These days I am having loads of conversations with people without actually seeing anyone. Yes, I see their image on the screen and I can hear their voice but it is not the same. I want to be next to them because that is what being human is all about, the social interaction.
But we know these are difficult times. As long as the actual virus or the threat of COVOD-19 is swirling around the ether then business as we know it is not going to be the same. Indeed nothing may be the same. Will school children want to go back to school when much of what they do can be done online? Will students want to go back when their lectures are available in digital format? Will we want to go back to a factory if machines can do everything managed remotely from the comfort of your suitably ergonomic armchair?
Without wishing to be a cracked record (remember them?), this is a subject that has been occupying a lot of my time recently. I am convinced that only part of the reason we go to work is to work. The rest is to belong, to interact and to create. Real innovation is a team sport.
We are in a new paradigm and we should plan to get the best out of it. As I have commented many times, when businesses are moving to a new building they think of the work spaces first and the social spaces later. It should be the other way around. Social spaces are where the company of tomorrow is moving forward. The work spaces are where the company of today delivers the goods.
We should be taking this time to think about how we socialise in the new paradigm, not how we deliver things. Crack that and you will have it sorted.
Focus on the social space first.