Why getting out and about matters

There is a simple rule in journalism: your phone is your best friend…

smartphone and coffee

In the two decades that I have been working professionally, how we communicate at work has changed at a brisk pace. Goodbye article proofs sent by fax, adverts submitted on transparent film and CDs bundled up into bulging packages for the printer; hello emails, DropBox, WhatsApp and Microsoft Teams.

It is easy to get nostalgic, but in truth the tech solutions at our fingertips today enable OT’s team to work efficiently and cost effectively, while achieving better results than ever. And yet… there are times when we have to ditch the tech because only speaking to a person will do.

For OT, as much as we like our Farringdon HQ, it is in the act of getting on the phone and talking to members about their news, stories and opinions, or getting out of the office for face-to-face conversations, that we are able to discover what is happening in the profession. We learn about the bugbears facing practitioners today and the clever projects designed to tackle them, and we get to hear a few juicy rumours for us to validate or disprove along the way.

This week, we jumped on the LNER for Kings Cross to film a market research consumer forum with a range of contact lens wearers – a first for the team. A project commissioned by CooperVision, the event offered a fascinating insight into the thought processes of these wearers, who revealed what matters to them and what they look for from their optician. Candid and thought-provoking, it was feedback that only face-to-face conversations can produce. Look out for OT’s video and article series in January.

The art of communication is a topic that OT returns to in part four of our CPD series, entitled Practice essentials. Launching at the end of the month, OT’s authors consider a range of scenarios, including managing the sequence of tasks in the handover process, the what and how of effective complaints resolution, and the rule of engagement for a practice using social media.

Image credit: Getty/Blackzheep