Virtual Reality

The Coronavirus pandemic having forced many businesses to abandon the traditional office environment in favour of the “Home Office”, relying upon email as the sole means of communication, what, if any, might be regarded as the drawbacks or limitations of this arrangement ~

First to emphasise the positive aspects of communication by email, rather than by verbal exchange. Dated, timed and clearly set out, there can thus be no room for argument concerning the timing or content of any subject under discussion. This is fine so far as it goes, but unfortunately, on it’s own, ie. unsupported by telephone contact, it opens the door to our old friend “delay”, since there is no way of chasing up matters which might well require an urgent response ~

We are all of us familiar with the irritation resulting from those techniques already all too widely employed in the commercial world which offer opportunities for delayed action whilst purporting to provide an enhanced service. Perhaps the most annoying of these is the automatic telephone message advising that “Due to an unprecedented volume of calls, we are unable to answer your enquiry within a reasonable time and suggest therefore that you repair to our website at “www…..,” ~ All this of course a metaphor for “We are not prepared to employ sufficient numbers of staff to provide a proper level of Customer Service so either find the answer to your query yourself online or “be off with you” ~

Human nature being what it is, there are very few people who either wish, or indeed are prepared to spend their working day constantly in “immediate action” mode and thus by default, we are for the most part inclined to look upon “delay” as the natural order of things, which state of affairs inevitably leads to inefficiency. Understand this and the opprobrium heaped upon Amazon as an employer at once becomes wholly understandable ~

A further aspect of this altered working environment is that, in the absence of telephone support, reliance solely upon email communication erodes, indeed negates, the premium so often placed, in particular by smaller businesses, upon the virtues of conducting business locally. This in that, devoid of social contact, both physical and verbal, there is arguably nothing to be gained by clients from placing business with local firms since, restricted to contact via the keyboard, one might just as well be dealing with an entity in Birmingham, West Midlands, or indeed, Birmingham, Alabama as on one’s own doorstep ~