is central to engaging employees and unlocking their potential. Jeff shared his experience at Withum, where the company’s vibrant culture is built on community, fun, and giving back.

Check out Withum’s 2023 culture video . . .

Thoughtful onboarding and training are essential in cementing the employee experience. According to Jeff, digital transformation is 80% about culture and 20% about technology. The right workplace community enhances the value of tools like Microsoft Teams.

The Evolving Social Media Landscape

As pioneers in the early days of social media and co-founders of Social Media Club Chicago in 2008, Jeff and I have seen significant changes in the social media landscape. While platforms like Twitter and Facebook were once dominant, Jeff now focuses on LinkedIn for professional networking and Instagram for visual content. The shift towards easily digestible updates and visual content on platforms like Instagram and TikTok is evident.

In summary, while technology will continue to advance, the fundamentals of culture and communication remain constant. Companies that embrace this blend of technology and culture are poised to shape the future of work.

I hope you’ll listen in and explore the evolving landscape of workplace collaboration in this enlightening fireside chat. Learn about the power of AI assistants like Microsoft 365 Copilot, the significance of company culture, and the changing dynamics of social media in the workplace.

About Jeff Willinger, Collaboration Technology Trailblazer

Jeff Willinger is a Microsoft MVP award winner recognized globally for his expertise in collaboration platforms, social networking, intranets, and the digital workplace. With over two decades of experience, he is a sought-after advisor on technologies like Microsoft 365 and SharePoint. Jeff specializes in guiding companies on IT strategy, content management, boosting employee engagement, and creating seamless digital work environments. He is known for his vibrant persona and passion for building community, both in-person and online.

In the early 2000s, Jeff was among the first pioneers to use social media for professional networking. As President, he helped grow Chicago’s Social Media Club into one of the world’s largest and most influential chapters. Today, he continues advocating for technology that puts people first as Digital Experience Director at Withum.

Connect with Jeff Willinger on LinkedIn
Jeff Willinger at Withum


About the Podcast Host: Barbara Rozgonyi, Communication Innovator

Barbara Rozgonyi, founder of CoryWest Media, is an accomplished entrepreneur, speaker, trainer, and podcaster. She specializes in PR, marketing, and digital communication, working with major brands to Fortune 50 companies. Known as one of the original social media thought leaders, Barbara began using platforms like LinkedIn for business in 2005. She launched her award-winning blog in 2006 and co-founded Social Media Club Chicago in 2008, working with Jeff and the board to quickly make it an international top chapter.

Barbara is also an early pioneer in intranet platforms, helping develop one of the first for a Fortune 50 corporation in the 1990s. She saw early on how digital tools could transform workplace communication and teamwork. Now, through her podcast “Growing Social Now,” Barbara showcases today’s top minds who are shaping the future of communication and work. Connect with Barbara Rozgonyi on LinkedIn

Socializing the Future of Work with AI, Culture, Leadership, and Microsoft Key Takeaways

  1. New technologies will enable a fluid mix of in-person and digital collaboration in the workplace moving forward.
  2. AI tools like Microsoft’s Copilot will enhance productivity by automating administrative tasks like note-taking.
  3. However, the culture established by leadership remains crucial for engaging employees and unlocking potential.
  4. For personal social media, bite-sized content on networks dominates.
  5. In summary, while technology will keep advancing, the fundamentals of culture and communication remain constant. Companies that embrace this blend will shape the future of work.

Follow the conversation on the #futureofwork, #socialmedia, #leadership, #microsoft, #employeeengagement, and #AI. Stay updated on the latest trends in workplace collaboration and join the journey of reshaping the way we work and communicate when you subscribe to Growing Social Now wherever you like to listen to podcasts.

How are you evolving work at your organization?