Loading...
 
 

Social distancing: just one more step

Published: 11 Mar 2020 Average Rating: unrated Print
 

Author: Tim Cummins

I heard from a colleague today that her daughter has been 'socially distanced' from her school. No, not a punishment - just a sudden new experience now impacting families around the world.

As schools and workplaces close, and travel is dramatically curtailed, 'social distancing' is rapidly impacting human interactions at every level. Coronavirus is challenging the norms of activity and communication.

Accelerating a trend

Yet while extreme, the current crisis is in many ways simply accelerating a trend and may prove a tipping point in the way society operates. As IACCM will reveal in an imminent webinar, some 70% of business-to-business negotiation was already virtual in form even before the on-set of the virus. I'm sure right now it must be 90%+. And already, in 2019, working from home was the norm for more than 35% of IACCM members, at least some of the time.

Our capacity to maintain connections via technology is very evident as we observe the ability of universities and schools to shift rapidly to on-line teaching and as we see video communication from stranded cruise ship passengers. So we are in many ways equipped for this change, except that it's all rather unstructured. Our processes were not  designed on the assumption that everything is digital and we haven't been trained to operate with full efficiency in a 'socially distanced' world.

Email: a blessing and a curse

To take a simple example, email is used extensively for business communication, including negotiation. While in some ways this represents tremendous efficiency, it actually often leads to barriers and misunderstanding. Unlike a physical meeting, we cannot observe body language or easily test for intent. Yet it isn't in fact that we can't do these things – it is that we haven't been trained to do so (though IACCM is also rapidly addressing that particular gap as well).

A new normal

With the heightened pressure to develop sustainable working practices, plus the immediate need for businesses to cut costs, accelerated social distancing may prove to be the new normal. We need to recognize and adapt to a fast-changing model in human interaction.

 
 
 

Related Discussions

Please sign in or register to post on this forum

Inspire Integrated
2018-07-19 06:47:37

Change Order Process for Service Contract

Hi, We are in the process of executing a service agreement with a client. The contract which is a new project has the ability to expand with various contract variation...
 
 
 
 
 
 
Replies: 5

Vodafone
2020-03-28 12:10:03

Transformation

Would be interesting to see a research on how affected companies are adapting and changing in current situation. Many new articles about how big companies supporting ...
 
 
Replies: 1
Anonymous
2020-03-11 05:47:57

FM Event - Foreseeability

Can someone please clarify for me: Australian Jurisdiction Where, in a FM clause, it defines an event which does not constitute Force Majeure as "any circumst...
 
 
 
 
Replies: 3

erdemir engineering management and co...
2020-02-09 09:11:49

Force Majeure due to Coronavirus

Can coronavirus considered as a force majeure in contract management ?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Replies: 7

Rogers Communications
2018-12-06 17:48:18

Source Code Escrow Type Protection for non-software

I am brainstorming ideas for a supplier contract where I want to ensure the technology and services to be provided by the supplier for resale to our end-customer over ...
 
 
 
Replies: 2
Anonymous
2018-01-06 22:53:15

Exception on a NDA

Hi everyone, I have, like Vladimir Koval, a question regarding the Non- Disclosure Agreement. Imagine the following situation: you have to issue a standardized Non-...
 
 
 
 
 
 
Replies: 5

erdemir engineering management and co...
2020-02-09 09:33:58

Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

It is clear that Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) will be affecting the world economy negatively. What is your opinion about these impacts of nCoV on the business perform...
 
 
 
Replies: 2

Victorian Council - Australia
2020-01-19 23:26:51

Contract extension beyond terms (Special)

Can we extend the contract beyond its original term? Even if the maximum extension period has been reached. Say for a contract of 2 years plus 1+1 years. I come to ci...
 
 
 
 
Older entries »
Replies: 3