2020 has by far been beyond imagination, not in such a great way. After months of being in a lockdown, finally things are being eased out. We can go about our business, with precautions obviously. Hail Social Distancing! While staying home is still encouraged if it is a possibility, many corporate offices have started to operate by coming up with new safety measures.
“The New Normal” of the work environment, as the LinkedIn Feed rightly points out. But what does it mean for ‘Networkers’ or professions that are otherwise based on regular networking and physical interaction?
With everything shifting towards ‘contactless’, can there be some room for “Contactless Networking”?
It almost seems perfect given the current needs of reducing any physical contact or exchange of physical items. And not just for the immediate scenario, but even after this ends, keeping contactless options on the checklist seems like a good idea.
So, what would contactless networking mean for professionals around the globe? In order to answer this, we need to first address the problems we have with the most important way of formal greeting and exchange of information, Handshakes and Business Cards.
Recently I ran into a professional from my network after ages, and as my basic instinct would go, I put forward my hand to greet him formally. And then immediately retracted back after realizing it’s not really a responsible thing to do, it did go a bit awkward to say the least. I know a lot of us don’t do this very much nowadays but having worked with a lot of traditional corporate clients who still shook hands induced this habit. And while parting I took out my business card, to share my contact information as my coordinates had changed over the years. I noticed my peer was a bit hesitant on the sight of the business card. I mean who wouldn’t be? No one wants to exchange business cards during these times. But to his surprise, instead of giving him the card, I asked him to put forward his phone and tapped on his phone. And within seconds my business card was on his phone. And after his amusement settled, he made a remarkably interesting comment that stayed with me. He said, “I like this new handshake so much better”. In that moment of Eureka, I saw how amazingly my “Tap and Share” was labeled as “The new handshake”. Now I know what I will be doing next time I see a connection from my network, the new handshake indeed.
Similar to the Contactless Payments ‘Tap & Pay’ patent, Contactless Networking entails ‘Tap & Share’ of contacts while meeting your Network of Professionals. While group gatherings like Networking Events still seem to be a distant dream, we can at least be well equipped for smaller meetings and interactions with a Mobilo Card. I mean not only is it allowing one to be safe but think of all the cost you would be saving by replacing the hassle of manufacturing stacks of paper cards with just one card. And with the current economic outlook, a smart switch saves a lot.