Ain’t Nobody Home

More than 70% of Americans prefer to work remotely. But since the pandemic bulldozed the landscape, companies are struggling to find the right balance. Virtual interaction works for most companies. But, one-size does not fit all. The entire Spotify staff works remotely. Meanwhile, Elon Musk says, “if you don’t show up, we’ll assume you resigned.”

So, choose your own adventure.

A recent study found that people are more creative when brainstorming in person. With all eyes focused on Zoom screens, we’re more stifled and disconnected. There’s a reason why Lennon and McCartney wrote together. Why world leaders meet face-to-face. It’s the intangibles, the synergy that can’t be measured. But when people come together, ideas come to life and the secret sauce flows.

Can that same magic be captured virtually?

Here’s my take. I recently visited a radio station, part of a six-station cluster. They’re squeezed together in a downtown office tower. As the elevator headed up, my radio memories came flooding back. Visions of people scrambling about, everyone on a mission. Somehow, that buzz in the hallways carried on-the-air and we thrived in that energized culture.

Of course, the world has changed. But, I wondered if that spirit still lived.

When the doors opened to the lobby, it was dead quiet. The place felt deserted, not a human in sight. The hallways were lined with dark offices and closed doors. All but a few desks were vacant. Lights were off in the studios as the DJs were piped in from out-of-town. Songs played from a hard drive in the closet.

It’s fine for an airplane to be on autopilot. But not a radio station. Bare bones doesn’t begin to describe the soulless vibe. Which is why radio sounds the way it does.

Beau Phillips is President of Rainmaker Media. 
He’s a creative marketing consultant, strategist and speaker.
Reach him at 203-256-9347 

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