I have always resisted the commonly held view that face to face is the best form of communication. It is possible to dissemble face to face, to wear a uniform that conveys authority, or to bully with shear presence. These are all harder online.
It is becoming clear that without the ability to catch someone in a corridor, glance meaningfully across a meeting table, or see someone visibly relax when you praise them, work life becomes harder.
Millions of people around the world are having to adjust to working online most of the time. Endless video calls, trying desperately to attract attention in chat groups, making assumptions based on poorly written emails. It is taking its toll.
We need to pay even more attention to each other’s needs, to be more aware of our impact, to be more compassionate in our new, distortedly connected, world.
3 thoughts on “It’s the little things”
So true. This morning I saw a tweet by Rachel Happe who saw this as a danger sign for organisations. It leads to more people retreating into their silos because there’s no place to “bump” into others. This then makes it impossible to build a culture.
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There’s so much grey on this topic and so little black and white. Some people love it. If you’ve got a spare room you’ve saved the mither of the commute. If you haven’t and you’re in a shared flat in London with strangers it could be an inner ring of hell. What I often find though is younger people struggle to learn from being in the same space as other more experienced people. They don’t get to see the colleague handling the awkward phone call or the daft request. The culture, in other words. The default culture is not learning or owning up to mistakes.
So true, or even being able to manage relationships with those “more experienced people” with a quiet word rather than “putting it in writing”.