When physical distance increases, enhance emotional proximity

The COVID-19 pandemic is a pressure test for the entire (health, society & business) system.  As a leader this poses new challenges to maintain/build team resilience.

Now that you’ve got tools to connect with your colleagues, it’s important to use them regularly to support ongoing communication and connection.  A sense of loneliness and isolation can be real issues for remote employees, so you want to make sure that you are routinely reaching out to help alleviate any challenges they may be facing whether personally and professionally. 

This could include

  • Daily check-ins with individual employees and/or increasing the frequency of team meetings and company-wide emails.  
  • You might also create open meetings for people to come together without a specific agenda or objective other than being together. (by using MS Teams, Slack, Zoom, …)
  • During meetings and 1-to-1s, turn on your webcams. Seeing your colleagues fosters greater connection and understanding through eye contact and the ability to read facial expressions and body language.
  • Agree on clear expectations and trust your team will do the right thing.
  • Create time and space for people to connect on a personal basis. Allow some time to adapt to this new way or working.

At Barrett Values Centre, they have designated Slack channels for people to share things about their lives outside of work, a funny meme or video, and about their pets. 

Cultivate Connection to enhance Emotional Proximity

Blog written in co-creation with Bart Gardeyn

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