My favorite thing about the Internet is that you get to go into the private world of real creeps without having to smell them.
I’m not a fan of the lockdown and the home office rules (at least not since around May, but at least it’s possible to use the office again if some distance rules are adhered to(1)), but one benefit of the changed working conditions is the easy with which you can look at other people’s digital workflow.
After a couple web meetings (e.g., with WebEx), you really get the hang of quickly sharing your screen, or particular applications. And in contrast to looking people over the shoulder, you can see how people use applications more easily. Especially when you discuss with others how they digitally manage their information/knowledge.
Someone has a good app – you can quickly share the window and show how it is used. Sure, there are privacy aspects, I wouldn’t share the application windows for most of my DEVONthink databases, as the content frequently is not suitable for showing at work, but still, that’s an opportunity for sharing and learning from other peoples digital workflows.
Especially in academia, where all scientists also are knowledge workers, that’s a boon of the current situation.
(1) That’s mostly my gripe with the handling of the pandemic. I’m not an virologist, or epidemiologist, but I do notice inconsistencies. And especially universities should do better than just go for “we do what — we think — people expect of us”. E.g., planning exams during which the academic staff has to wear masks the whole time (even when standing in front of the class) but not the students (once they are seated) is inconsistent. It either signals that the academic staff is infectious (in contrast to the students) or that (also in contrast to the students) the academic staff deserves protection (but not the students). Well, the later isn’t incorrect, but still … 😉 And yeah, this society does have issues with accepting any deaths, even if it means giving up freedom.