As you have probably come to realize, over the past months, remote work has its challenges, and loneliness can be one of the toughest.
Several jobs have moved to 100% remote work as a measure to stop the spread of COVID-19. This unexpected change can be quite stressful for some people, especially those who are unfamiliar with telecommuting.
On top of figuring out the logistics, we have the natural desire to stay connected with others during this unprecedented crisis. People are stressed out, and social distancing can make us feel disconnected.
Back when the majority of us were still working in a traditional office, the emotional weight could be easily shared among a team that was physically present. Now, as the only one in your office space is you, it can be hard to feel connected to your teammates. But social distancing doesn’t have to mean social isolation.
To get through this together, we want to share some advice on staying connected with your team amid social distancing.
Keeping your team connected through virtual meetings. Meetings are valuable to share knowledge, to work together and build relationships, and to make decisions and drive to action. Beyond written emails or messages, the tone you add to your words improve the quality of working together.
- Embrace others.
Be aware of your tendency to unite in defense of common interest. Imagine who feels safe and familiar to you when at work or at a family dinner or even at a football game. Now is the time to expand how you define your group identities. This is a global pandemic. Human beings are in, the coronavirus is out.
- Be generous.
Giving to others in times of need not only helps the receiver, but it also enhances the giver’s well-being too. If you feel compelled to go to the grocery store to stock up on groceries, consider checking in with people you know who are more vulnerable and see what they might need. Help others around you, including neighbors you may not know well, people with whom you don’t usually feel a sense of connection and homeless people.
At this moment, with all the stress and anxiety, many people feel overwhelmed and disconnected. But you’re still here and those around you are in this chaos with you. A conscious breath can restore connection, slow your mind, and give you clarity, at least for a moment.
Building a foundation of healthy management, maintaining awareness of the side effects of our necessary changes, and staying connected to our values, as well to each other is imperative.
Human beings have a great capacity for empathy and caring in times of difficulty. Maintaining social distance doesn’t need to change that. Find ways to have meaningful connections virtually. Express your concern, kindness, and interest to connect.