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An Interview with Ph.D. Sarah Morrison-Smith regarding Challenges and Barriers in Virtual Teams

Transcription of interview with Ph.D. Sarah Morrison-Smith Ph.D. - Roman Family Teaching and Research Fellow Barnard College, USA.

Research and Development Department

Victoria Gálvez, Project Manager

Flavia Cáceres, Project Coordinator

Pablo López, Research and Development Coordinator

(July 12th, 2021)

Audio [Track 1]

00:17 Flavia Cáceres: Okay. So, I'll ask one more time. Are you okay with the interview being recorded and the later transcription of the recording for our use?

00:26 Ph.D. Sarah Morrison-Smith: Absolutely.

00:27 Flavia Cáceres: Thank you. So now, Pablo is going to explain the purpose of the interview.

00:38 Pablo López: Okay. Thank you, Flavia. Well, good morning again. My name is Pablo, and on behalf of our team, we would like to thank you for taking the time to join us today. We appreciate it. Today, we would like to discuss some topics related to remote working and global virtual teams. For that, we've crafted some questions to guide our conversation. So, before we start, please be sure that your insight is of great value to us. The information obtained here will be studied, analyzed, and used to create further knowledge based on your experience and expertise to support organizations in working better remotely. Having said that, let's start with the first question. So, we are Annexbox, and we are a remote team too. We know from experience that remote teams face different problems. For example, some people mention that communication is one of the biggest challenges that remote teams have. But we would like to know, in your experience, what have you identified to be the main challenges that teams experience while working remotely?

01:54 Ph.D. Sarah Morrison-Smith: All right, so one of the biggest challenges during the COVID pandemic, and in general, has been maintaining motivation without the motivational sense of the presence of others. When you work in a physical office, you're surrounded by coworkers, which often makes you more likely to feel like working on your project because you're surrounded by subtle social cues reminding you to work. We call this the social facilitation effect. That's kind of what I was seeing in my research, and it's definitely what I have been seeing anecdotally, from my colleagues and myself. It’s just maintaining that feeling of motivation when you're working from home.

02:36 Pablo López: Yes, I think motivation is always difficult. As you mentioned, it’s something that we are all struggling with while working remotely. Well, every challenge or difficulty has its solution. So we would like to know, what have you identified to be the main solutions that have impacted remote teams positively?

03:05 Ph.D. Sarah Morrison-Smith: For motivation, I recently did a paper on this. One thing that I found with motivation is having some sort of visual reminder that you're working and that your collaborators are working, to kind of prompt you to feel like, “Oh, they're working on this project. I should work on this too.” When I did this project, it was part of my dissertation. We installed a file tracker on everybody's machines and then visualized the amount of file activity they did. I'm bringing this up because I don't recommend that explicitly, as people found it to be a bit invasive. And what I found is that the amount of work somebody is doing doesn't translate how hard they're working, or necessarily translate how much project progress they're making. So, instead, what was beneficial was seeing when people are working. We did this with these ambient screens that had these little visualizations, that are kind of cute and helpful because we put them in the peripheral of people's workspaces. They weren't like, you know, dominating the workspace or interrupting their workflow at all. But they could just kind of visually see: “Oh, my collaborator has been working on this project a lot. I should work on it too”, or “Hey, I haven't worked on this particular project in a few weeks. I should work on it more because I'm behind.” So that's one potential solution, to have some sort of visual indicator showing how often or when people are working, especially when we have issues with time zones and asynchronous work. For example, you're in Peru and you may have collaborators working in Singapore. They're not going to be working at the same time as you, but to get that visual sense of like, “Oh so-and-so has been working on this project while I've been asleep, I should pick it back up and continue working.” That should be helpful.

05:14 Pablo López: Yes, that’s a way to track our tasks and our progress. I'm sure you have heard this saying that I heard a while ago: "One thing is to be busy and another thing is to be productive." So that's kind of what is happening here with motivation, right?

