Over a *Zoom conversation this week one of the things that came out was the question of whether offices open would again in the same way. A Zoom call about Zoom if you like! Indeed would schools be the same? All this online learning. Has it been beneficial? Can a Zoom call replace a teacher face to face with a class? Is the end result the same?
As far as offices are concerned,there could be fewer people at work at one time, therefore no need for such a large office, a possibility to downsize. Well of course! It would make economic sense wouldn't it? At the time of writing, fewer people in a building also makes medical sense too...
Environmentally it might also make sense with fewer people travelling to work (in cars at any rate) so well, why not?
Schools remain a hot bed of contention. Is learning the same via Zoom or an online platform? The chances are, if it is well monitored, teaching virtually has many benefits and is certainly efficient in delivering information and facts. However, as many are discovering, schools are about more than just passing on knowledge.
Reflecting on some of the things *Zoom has done:
Allowed families and friends to see each other - play quizzes, share birthdays etc
Fitness and exercise classes can go ahead - indeed...
...a Pilates and ballet teacher friend of mine said some of her clients were delighted to be doing this online as they would never dare venture to a class because they would feel too old/fat. One said being a male was stopping him attending a real class. :(
You don't need to travel to exercise, saving time and adding to motivation.
Zoom online learning has worked for another friend with a son who has ADHD He much prefers the focus it gives him. He can sit on his fit-ball and bounce around without bothering anyone else. He doesn't need to worry about fitting in to behavioural norms in the classroom.
Life can go on. Work can happen. Meetings and learning can be shared.
I'm fairly certain Zoom was responsible for this too.
So let's project a little into the future. (Oh please,can we?) When we are out of lockdown.
What will offices look like?
Will all meetings and conferences be online or via Zoom?
It would make economic and environmental sense.
Where is the human connection?
That's right, connection to other humans. It would be so easy to overlook this at the expense of downsizing, efficiency and keeping costs low. And yes, I know it may not be possible in the current climate, but I would say...bear it in mind for the recovery.
Imagine a Zoom conference.
You arrive a few minutes early. The screen tells you the host will let you when the meeting is ready to start. You are on mute, so no chit chatting to anyone else going to the same conference as you. The host lets you in. You can see the other people. You're all side-by-side face on. There's no profile. You can see their face, maybe shoulders.
Imagine a conference in a room with other (real) people i.e. not on a screen. You arrive a few minutes early, grab a drink and then sit next to someone. Conversations starts.
'Have you come far?'
'Fabulous shoes!' (Honestly I would say that).
'I've heard this speaker is great/inspiring/quirky...'
'What brought you here today?'
We miss the subtleties of communication and knowing people by only seeing part of them.
Some of the most important connections are made over (seemingly) trivial conversation. When the conversation isn't really about shoes or journeys but about communicating warmth and empathy and kindness and a genuine interest in the other person.
My N.L.P. training talked about this a lot and we observed all sorts of communication; the subtle non-verbal cues that we interpret, the shifts in movement and those small indications that you notice when you see and engage with the whole person, face to face.
So, in the not so distant future, when we are out of this and can move more freely and engage, I will use Zoom (or Skype or other meeting platforms) but I make my case strongly for a real face to face interaction.
And if you needed any reminder of just how important this is ,look at the first part of this video
In other news!
As the government has now relaxed some of the lockdown rules I am now able to meet clients again face to face! This would be as a walk and talk - on the Downs in Bristol.
Want to have a free face to face meeting to find out how we might work together?
get in touch!
Other platforms are available, of course but it does fit well with the blog title though doesn't it? :)