We have spent the past two years working and co-producing online. While this shift has brought with it many benefits, there is also a sense of loss in terms of the ways in which we interact with one another. We’ve lost the incidental conversations on the edges of events or meetings, the kind that aren’t scheduled or even necessarily focused directly on productivity. Now that we have broadly adapted to the practical side of working online, we turn our thoughts to the human implications of being remotely and digitally connected – and how we can mitigate the downsides.
This is part 1 of 4.
Thinking outside “the box”
One way to carry out face-to-face interactions safely in a time of pandemic, with adequate social distancing and ventilation, is to have meetings outdoors (weather permitting of course). This is something schools have been doing since they reopened, taking classes outside and doing as much learning as possible in the fresh air. Can we take a page out of their book and replicate this approach in work places? Is there a lack of available space to do this in, or have we just not given the idea enough attention and thought?
After many of us became more connected to the benefits of being outdoors during lockdown, it would be a shame to lose this newfound appreciation for our external surroundings.
While logistically this may be more difficult for larger groups of people, it is not impossible – hearing loops could be used to ensure everyone is able to hear each other. There may be concerns around confidentiality and privacy for some meetings, and whether meeting outdoors might cause a disturbance for others. But they could also lead to the breaking down of barriers, welcoming in curiosity to decisions and discussions that normally take place behind closed doors.
Next post: Being humans in digital spaces
This post was informed by the discussion at the #CoproMondays members’ event held online on 10th January 2022. Our #CoproMonday sessions are fluid discussions with members, prompted by a series of questions or thoughts, where participants contribute their experience and knowledge, and learn from one another. Recordings are available if you’re a member or champion and you would like to catch up on the session content (email email@example.com). Our thanks to all those who participated.