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Communications and Trust

Over on Parknews.biz there’s a great article on the differences we can expect in office culture in the next decade. There are five areas of concern, but I would like to focus on the two mentioned in the headline above.

The article said that communications skills would become problematic, primarily due to the way offices are designed. The socalled “open plan” where everyone sits in bull pen like cubicles and wear noise cancelling headphones to keep their sanity also means that staff members will have a tendency to text or email the person sitting next to them rather than simply tap a shoulder and ask a question.

That change from verbal to electronic communications is deadly, as it prevents the practice we get in normal verbal communications and we develop an entire generation of people who simply can’t talk to one another. Clarity is gone. And we become afraid of actually speaking to one another. Yikes.

Likewise the advent of AI and Machine Learning means that very little employees do will not be exposed to sunlight and the boss’s overview. Although that means that companies will be able to use data to increase productivity, it also means that the element of trust that develops between employee and employer will be at risk. Something to think about.

There are so many good things that come from the smart phone and technology, but we can also lose our ability to interact with those around us except through some high tech gizmo.

Just sayin…

JVH

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One Response to Communications and Trust

  1. Raymond Humbert says:

    Jim, I agree. I see the lack of social skills in younger works. However, that does not mean they cannot overcome that, even in a cubical working environment. It is up to management to devise social settings that gets people out of their chairs and into interaction situations. Community assistance at a food bank, or other outreach activities appeals to many younger workers. I can think back to my dad in a work softball or bowling league. Holiday parties or work (family included ) picnics are all ways to increase interaction. Go ahead and sponsor a chili cook-off, Halloween costume pot lunch, create a spirit team and give them a budget to work with. As many younger, (and older) workers are not comfortable making that first step, we as managers know that with a cohesive workforce, one with happy workers benefits us all. So we are the carriers of the torch. Get with it and invite me as I make a hell of a pot of chili.

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