As you know, I have written a lot about working from home and the future of offices. Much is written about the need to get back to offices for human interaction. I don’t make the connection between the two, I totally missed human interaction whilst I was working from home but that is not the same as being in the office. Think about people who work in call centres, they come into the office wear a headset and maybe spend maximum of 30 minutes a day talking to colleagues and then go home. That is not real human interaction. What I miss is the coffee chat, the collaboration meeting, the lunch meeting, the evening chat in the wine bar etc. I have made many business friends over calls and videoconferences, people I may never meet due to travel restrictions or geography but they are an important part of my network. Maybe I am old fashioned but physical interaction matters to me. But here is the thing; I am a natural extrovert (get my energy from others), I love being with people but we are not all the same. Introverts need space and time to think, people with certain disabilities need special thought, and it’s easy to confuse office banter with inclusive conversations. How often do you see ‘the lads’ chatting incessantly about sport. Look around - see who is not engaging. Ask your self why? Change the dialogue! Let’s find new and interesting ways to engage - don’t fall into the trap of believing the office is the only solution.
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