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ZOOMING INTO COWORKERS’ LIVES IS REVEALING

In two short weeks our world has been turned upside down. And yet, even this crisis has its silver lining. It’s called Zoom.

Remote conferencing is hardly a new concept. Thanks to technology, meetings have been held business-to-business across states, and yes, oceans, now for quite some time. They usually originate in conference rooms, assembled with one’s team, all seated together. But work in the time of coronavirus cannot allow for any on-site seating – not even six feet apart.

As COVID-19 rages, Zoom’s user-friendly platform has fast become the go-to experience for a sense of normalcy. But I ask, how normal is it to see inside your boss and co-workers’ homes? What about that of a political pundit or host on national TV? And, here’s the bigger question. Do we even want to?

While social media has already made our lives seemingly accessible, Zoom conferences and interviews now feel reminiscent of the more relaxed workplace, symbolized by what was once known as Casual Friday. A relaxed dress-code in businesses made the workplace feel oddly familiar on days men would forgo a tie and women dressed down.

But if every day now is Social and Casual, is there an added allure when we get to Zoom in?

Everything You Did – and Didn’t – Want to Know During COVID19

Here, in no particular order, are things I have seen these last handful of days:

My colleagues’ adorable dogs

A teammate in her pajamas

The really good sandwich in my manager’s kitchen

Someone’s dad

Someone’s spouse

Someone’s roommate

French doors

Kelly Ripa when she does her own hair and makeup

Debi Mazar’s peacock-blue wall

The orange bath towel belonging to a rabbi at my temple

And here are the things I’ve noticed are amplified:

The commitment of each of my colleagues

The organizational skills that enable our company to run remotely

Personal responsibility to do the best for one’s clients

Camaraderie

An appreciation for working

The affection behind our team’s teasing

Pride

Our fundamental need to connect

How we sense we’re to be forever changed, but in ways don’t yet know

I don’t mean to cut this short, but we have a Zoom check-in meeting in five minutes, and I need to put on some lipstick and move my office from the bed to the couch. You don’t think I want everyone seeing me in my…. TMI, I know.

Stay safe! Be strong.

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