05:31 Ph.D. Sarah Morrison-Smith: Yes, absolutely. Here’s another thing I want to bring up that you touched on earlier. Historically, one of the key challenges to remote work is the lack of face-to-face communication. For business, this is a big problem because when you meet with somebody face to face, you have all those subtle social cues. Zoom has certainly helped in this regard because you get so much more information over Zoom, and then you do something like Slack or teleconferencing, which used to be the norm before the pandemic. With that being said, it's not a substitute for the real thing for a few reasons. One, because of lag. When you're just seeing somebody through a window, you miss stuff. Two, people tend not to pay attention during Zoom meetings to a degree that I don't think you would see in person. Somebody clearly has their email up, clearly has another document, clearly is talking to somebody else in the meeting through the chat, and you could tell when somebody is doing that. That's a challenge, to make sure that you have explicit communication because you miss something when you're over Zoom. Another thing is to make sure that you're able to communicate both synchronously and asynchronously. I think that's something we've been doing well as a society these days. We use something like Slack or Teams to communicate synchronously, and we're communicating asynchronously through email. And it wasn't that long ago that we didn't use it in the workplace, but now it's super common. You have the expectation that you can reach your coworkers during normal office hours, sometimes outside of normal office hours, which is problematic for a whole different reason. But yes, that would be the main solution, just facilitating face-to-face contact as much as possible and maintaining those open lines of communication both synchronously and asynchronously.

07:28 Pablo López: Okay, great. And yes, because that's an issue that we've also experienced. For example, the Zoom meeting problems, I can personally relate with that.

07:36 Ph.D. Sarah Morrison-Smith: Yes, absolutely. And I have a lot of meetings. We all have a lot of meetings. But ever since we switched to Zoom, it has been so difficult to engage because it feels like my coworkers aren't there. The temptation to do something else is really strong, and then sometimes somebody calls out your name, and you realize that you've missed what they've said. So yeah, if there was just like a way to be more present during Zoom meetings...

08:09 Pablo López: Yes. That's something you hear a lot, there's this lack of personal touch, personal feeling, you don't feel like you're talking with someone. Victoria, do you have a question?

08:23 Victoria Gálvez: Yes, please. So, this is related to the lack of prior-to-meeting interaction that happens as a result of using video conference platforms. You know how before face-to-face meetings, while setting up the seating arrangement, for example, there used to be small talk. I think that was something crucial that has gotten lost due to the virtual setting. And the reason why I feel small talk is important is that it helps to create bonds among coworkers, you step from the co-workers level to create a meaningful relationship with the people you work with. So I was wondering if you have heard, or maybe through experience, you have been able to implement some strategies that helped you create bonds in a virtual setting.

09:15 Ph.D. Sarah Morrison-Smith: Yes. I agree, that's extremely important, especially when trying to establish common ground between collaborators, trying to blend those social-cultural differences. What I've been doing in the classroom is facilitating smaller breakout rooms with room to chat. I've also heard of splitting students up into breakout rooms for just like the first five minutes of class, just to allow them to meet their classmates and have some of that small talk. I like to show up to Zoom meetings like five minutes early and then I do a little bit of small talk with my colleagues before we get started, and that helps us feel more engaged. Then another thing that my boss has been doing is asking us how we are and what's going on in our personal lives at the beginning of meetings, just to make us feel more connected.

Audio [Track 2]

00:00 Ph.D. Sarah Morrison-Smith: ...incorporating the culture of other people from other countries or different backgrounds because there's this whole “American way is the right way.” So, setting aside that ego, being flexible, learning to appreciate and incorporate aspects of the different cultures and just try to meet people where they are, which is easier said than done.

00:23 Pablo López: Absolutely. We actually have a specific question about culture. We can cover that right now since we're talking about it. Some people, for example, mention that cultural intelligence is important. You're going to encounter people from different countries, different cultures, and that's something that you need to be open to when working remotely.

00:42 Ph.D. Sarah Morrison-Smith: Yes. That's something that if you can address in the onboarding training process, you then have good explicit management. Explicit management is something that's kind of atypical to startup culture, right? Everybody is working in a startup because they like to be very independent. At least that's my perception from the people that I know who have worked in startups. So, explicit management. I'm not a training expert, but if you train your managers in some way to be sensitive and understanding of the fact that their workers may come from very different places, and not just like different places, but different backgrounds, it would be great. I think that being a project manager is more than just being the best engineer, it's also being a good people manager. That can help a lot. But when we start on a new company, we always do all those little training sessions with reminders, like everybody does the sexual harassment training and everybody does that DA training. Building it into your existing onboarding infrastructure helps. You're going to be working with people who have very different backgrounds, so here are some tips and techniques for getting along with somebody who doesn't think like you. That's not something that we learned in college that much, depending on where you go.

02:14 Pablo López: Yes. That also depends on everyone's personality.

