If you are feeling isolated at work, even in the midst of a busy office, you are not alone. A recent survey of more than 2,000 managers and employees found that employees depend on technology to communicate with their colleagues. The methods are led by e-mail (45 percent) and followed by text messaging (15 percent) and instant messaging (12 percent).
Of those who cited e-mail, more than 40 percent said “they felt lonely always or often, were not engaged and had a high need for social connection.”
Dan Schawbel, author of “Back to Human: How Great Leaders Create Connection in the Age of Isolation,” spoke to Reuters about this. He offered Reuters tips on working remotely, managing technology and building a collaborative workplace.
Key areas for managers to keep their focus is on active engagement and connectivity. With over 15% of the workforce working remotely, that is a huge challenge. This is especially true when people view friendships as a critical part of what binds them to their workplace.
“This was especially true for younger employees. Gen Z (74 percent) and Millennials (69 percent) say they would be inclined to stay with their company longer if they had more friends than Gen X (59 percent) and baby boomers (40 percent),” said Schawbel in the Reuters article.
Managers need to constantly work on this challenge. How can you foster and maintain engagement and connectivity with staff working remotely? While an advantage of working remotely is the quiet space to think deeply about your tasks, it is difficult to properly collaborating with peers. Collaboration and “alone time” must be balanced. Creative managers find ways to foster collaboration when offices go virtual.
“Overall, it is about what you do, and who you do it with. The people you choose to work with are more important than the work you do. Even if you love your work, and it gives you purpose, toxic co-workers will make it unbearable,” concluded Schawbel.