If you want to know what we’re all missing in this Zoom-heavy, remote-work post-COVID world—offer your normally-businesslike colleague a pain au chocolat and a latte date.
The relish with which they accept, and their clear enjoyment of a 30-minute chat over coffee, won’t necessarily have you yearning for long commutes and fluorescent lights, but you’ll catch a glimpse of what once was.
Work life has shifted from conversations to likes. From warm interactions with workplace friends to awkward online meetings and Slack chats. Most LinkedIn posts are blatantly promotional, which further taxes relationships. It’s a tradeoff that nearly everyone makes, but we’re all losing something in the bargain. If remote, exchange-based work was that great, then home-based workers wouldn’t respond to coffee dates with such ardor.
This isn’t an argument for Return To Office; nobody really wants that. It’s an argument for visiting in person with your work friends. For restoring weak links. For bringing back the greatest source of training in the history of training: Osmosis.
And anyway, where’s the fun? I’ll tell you where it is: at the local bakery. Coffee and pastry can stand in, to some degree, for long-lost offsites, happy hours, and impromptu lunches. These things are often the basis of the strongest work bonds.
I started 12 Days of Pastry in 2018. The concept was popular at the time, sure, but enthusiasm for these simple chats skyrocketed recently. I suspect that has more to do with the work climate than my witty banter or the perfect kouign amann (look it up; they’re delicious). Regardless, I intend to keep this going, not only for the food but for the camaraderie. Here’s to more days and more chats and a lot more pastry.