02:17 Ph.D. Sarah Morrison-Smith: It does. And a lot of things are personality-based. I had a friend from college who had a job and got fired within three weeks because he wasn't a good culture fit. When you hire people, you feel out their personality. You don't just hire the best, most rockstar programmer that you can, you hire somebody who you feel is going to work well in a team or who will think about the company's well-being in addition to their own individual well-being. So, Victoria, do you have a question?

02:59 Victoria Gálvez: Yes. It’s about what you just said about hiring the right people, and how recruitment has also changed because of the virtual scenario that we are in right now. Which key points would you consider as the main difference? When you have to hire someone and you interview them online, how do you make sure that you are bringing in someone who is a right fit for your culture?

03:26 Ph.D. Sarah Morrison-Smith: I really don't know about that one, and I hesitate to make any guesses, especially since you're recording me. [laughing] That's not something I have a lot of experience with. I do hire students, so when I hire students, I do interviews with them. I've been doing a lot of virtual interviews because I work in a primarily undergraduate institution, and what that means is that I have students for roughly two, maybe three semesters, before they have to take some semester with a lot of courses, or they graduate, and they can't continue working with me. It can be tough to determine whether or not somebody is going to be a good fit. I like to build in a lot of extra time. When you're hiring, just try to be your most authentic self and, as much as you can, see how that reflects in the person. If you can see if that is making them nervous, do you feel like you're reaching them on a personal level? Do you feel like you can work together? And one thing that I do is to say, "This is my managing style. This is how I work with my students. This is how often you're going to see me. This is how often you're going to hear from me." And try to make those work cultural expectations clear during the interview. When you have an interview at a company, you're not just being interviewed, you're also interviewing the company to see if it's a good fit. So explain what your work culture is, and then see how their faces change. I get a lot of "That's great." Also, I'm flexible. If they need to meet with me more, we can meet more. If they prefer to be more hands-off, we can work with that, and if we have difficulties, we'll give it a shot for a few weeks. If we have difficulties, we'll touch back. So far, I haven't had a student who didn't work out for me for a while. The last time I had a student who did not work out for me, it was a graduate student. I had a much more limited pool, and it was different because I was trying to give as many people as possible the research experience, even people that I didn't know well. Now, I spend more than 15 minutes interviewing a person. I spend like an hour just talking to somebody, asking them what their career goals are, why they want to work with me, and how could I get them to where they need to be. And I just try to break through the initial nervousness that everybody has and try to reach it at a personal level. But I'm not a hiring expert. If we find somebody who's worked in HR for a long time, they may have tips and tricks that I don't because I've just hired students for short-term jobs.

07:13 Victoria Gálvez: But it's very useful what you said about setting expectations. I feel like sometimes we wait until we hire someone and then in our onboarding process we tell them, "Okay, so this is what we expect from you." And then sometimes something might change in them, like, "Oh, I didn't know this when I said yes to the job."

07:31 Ph.D. Sarah Morrison-Smith: Yes, especially right now, we’re transitioning from working remotely, fully remotely, to working more in-person. I tell my students, "I work from home one day a week, I don't expect you to work from home just one day a week, but I do expect to see you physically at least once a week. I do expect to be able to contact you between these hours. What time zone are you in? Can we work out a window?" I had a student last year who was in Hong Kong while I was in the Eastern time zone. So we met at 9:00 AM because that was 9:00 PM for her. Sometimes I met with her at 8:00 AM. But I just hate that feeling of when you've agreed to a job and then you find that there are all these things. I suggest telling people, "We're transitioning from remote to in-person work, but we have hybrid positions available." Or, "most people will be working two days from home and then three days in the office." Or, "you only have to come in once a month for all-hands meetings or you need to be here every day and we work nine to five." Set those expectations clearly, especially when working from home because there are a lot of people who have been working from home for the last year who don't want to go back to the physical office because they found that they can do it virtually. I would say out of all the cultural expectations, make it clear how often people can work from home. That is the number one question that I would have. I’d like to know how many days a week I can work from home or if I am expected to be in the office between nine and five. I wouldn't discard a job because of those things, but if I was choosing between two equal jobs, the flexibility of not coming in at 9:00 AM would be a big perk for me because I am a night owl. I do not function before 10:00 AM. [laughing]

09:48 Victoria Gálvez: Okay. Well, thank you for sharing.

