Yesterday, I had a LIVE coffee meeting with a Human Resources Leader. Tomorrow, I have a live breakfast meeting scheduled with a colleague and a late afternoon cocktail meeting scheduled with another Human Resources leader.
Are you vaccinated?
A question I never thought I would ask people . . . . . are you vaccinated? While the question itself is not one I was trained to ask, the follow-up questions are even more unusual . . . . . but important and timely.
- Which vaccine? (NOTE - it really doesn't matter - although the answer leads to interesting discussions.)
- How are you feeling?
- When is your two weeks up?
People want to meet
The coffee discussion yesterday was focused on this HR leader’s new position (from just over a year ago – bringing home the point of how long it had been since we last ‘met’). The conversation morphed to live meetings, going places safely, mask policies (indoor versus outdoor) and working with the public. While this person’s position is indeed global and she does not have any local coworkers, she desires people contact (besides her immediate family).
We are Zoom-tired
This is now a ‘thing’ . . . . . people are tired of Zoom. You are always ‘on’. It is hard to jump into a conversation – Zoom seems to be a linear communicator. Looking away is not polite. Getting up to pour coffee appears wrong or rude, even if the coffee is across the room you are in. And getting up may be an issue – are you wearing a Zirt (a Zoom shirt of blouse), but gym shorts on the bottom? And what message is sent if you are audio only?
While large employers have logistical challenges relating to getting hundreds (or more) employees into one tall building, most of our clients – small to medium businesses – are getting people back into the office. These employers may never again have people in the office on a fulltime basis (we have proved we can be productive working from anywhere), in-person collaboration days are now a ‘thing’ as well. And there was a recent article about a company declaring something called ‘Zoom-Free Fridays’.
As more and more of us receive our vaccine (I received the Moderna vaccine), we will see more people interaction. The pendulum will not fully swing back for some time (maybe ever), but we will become more productive and happier by being in person again.