I have spoken at several staff events recently and seen colleagues meet face-to-face for the first time. I have seen young people get their first taste of meeting workmates, they might know by name and face, but not in the flesh.
For some this follows being unable to meaningfully connect with fellow students at school, college and university.
The necessity for remote working was clear.
The impacts far less clear.
What we do know is that collaboration is more static and siloed, with fewer connections made between disparate parts of an organisation.
Spontaneous communication, so often the spark that lights up ideas and creates bridges between departments, all but disappeared.
All this may make it harder for employees to acquire and share new information across their network.
But it is those random collisions, those spontaneous meetings of minds where the real magic lies.
Humans need humans. And now that I have seen the impact of bringing people together to socialise, share stories and ideas, I know that these have a value well beyond what we might think.
Well done to those employers that have invested in bringing their people together – they have reignited the power of collective purpose and will feel the benefits for years to come.