09:54 Pablo López: Let's move on with the next question please, which we kind of covered already. But I wanted to ask you an additional question. Some people think that motivation and engagement are something that organizations should provide to their employees, but others think that motivation is something that you yourself are in charge of. So, I want to ask you, what do you think about that?

10:25 Ph.D. Sarah Morrison-Smith: I think it's both, but I think it primarily comes from the individual. I think that companies need to do some things to keep people motivated, and by that I mean, keeping those lines of communication open so that people don't feel like they're working in complete isolation. I've found that everybody was working from home in isolation. That's why so many people were getting depressed over the pandemic because they were feeling alone. And working for a company that is not checking in with you, where you feel you're not hearing from your coworkers, that can be very demoralizing and very demotivating. With that being said, we've all worked with people who just lack general motivation, maybe at school, maybe coworkers, but we've all seen, you know, the person who's just like Snorlax from Pokemon, a little too relaxed, maybe that's one way to put it. That comes from the individual, and there's only so much that you can do about that. I don't know what the solution is to work with somebody who's very relaxed. I hate micromanaging too. I hate to do those negated daily reports from you on what you've been up to in the last day. But sometimes with students, you have to do that. Also, when you work with students, as a professor working with a student, it's a very different dynamic. I wouldn't want to work that way. I would say a lot of it comes from the individual, having the executive function to work in an environment where you have to self-motivate. Those little tricks, like feeling your coworkers are working, that motivational sense in the presence of others. I didn't invent this, this came from some research in 2006, from Olsen and Olson who are the top of the computer-supported cooperative work field. This is an idea that has been around for a long time, but I think that it's been key in the last year.

13:20 Pablo López: That's a very big challenge for managers. We were talking about that. How do you recognize that when hiring people? How are you able to notice that someone is able to self-motivate?

13:36 Ph.D. Sarah Morrison-Smith: One thing that you can do, that is common in coding, and I would be very careful with this, is that you can have a small coding project or a small thing that people have to prepare before the interview. But you have to be careful about that because there have been instances of companies who will pose a coding project, a coding problem that's from their actual project, and then use it for free labor. So, you have to be really careful about that. I mean, everybody hates coding interviews too, right? I think that giving somebody the opportunity to work on some code in a natural environment could work. And by natural environment, I mean, with an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) instead of a whiteboard, and with the resources that you typically have when you are writing code, instead of from memory, because I think nobody likes writing code on a whiteboard, that's the worst thing ever. Another thing is asking them what projects they have completed. I have a friend who had a Github with all of his personal projects to show that he was self-motivated and that he liked to work on things. So, asking students what group projects they've worked on in class helps because typically we hire a lot of fresh undergraduates. For example, we ask: “What projects have you worked on and what was your role in the project? What did you do in addition to what the project was?” Portfolios show that you have the ability to carry out and execute a project. I have this class on contextual design, and I had the whole class work on this project explicitly so that they have something in their portfolio where they can show that they know how to conduct user research and that they can design a product from nothing. You can just ask what projects they work on in their free time or what they work on that isn't code. Maybe they're just like, “Oh, I play video games all day.” If you're working for a video game company, then that might be great.

16:20 Pablo López: That's really interesting. Looking for portfolios to identify their ability to self-motivate is an interesting approach.

16:37 Ph.D. Sarah Morrison-Smith: I had a student who's now working for Apple, and when he was preparing for his internship, he was like, “Professor Sarah, can I sit with you and show you my portfolio? Can I show you what I've done?” I think that portfolios are becoming more and more common in UX (User Experience), which is my area, human-computer interaction and usability. We need to make it more normal for people to put small projects, even stuff they do for fun, on Github. I work on stuff for research, but I used to play a lot of roller derby, and I worked on some applications for my phone to help with the penalty box on roller derby. That's not something I would necessarily bring up in a job interview unless I was asked what coding projects I do for fun. If people have other hobbies, like building furniture or what other things they do that show that they have a passion for something, and that they can work on our problem.

18:07 Pablo López: Thank you for that. We just have a couple of questions left, so let's please move on with the fifth question, which is related to skills that we kind of covered already, but I wanted to ask you about soft skills. I remember you mentioned that you probably wouldn't hire someone because they are the best engineers, but because they have the soft skills to work in the organization. So that's what I wanted to ask you. What do you think about soft skills?

