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This is the only way my colleagues have seen me over the last three months: uncomfortably close up, eyes obscured by screen glare, and all of me groaning under the weight of big headphones, and bigger hair. In spite of the weird visuals, though, I feel like working from home has ushered in a golden age of communication. It seems like everybody is now taking extra care over how they communicate: emails have become much clearer; meetings have become much shorter; everything unnecessary has fallen away.My experience has been that, stripped of the reassuring comforts of personal interaction (which many of us have never actually felt that comfortable with!), workplace communication has become more efficient, tranquil, and sympathetic. No longer do we write vague, meandering emails and hope that the reader will correctly interpret the implied subtext. No longer do we “pop over” and interrupt somebody in the middle of something complicated just to ask them a question that doesn’t need an immediate answer. No longer do the quiet people in the room get talked over and their voices ignored. These are all worthy developments, and might not have come about had we not been forced to work apart from each other. Yes, Zoom isn’t as good as meeting somebody in person, and yes, instant chat isn’t as good as having an actual chat, and yes, it was a rough day when we realised that our broadband can’t handle a Teams meeting and streaming Disney+ at the same time. But it’s all just about manageable, now that we’ve had to make ourselves communicate more efficiently and sympathetically.

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