I read an article recently about the pandemic, and how because of our greatly increased bandwidth, employers everywhere have realized that it’s just not that important for employees to be in the office. Zoom and other virtual meeting platforms have taken the place of in-person meetings, and office buildings, especially in New York City, could very well remain largely unoccupied, even after COVID-19 is under control.
I really hope this isn’t the case.
See, I’m that strange person who loves meetings. I love gathering over food and drinks and combining professional relationships with business pursuits. I do my best brainstorming when I’m working directly with others. Of course, I’ve also been blessed with amazing coworkers at my past few jobs, and I’ll admit, working with people you don’t like does make meetings a lot less tolerable. But yeah, you’ll never see me post the meme complaining about meetings that could have been accomplished in a 2-line email.
Give me a meeting, and I’ll probably bake some pumpkin chocolate chip cookies to share with everyone.
No matter how great our bandwidth, no matter how much can be accomplished virtually, computer screens will never take the place of actual human interaction. Ask any traditional teacher right now, and I’m sure they’ll tell you the same thing about working with kids. Even those who are introverts (or, like me, just occasional introverts) need face-to-face contact.
And you don’t have to wear blue-light glasses at actual meetings, either, so there’s that.
I know we still have a long way to go before we’re on the other side of this thing. I’m all for good things coming out of this pandemic. But continued isolation, particularly as employees, sure isn’t one of them.