18:58 Ph.D. Sarah Morrison-Smith: I think the biggest soft skill is just the ability to concisely and clearly communicate your ideas. That's one of the big ones. Also, I wouldn't want to hire somebody, personally, who had never worked on a group project before. I like to ask them what went well and what didn't go well or what they would do differently because I guarantee you that in every group project something doesn't go well. And there's no such thing as a perfect group project. We’ve all had collaborators who are not team players. They're very in it to win it for themselves. See if you can identify somebody who's going to be a team player, and I dislike that term because it’s one of those buzzwords that everybody goes like, “Oh yeah, I'm a team player. I can, you know, talk about this in my interview.” But if you want somebody who plays nice with others, you can get that by asking them: “Can you tell me a time where you worked at a team or group?” Or even team sports are a great example of teamwork that has nothing to do with work but still demonstrates the ability to work with other people.

20:29 Pablo López: And that also relates to what we were talking about: Portfolios. You can show your projects and describe how many people were there, what you were in charge of, etc.

20:49 Ph.D. Sarah Morrison-Smith: I also have some notes about things that individuals can do to be more productive if you're interested in that.

21:01 Pablo López: Absolutely.

21:03 Ph.D. Sarah Morrison-Smith: There are a few things that I found that can help with this. For example, having a designated workspace gives you subtle cues that you should be working. It's the same reason why you're not supposed to watch TV in bed. Not just because of the blue screen, but because you're associating your bed with being awake and focusing, instead of relaxation. Also, having consistent set work hours as if you were physically going into the office and building that routine, feeling like it's work time, not playtime, can help. And, when you're working from home, it's super easy to feel like you should be working all the time because there are suddenly no barriers between your work time and your playtime. This can lead to burnout, which negatively affects productivity. So, it's just as important to carve out time for yourself. I don't know how it is in Peru, but in America, that's something we struggle with a lot because there's this feeling that you should be working all the time, that hustle culture. Then, there's also a lot of productivity techniques that work well. I find that one of the things that works the best for me is what's called Pomodoro. The most difficult thing for any task is getting over the initial hurdle of getting started.

22:16 Pablo López: The first step.

22:18 Ph.D. Sarah Morrison-Smith: Yes, the first step. So, I like to break things down into the smallest possible step, even if it's just open my IDE (Integrated Development Environment). And then I'll tell myself, “Work on this for 15 minutes and then you get a half-hour of Netflix.” And I'll find that, as soon as I start, I would get in the groove and won't want to stop.

22:51 Pablo López: It's just that first step you need to take.

22:58 Ph.D. Sarah Morrison-Smith: Yes. I actually just moved to Brooklyn so that I have an office. And my calendar is 10 to 5 working hours, and I literally fill out all my calendar. I'm going to work on this, I have this meeting, I have a teaching session, I have this task, I have that task. Then, once I'm done with those tasks for the day, I leave the room and I don't come back. I go sit on my couch with my laptop if I'm going to play games or browse Facebook. And I realize that not everybody has the resources to have a two-bedroom apartment, but just a corner of your bedroom will do, where you have a desk, and that's where you sit and you work. Just carve out a little bit of space so that you can be in the zone.

24:19 Pablo López: Or even the tabs you have opened. That works for me, for example.

24:24 Ph.D. Sarah Morrison-Smith: Yes.

24:26 Pablo López: When I'm in work mode, I have some tabs open related to work. But if I open Instagram or Twitter, I start browsing, and my mind is like, “You're not working now, so let's just relax.” Thus, even the tabs you open affect you a lot.

24:43 Ph.D. Sarah Morrison-Smith: I use a task manager. It's an experimental tab manager through Carnegie Mellon. I got it by doing a user study with them because I happen to know people at this institution. So, I volunteered to do this study, and it is amazing. It allows me to organize my tabs in a way that is very visual and makes sense to me. I can go to my research folder, and if I am working on a particular paper, see all the tabs related to that paper and open them all at once. I'll have my overleaf and the last few papers I've been reading, but no Facebook, no Discord. I think that can be a really good strategy. 25:59 Pablo López: It helps a lot. Well, I think we should move on with our last question. It's related to your work. We would like to ask you, what are your suggestions for people who wish to continue with your research on challenges and barriers in virtual teams? What have you identified that is still missing in the literature?

