The “Roland” Effect

We have been reading plenty of articles recently around the art of conversation and the continuing debate as to whether our tech heavy lives are impacting our real time relationships and our ability to communicate face to face. With two boys sharing our home space, it is a hot topic and one which is forever evolving.

One article documents the increasing  dilemma we have over the social consequences of our device dependence written by Sherry Turkle in The Atlantic, an interesting read whichever side of the fence you sit on.

Here in an office filled with computer screens churning out emails, plans & building designs alongside phones ringing and the day to day hum of an office environment, it took an “intruder” and our office manager, Liz Harris, to offer up a question around our reliance on technology within our creative space…over to you Liz…

Isn’t it funny how each day the staff come in with a grunt or a nod of good morning, we all sit at our desks and turn on the monitors and away we go all engrossed in our own little cyber worlds of emails, phone calls and work, barely peering up from our screens?  Lunchtimes (pre-tech) used to be spent deep in conversation with other colleagues either about work or our private lives, now we all spend time surfing the world of social media learning what your friends and colleagues are doing without even engaging with them.

This week the strangest thing happened, at the start of each day there has been a buzz of excitement, each member of staff asking after Roland engaging with one another, displays of teamwork in the search for him and the clearing up of his overnight activities. 

The coffee machine is the place you usually stand looking at the same labels deliberating over whether to treat yourself to a latte or hot chocolate. Not this week, it’s been a new meeting place, chatter from everyone at times spilling out on to the landing, each of us having their own little story to add, tales of old and new, giggles of laughter sometimes so missed from the workplace.  

The office has erupted with conversation and an enthusiasm that is sometimes misplaced with the everyday routine, I sit at my desk and laugh to myself… see, we had a “visitor” this week who has brought something to the office environment that gets so easily lost – the art of communication. With the use of text, messenger and email the art of general conversation is rapidly disappearing from our world…who on earth would have thought something so simple would have the effect Roland has had on us. 

 I can hear you all thinking what on earth is Roland?  Well, unfortunately Roland is a rat who decided to escape the changing seasons and find a nice warm office to live in……our nice warm office!  

We are now looking into ways in which we can incorporate a throwback lunch hour where we get to enjoy some real conversations erupting within our team and Roland has left the building!



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