Has social distancing brought humanity closer than ever before?

08 Apr 2020

Written by Schiavello's People & Culture Consulting

There is yin to every yang; a glimmer of good within many bad circumstances. While many of us have adjusted to a new way of working – there is a positive to be felt in the way we are now able to interact and the enriched connections we have developed with our colleagues.

There is no doubt that remote working has limited our serendipitous interactions in the office. We are sending more emails, spending more time talking on the phone and are participating in more virtual meetings than we have previously. And we are doing this all while remaining at home.

Already this global event has given us all greater awareness and respect for each other’s personal lives. Prior to this experience, our partners, children and pets were topics of conversation during our lunch break. However now that we have taken our work lives into our homes, we have quite literally given our colleagues a front seat view of our personal lives. Our screens have provided us with a window into each other’s homes.

We are moving away from seeing each other solely as colleagues in the workplace, and are gaining insights into who our peers are in ‘real life’ at home, where they are most comfortable and their true self. In every virtual meeting that we have, we are getting a glimpse into each other’s home. We are seeing our team members in their casual clothes, noticing the artwork or photos they have on the walls and spotting a pet walking around in the background. With the help of technology, we will finally be able to meet each other’s families and see all those other aspects of home that we often talk about but never get to share. These snapshots are allowing us all to not only learn more about each other, but also to connect and relate to each other in ways that would not be possible if we were in the office.

Seeing more of each other’s home life will organically evolve to having genuine connections with each other as we will be sharing information that we would not typically divulge when at work. We will not only gain greater insight into each other’s home lives; we will also have a deeper understanding of each other as human beings and this will make us all better colleagues. We will perhaps be more understanding and will consider a colleagues’ family before we send an urgent email at 5.25pm.

Learning more about each other now will result in a much closer team when returning to the office on the other side of this experience. Through meaningful connections, you will have created a greater sense of community and connectedness with your team – and that is something to look forward to.