Housed-In and Zoomed-Out
This week I’ve had the pleasure of attending the The Wharton Club of DC’s 2021 “Wharton DC Innovation Summit”:
“Innovation Leadership in a Post-Pandemic World” using a virtual format.
The list of speakers and topics is impressive.
- Future of Healthcare
- Future if the Longevity Economy
- Fintech Panel
- Career Reinvention & Propulsion Workshop
- Much more
As the title says it is being held this year again as a Virtual event. As you might expect from Wharton Alumni, the presentations and production are first class. All done on Zoom with side chat for one-to-one, one-to-everyone and Q&As.
Yet there is no doubt that while the event is most worthwhile, the attendees would I’m sure be keen to meet in person. The ability to meet and greet still remains the best way to share ideas and encourage discussion. But Zoom we must.
Yet it raises the question as to whether we are Zoomed-out. We’ve been house-bound in many respects such as working from home for so long now that we are all suffering from “remote fatigue”.
I was chatting the other day with the Head of Underwriting at a local reinsurance firm and the comment was “the four walls have gotten tiring, I miss talking to colleagues, meeting with brokers/clients etc. Miss the office camaraderie, water cooler chat etc. I can only take social activity in small doses so will value the future flexibility of working from home part of the time.”
Having said that though, there is a growing feeling that working from home has its benefits — for all sorts of domestic or family reasons. Maybe talking to the dog every day face-to-face does have its usefulness.
In fact, the notion that we do one week in the office, one week at home is catching on.
It certainly did take a while to get into a routine, but the “house-boundedness” (is that a word?) isn’t so bad after all. Telephone, laptop, and yes Zoom is actually a functional combination to get the work done. And maybe wearing PJs all day comes into play as well of course.
So, where do we go from here?
The way we run our businesses has changed. Yes we like the face-to-face contact but frankly if we can develop a regular routine, we may find that this so-called “new normal” ain’t so bad after all.
What we save on gas we use for more electricity and as long as we refrain from sojourns to the cookie jar every hour — and still maintain an exercise routine as well — we may find this to be a more palatable lifestyle.
Time will tell.