Unprecedented levels of hybrid work seem likely to persist beyond the pandemic conditions that revolutionized employers’ attitudes toward flexible working arrangements. Even as offices have reopened, many employees are loath to give up the benefits of working from home at least some of the time. But some two years into what has been an unplanned global experiment in remote work, the costs of that approach are coming into sharper focus. While employees appreciate saving time, shedding the stress of commuting, and having more flexibility to balance work and personal demands, remote work has downsides that go beyond domestic distractions and blurred work-life boundaries. In particular, the quality, frequency, and nature of interactions change when colleagues are physically remote and there is less dynamic, spontaneous communication. Neuroscience research has found that only in-person interactions trigger the full suite of physiological responses and neural synchronization required for optimal human communication and trust-building, and that digital channels such as videoconferencing disrupt our processing of communicative information. Such impoverished virtual interactions can lead to static and siloed collaboration networks, workers with a diminished sense of belonging to their organization, and social and professional isolation. Long before COVID-19, these issues led some to question whether the large-scale practice of remote work would create a society devoid of social connection, lacking communication skills, and less able to develop meaningful relationships.
TALLAHASSEE, FL – Advanced Manufacturing International (AMI) has been awarded a $2M grant