Let’s Stay Connected
29th Jan 2021
With a return for some to remote working, or, for others, a continued focus on remote working it seems an appropriate time to relook at how we connect with one another in that environment and how we keep a sense of community alive.
When the first lockdown began back in March 2020, we all knew our colleagues and co- workers well. We had been in offices with them, at drinks and events with them, had lunch or coffee with them and had been able to form relationships with many, and friendships with some.
Lockdown 2021 finds us in a different place. We now find ourselves in a world where we potentially have new colleagues we have never even met face to face. And so we need to make sure we make a little bit of an extra effort to form bonds and build that sense of community.
How then can we ensure we ‘stay connected’ in the workplace?
- Make use of digital devices. Message a colleague that you would usually be sat next to and say hi and have a chat outside of a ‘group chat’ environment. Call someone for a catch up to take the ‘zoom pressure’ out of the mix. Check in with one another. The odd message can impact a relationship in such a dramatic way.
- Mentoring relationships. Consider implementing online mentoring within your organisation. This creates relationships between colleagues at a one to one level that hold a different dynamic to the typical work environment. It creates a more personal relationship between colleagues in the absence of the traditional water cooler moments. If you need help with this, our Guide to Mentoring training can help.
- Implement a buddy system. For a week or a month at a time you are assigned a ‘buddy’ with the aim being that you get to know each other during that time. Be that your children’s names, books you are reading or Netflix recommendations, you share personal information on a level that doesn’t get explored within the typical remote working day.
- A monthly quiz where teams can attend and take part with housemates or family. Let your staff get to know each other in an informal setting.
- Implement a ‘kind colleague of the month’ scheme. A random act of kindness goes a long way. Being acknowledged for thinking of others can make a huge impact on another. Engendering positivity and kindness in the workplace can go a long way towards forming a strong sense of community.
- Don’t force it. Don’t introduce 15 mins at the start of a meeting for small talk if it doesn’t work. Give people that 15 minutes to make a coffee and stretch their legs at home instead and implement more natural ways to allow people to connect.
- Use social media platforms to create groups. Book clubs, podcasts, wine clubs, politics and current affairs. Let people connect with others with similar interests and discuss them at an informal level. We are all missing those adult conversations and chats that we once took for granted. Let’s give that back to people to allow them to connect.
- If you are struggling – reach out. Sometimes the hardest step can be that initial message. If you don’t want to reach out to colleagues reach out to friends or family or to us at BulliesOut. But reach out and talk through how you are feeling with another.
- Sign your organisation up for one of our ‘Creating a Positive and Empowering Workplace’ courses. Let us help you add some positivity.
- The more positive your workplace and the more connected your workforce the less incidence of bullying there will be and the more productive your organisation will feel. Let us help you build that.
Lucy Howard, BulliesOut Digital Communications Officer
Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash