Generations have stopped talking face to face with one another thanks to advances in technology. Lunchtime conversations have been replaced with people “LOL-ing” and doing the “finger swipe” move. While these improvements were meant to make our jobs easier, they lack something very important – in person human interaction, especially at work. Below are some tips to help increase real communication for better workplace relationships.
Put the cell phone away when having a meal with others. The invention of the “portable” phone was really meant to be able to reach someone while they were away from the home or office in the event of an emergency. Now people are glued to them like a life support machine. One needs food and water to live, not a phone.
Staff used to stand around the water cooler and talk with one another on their breaks. Now they walk down the hallways of the workplace much like distracted drivers on the road. Break time is an opportunity to stretch, get a breath of fresh air and have a quick chat with a fellow co-worker in the break room.
Use technological opportunities as appropriate for the individuals. Some people prefer emails or text messages, while others like a short in-person meeting. Develop relationships using these guidelines to gain respect and acceptance.
Technology was meant to make lives easier, but not to take away from the human interaction that most people crave. Burying oneself in electronic devices has become so second nature that it seems like people have forgotten how to actually have a real conversation even though they may be in the same room with one another. Although it is fun to “LOL” at each other’s social media updates, consider powering down once in a while and walk over to the water cooler to have a chat.