In Ori and Ram Braffman’s “Click: The Magic of Instant Connections” you learn about a college study done where they documented where freshman would be staying in the dormitory and what affect it had on their social life. Trying to determine if proximity to others had any affect on making friends and growing a social circle.
Short answer: It had a profound affect.
Chapter 3: The power of proximity
There’s a reason why the authors titled the third chapter “The power of proximity”.
Students who lived in the middle of the dorm made more friends throughout the semester versus the students who lived near the ends. Could proximity to other people actually be a determining factor in how we make friends? Absolutely. There’s another study the authors reference done at a University where they were trying to rate people’s likability based on how often they saw a student in class. You guessed it, the more a student showed up in class the more likeable students would rate them.
What to be considered more likeable? JUST SHOW UP!
When Steve Jobs designed the new Apple campus he did so with the goal of creating the maximum amount of “collisions” in in day for staff. The washrooms were placed at the other end of the offices where you’d have to walk past everyone to get there. The office itself was designed as a collaborative petri dish and more companies need to understand this if they expect their staff to be creative.
The Secret Sauce at Path Cowork
The magic of Path Cowork is all the little “collisions” with people in the space. Daily I talk to several people I’m not currently working with and easily once a month I’m meeting someone new. The fact that you just need to hang out at a table and work to make more acquaintances seems too simple, but it’s true.
In the post pandemic world we need to be honest with ourselves and what we need. Human interaction, being one of the most underrated forms of therapy there is. You need to show up. You need to be there in person. Zoom or Teams doesn’t cut it, you need to be there flesh and all.
Talk to a friend, go for lunch with a coworker, grab a coffee with that person you see in the elevator every day. You never know when it’s just going to “click” for you.
If you’re a professional trying to grow a network, pop by Path! I’d love to have a beer with you!