• Nick Christou

Connection within the New World of Work

By now, the benefits of remote working are well known, with less pollution, less transport costs and opportunities for a better work-life balance being found in the digital world. Companies adjusted to the new normal, with internal communications quickly moving to services such as Slack, Zoom and even Discord to continue that dialogue and team mentality.


However, lack of trust and issues collaborating remotely have raised concerns, especially with companies not experienced in remote working. Whilst these issues have begun to resolve over time, seeing that staff can work well and perhaps even more effectively online, there is still hesitation when wanting to dispel feelings of isolation and recreate physical connections.


The adaptation was easier for some than others. Those that were generally more outgoing and perhaps those not initially interested in technology before lockdown were going to be strongly impacted by the feeling of isolation. With connection having no option but to move from physical to digital, companies had to find a way to adapt to the unique challenges of remote working.


Community and connection are crucial aspects of the online world that have to be supported to ease isolation and improve mental health. Creating and maintaining connections also allows for successful networking among academics, ideas to be effectively developed and relationships to be built. In the past we have discussed actions to boost engagement online, to bring the in-person experience closer and create a sense of community.


Here are other ways to avoid isolation and create connections online:


Create a positive atmosphere


Regular contact across a variety of channels can help foster productivity and keep you feeling included. Within Sardines, we discuss ideas over Slack and video chat, making sure to create a trusting environment where opinions can be openly shared. Turning the camera off sometimes within meetups is also good to avoid burnout. Regardless of opinion on video etiquette, it can be quite draining to constantly have the camera on.


Mental state matters


When working for long periods of time or having a succession of meetings based on work related problems, it can be mentally harmful without any respite. Having informal chats helps to relax the mind and turns the attention back to the work at hand. Informal chats also breaks the ice and introduces new co-workers to one another, especially if they have never met in real life. It can really go a long way to help them feel like part of the team.


Have regular check-ins


Asking team members how they feel and providing feedback can go a long way to improving your workplace dynamic. What worked or didn’t work for them? Be a positive example for them, speak honestly, be expressive and give opportunities for employees to connect with you.


This new world of work can be isolating for some, but there are definitely things we can do to quell that isolation and stay connected in the digital age.


Do you want to discuss creating a community?


Contact Elisa@sardines.biz