How Has Remote Work Impacted Your Friendships?

With remote work gaining popularity due to the pandemic, some employers are worried about weakening relationships between employees. But could it be impacting friendships?

For many adults, the workplace is one of the only places to consistently meet new people. Some coworkers may become friendly, and might even go so far as to socialize together outside of the office. Many deep, meaningful friendships have started in the halls at work.

Remote work threatens to change that. If you only interact with people over an online chat or in a group conference call, there are fewer opportunities to develop relationships.

Employers fear that may lead to a lack of cohesion in work-based teams. That may be the case, but it may also lead to shallow, superficial interpersonal relationships that never have the chance to grow into something deeper.

Studies have shown that the number of people — particularly men — suffering from loneliness and depression is on the rise. If one of the few opportunities for making friends is reduced or even removed, what might that mean for this data?

Of course, this concern may be overblown. People can make real, strong connections with people they mostly interact with online. It is also true that a workplace may not be the best place to look for friendships.

What do you think? Is working remotely leading to weaker connections between people, and possibly fewer friendships? Or should that be irrelevant to making friends?

Related questions: How does your personal life influence your work life? How has remote work changed your workplace culture? What makes a friendship? How do you make friends as an adult?

How Do You Bridge A Divide?

As our society becomes more polarized, finding common ground can be difficult. For two people bitterly divided, how can they bridge the gap between them?

At times, it can feel like there is more dividing us than there is uniting us. Whether it is politics, religion, gender, age, income, skin color, or any number of other differences, the distance between two people can seem like a chasm.

And yet, there is a need for two people to bridge that distance and talk, no matter how far apart they might be. Doing so might be necessary to build a working relationship at a job. It might mean a harmonious atmosphere at a family dinner table. It may even lead to a political committee with adversaries accomplishing meaningful change.

Of course, finding common ground is easier said than done. What are the elements necessary for two people who disagree, perhaps even strongly, to build a bridge between their two viewpoints? Particularly if the environment they are in encourages or rewards polarization and divisiveness?

How do you bridge a divide between two people who are far apart in several different ways, and have little in common? After all, each one of us may find ourselves in such a situation.

Related questions: How can we encourage meaningful conversation? What is necessary to change your mind? How can you love someone who does something you hate? Why are we so divided?

What Makes A Good Team?

A good team, whether in sports, business, or family, can be almost magical. What are the properties that make a team great?

When you have a group of people working together to achieve a common goal — in other words, a team — finding the right mix can be tricky.

One thing to consider is to select people with the right skill set. For example, an ideal baseball team would have a shortstop and a third baseman, rather than two third basemen or two shortstops.

Finding a good person to lead and/or motivate the team is very important. The leader sets the tone for the entire group, and needs to have the respect of the individual members.


Related: Listen to an episode of the Intellectual Roundtable Podcast, where Lee and Michael discuss this question: ‘Where does authority come from?’ We also discuss another question as well, ‘What does your favorite music say about you?’


One aspect that is often overlooked is you need to have the right project for the team to work on. A group that would be good at, say, writing a software program probably will not be so good at marketing or selling a product. Or, to use a sports example, a great basketball team won’t be very good playing hockey.

Can you think of instances in your life when you have been a part of a group that was really in sync and excelled? What were the factors that made your team successful, and can you reproduce them?

Related questions: How can we encourage collaboration? What role do sports play in our society? Solo or team? What makes a community?

Internship Or Volunteer Experience?

Which do you think is more valuable, an internship, or volunteer experience? Have you done either one?

Share why if you wish.

Internship Or Volunteer Experience?

What Does An Audience Owe The Artist?

One of the most interesting aspects of art is the relationship between the artist, who creates the art, and the audience, who interprets it.

The artist obviously has something in mind when they create, no matter if what they create is a piece of music, a painting, or something else altogether. That inspiration may or may not be obvious to the person or people who see the finished work.

The artist and the audience may never meet, and there is no guarantee that someone experiencing the piece will know anything at all about the person who created it. That not only includes who the artist is, but also what they are trying to convey in the work they have created.

However, there is a relationship between creator and consumer. Art is a means of communicating from one person to another, even if that communication is indirect.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘How can we maintain wonder?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘How do you think others see you?’


With that in mind, does the audience for a work of art have any responsibility to the artist? Do they owe serious consideration, honest emotion, setting an appropriate context, or even learning about the intention during creation?

Does it vary from artist to artist, and/or from audience to audience? Does it depend on the type of art created? For example, does someone looking at a painting have a different obligation to the painter than someone listening to some music owes the composer and/or performer? What about a play, or some other public performance?

Related questions: What is art? Art: Create or consume? How important is the artist to art?