One of the unlooked for outcomes of my current job is how little I actually talk to people now.
My company is small and split between two sites. Turns out everyone is quite busy and as a result, there is little social interaction. Oh, there is the general morning greetings and occasional sharing of information but no more lengthy exchanges. There is no break room so most everyone eat alone in their workspaces.
My own interactions, for the most part, are limited to three items: the morning greetings, interacting with my manager, or fielding questions from my direct reports. This is a far cry from what my previous job was and (that I can remember) almost any job I have had before.
On the one hand, it makes for a productive day. Even our meetings are kept to a minimum. As a result, there is plenty of time to get work done. It makes for a productive atmosphere.
On the other hand, there is probably (I am guessing) not a lot of social building outside of work. Really, we are all just people that share a space to work at. That I can tell to this point, there is little development of relationships beyond that of work.
How do I feel about this? Ambivalent for the most part. Love the ability to be productive, not quite so much a fan of the isolation. Still on the fence as to whether, on the whole, this is a good thing.
It does give me thought towards the future. I often complain that I do not care for social interaction all that much, but find that actually having not that much for long periods of my day is little hard – can I imagine myself living an even more isolated lifestyle where the amount of social interaction is truly almost zero?
In a way it is sort of retro to pre-Interweb (if you can remember back that far), when friends were only those that you could reach by phone, in person, or by letter. I did not necessarily work during all of those years but I do remember being a lot more involved in the lives of others than I currently find myself.
I wonder (in my off moments) if we are rapidly coming back to this time - not from a dearth of technology (Heavens knows we have enough of it now) but from the general malaise of not only this election cycle but this societal norm - where we are simply going to communicate with others less and less in general. Or perhaps it simply be a move back towards communicating with those who share our values - either from a desire to avoid the aggravation factor, a desire to avoid arguments, or simply the fact that we value what time we have actually communicating with those we care about, not worrying about our words for the consumption of strangers.
It makes me wonder - is this just a hard adjustment for me or a harbinger of things to come?