Today's workplace is fully wired, always-on and untethered to geographical boundaries. We now have tools through which we can collaborate with people across the continent or even connect with colleagues we've never met. But as we scramble to increase productivity via technology, it's worth pausing to ask how these connective tools are affecting the way we interact.
Our 2014 State of Workplace Productivity survey uncovered a striking statistic: 65 percent of workers say that with the right technology, they'd happily skip in-person meetings entirely. And as the above infographic shows, face-to-face office interactions of all kinds get similarly dismissed as "time wasters." Nobody is arguing for more meetings, but in the race toward efficiency, are we creating a heads-down mentality that short-changes the importance of personal interaction? Could the modern office become a bunch of bodies hunkered down, preferring e-communication over actual conversation?
Look around your office: Is everyone wearing headphones, hunched over their computers? The implications of so much screen-only communication are yet to be determined — but anyone who's had a spontaneous brainstorm in the hallway or a tough conversation with a co-worker knows, intuitively, that old-fashioned face time can't be replaced.
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