Let’s Swap Some URL for More IRL
Posted on October 25, 2023 at 10:30 am | Organizational Development
We’ve recently overhauled the ISI Consulting website, and in the process, I’ve become very familiar with the term URL. It stands for Uniform Resource Locator and refers to a particular address – a website or even a particular page or form or photo – on that marvelous thing previously known as the World Wide Web. (As in www.sharpertogether.com, anyone?) Over the past three years, we’ve all spent more and more time in URL world , as we moved from in-person work to virtual meetings to a hybrid work environment. It’s been a monumental shift, and employers and employees, sociologists and psychologists alike have noticed some profound changes.
Our attention spans are shorter. Our people skills have faded. Work/life boundaries have blurred, sometimes leaving us with the sense that we’re always at work. New hires don’t know their colleagues and often struggle to grasp the organization’s culture. It’s harder to have those casual peer-to-peer chats in a virtual world. And finally, it can be difficult to mentor or be mentored by a colleague when you seldom see each other in person.
Now, I’m not dismissing the joys of URLs. After all, where else can you take a tour of one of the world’s greatest art collections, watch the goofy antics of baby owls, and buy a nifty new coffee maker, all from the comfort of your couch? Seriously, though, virtual work has had some profound benefits for all of us. We’ve saved time – and tempers – by avoiding a stressful commute every day. Parents appreciate the ability to take their kids to sports and school activities and still finish up work later. We can gather colleagues from across the country for a meeting without ever having to face the specter of airport lounges and cancelled flights. And let’s be honest…stretchy pants are really comfortable.
I do, however, think we ought to spend more time IRL. That’s In Real Life for those who don’t keep up with the latest acronyms. Real people in real rooms creating real accomplishments. We need strategic face-to-face meetings where we can tackle issues and hammer out solutions. We need those in-person team building exercises that strengthen bonds and create true culture. We need to ensure diverse perspectives are brought to the table and everyone’s voice is heard. We need the creativity and insight that come from real people working together.
None of us has time to waste on wasted meetings. At ISI Consulting, we want to help you make the most of your time, whether it’s IRL or virtual. We’d love to chat with you about your organization and how we can work together to accomplish your goals, so give us a call.
Holly Hayes, President & Founder
PS – Check out our updated Organizational Development section on our website.