Fostering connections while social distancing
It is encouraging to see that infectious disease models indicate our social distancing efforts have reduced the transmission of COVID-19, saving lives and resources. The conscious act of avoiding others has been effective, but has created inconveniences and disruptions for everyone and economic hardship, loneliness and other serious challenges for many. As we begin to return to our offices and other public aspects of our lives, we will reflect on these challenges as well as some of the positive aspects of the ways we have been meeting and communicating over the past few months.
As with many of your organizations, our staff has been working from home since March. We’ve conducted countless internal meetings and meetings with clients and partner organization via various online meeting platforms. While that hasn’t been ideal in some respects, we are fortunate that the technology has been available to keep us connected and productive during this time.
Last week, several of our staff attended the annual Congress for the New Urbanism conference, originally planned for Minneapolis/St. Paul but converted to a digital meeting. We saved on travel, lodging and other expenses, allowing us to “send” several more of our associates than originally planned.