Back to the office? You bet your life...

Here's a link to an article in the New York Times outlining the benefits of random in-person meetings at the office (such as those at the coffee-machine or water-cooler). I didn't know that the Pfizer-Moderna vaccine owed its existence to one such meeting!

The article summarizes recent research on the topic. It may be said that, in common with many studies in the field of sociology (with all due deference to my sociologist friends)....the findings could be categorized as deriving from the school of "bleedin' common sense."

To wit: in-person contact is most valuable at the start of any working relationship. Once the relationship is up-and-running it's less important. As Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan puts it:

“Performing jobs remotely is more successful when people know one another and already have a large body of existing work to do. It does not work as well when people don’t know one another.” (Jamie Dimon, JP Morgan)

(To say this conclusion is kinda intuitive is not to denigrate the research, nor indeed the sainted Mr. Dimon: it's always useful to have common sense validated by those with PhD's, or captains of industry!)