Rapid adaptation of common senses

open piano
A public piano

As we members of the public have moved swiftly—with astonishing efficiency for the most part when needed—to do our part in “social distancing” by working from home and avoiding public transport, not too far below top of mind lingers the question: How do we maintain connection with people when we suddenly no longer convene at a shared physical location, with common sights, sounds, tactility (desks and chairs, air temperature), and smells?

We’ve been encouraged to use the video function for virtual team meetings. I’ve been making an effort to interject more and raise the pep in my tone over the phone. GIF memes abound in team chats.

Without the additional, invisible cue of scent, all these manifestations of our virtual personas are easier to curate. Our remote-worker avatars are relatively simple, are they not?


Perfume is still worn, but not to impress others when they can’t smell you. It’s your secret smile, one that can’t be conveyed through technology directly (yet), but could affect the other ways you present yourself by its influence on your mood throughout the day.


Right now we have our challenges in common, but I suspect that very soon, responses will diverge and we will see some uncommon solutions emerge.






4 thoughts on “Rapid adaptation of common senses

  1. Something tells me that most of our co-workers miss the smells (be that our perfumes, foods or anything else) much less than anything else.
    I use these days to re-test some of my old samples – two-four per day.


    1. I agree, and it would be the least of anyone’s concerns regardless! Some of this felt like a far stretch to write, and I definitely wasn’t thinking about smells while on web conferences. I have been wondering, though, whether everyone being individually in different physical environments could have any effect on team dynamics. Guessing not really.


      1. Nah, I don’t think it was a stretch… well, maybe some poetic license. I enjoyed reading it, but it got me thinking on the topic. I wasn’t arguing with you, just thought aloud and forgot to add a smiley.


        1. Hehe, I didn’t think you were! Most of the time, I’d rather not be smelling my coworkers’ lunches either (the perfumes, if any, are usually nice). I do take poetic license when I can… Thanks!

          Liked by 1 person

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