26:26 Ph.D. Sarah Morrison-Smith: As I mentioned before, this research was actually conducted before the pandemic. I finished it right when we were entering lockdown. Since then, remote work has become a commonplace to a degree that I believe it has never been before. I would even say that right now it is the norm to work at home, unless you are an essential worker. This increases the potential to uncover new problems and test cooperative work technology on an unprecedented scale. I expect to see and I look forward to reading more studies looking at remote work. Now that everyone has gone through this period of working remotely, I would like to see some retrospectives on what we learned over the past few years. I don't think that it's over yet. The pandemic part may be winding down, but I think that we're entering into a new era with regards to social norms and remote work. I'd love to see some retrospectives. I'd love to see some case studies on how individual teams applied strategies to stay productive, and I'm tempted to write a paper in five years that looks back at the explosion of remote work in relation to everything that I talked about before the pandemic. What has changed since this paper? Because this paper that I wrote was a review of the last 30 years about computer-supported cooperative work. And I feel like it's just like an explosion of remote work that just gives so many opportunities.

28:42 Pablo López: Yes, and it's here to stay. People are going to keep working remotely. Teams are going to keep growing remotely.

28:49 Ph.D. Sarah Morrison-Smith: Yes. We have demonstrated that it can be done, right? There are so many organizations that are resistant to the idea of remote work, and we have demonstrated that, to a certain degree, it can be done. And there's another aspect to this. There are a lot of people who, because of disability, really need to work from home and have been told in the past that that's not feasible. We have now demonstrated that you can work from home and be effective. I'd like to see how our perceptions of people with disabilities, who need to work from home, change and how our workplaces become more inclusive in that way because I feel like hiring managers don't have any excuse now, after all, we've all been doing it.

29:52 Pablo López: So, remote working for people with disabilities. That's interesting. We've never heard something like that.

29:57 Ph.D. Sarah Morrison-Smith: Yes. It's not something that you hear about unless you know a lot of people who are disabled. I have a friend that does almost exclusively social justice and disability-related work within the field of HCI (Hyper-converged infrastructure). I focus on accessibility in education, but they do all the social justice stuff. And it exposed me to issues that I wouldn't normally hear about, which is why I'm trying to bring it to the classroom and allow students to learn about how technology can affect disability before they go off into the workplace and make technology that is not accessible.

30:55 Pablo López: Yes. Well, that's interesting. Working remotely for people with disabilities.

31:06 Victoria Gálvez: I agree. It's such a great advantage that has just been overlooked. We usually mention a lot of benefits for remote work, but I don't think we have considered this one before.

31:19 Pablo López: Right. So those were all the questions we had for today. Again, thank you so much for your time.

31:25 Ph.D. Sarah Morrison-Smith: Absolutely. Thank you, please keep in touch with me and let me know if anything that I have said has been helpful.

31:40 Victoria Gálvez: Yes, you will definitely hear from us. And as for your future research plans, please feel free to contact us in case you want to study our team because we have been a virtual team, fully remote, from the beginning. So, if you are interested, we will be very glad to participate.

32:05 Ph.D. Sarah Morrison-Smith: Cool. Definitely noted. So, how are you planning on analyzing this qualitative data that you gathered from me?

32:16 Pablo López: We're coding this.

32:19 Ph.D. Sarah Morrison-Smith: Okay. So I've been working on this system for affinity diagramming, which is kind of similar to coding, except when you code you think of the themes as you do it, it's still a merchant from the ground up. Affinity diagramming is a more formalized method for ensuring that your themes are grounded in data. We're actually working on a system to use natural language processing to identify clusters of related data so that they can be grouped, and those themes can emerge in a way when you have interview data from a thousand people. Finally, one last thing I want to mention about the transcription is, I have a student who just wrote a blog post recently where she did a comparison of different automatic transcription services that you may be interested in, and I can send you the link. Let me find it. I make my students write blog posts because it's good for them to have technical writing skills, and it gives people a reason to look at our website. So we started using this one called Transcribe me, but she did like a comparison of accuracy and price and everything. It was an actual experiment where she took a passage of texts, read it out loud, then did different transcription services, and calculated the error rate on all of them. So obviously you don't have to use any of this, but, it just might be something that you'd be interested in because you're going to be transcribing.

34:27 Pablo López: Thank you for this. We'll be looking into it. This will help us a lot. Well, we hope we can see you on another occasion. We will be in touch.

34:39 Ph.D. Sarah Morrison-Smith: Excellent. It was great meeting you. I'm glad I could help. Have a good rest of your day.

34:49 Pablo López: Thank you. Bye.

—End of Interview—


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