By: Estrella Flores-Carretero November 21, 2020
Working remotely has many advantages, especially at these times when physical proximity and travel can put your own health and that of others at risk. Not everyone can telecommute, but in those positions where it is possible, it reduces stress, optimizes hours, saves money and leaves a smaller ecological footprint. Not to mention that, according to studies, it favors the fulfillment of objectives.
But these advantages that are being seen in the short term do not have to be maintained over time or be the same for everyone. In my opinion, it is likely that, in many cases, teleworking leads to a distancing between the company and its collaborators, a lack of emotional connection and, as a consequence, demotivation and low productivity. As Murakami writes: “what for one person may be a safe distance, for another may be an abyss.”
If we want to avoid the adverse effects of the distancing imposed by the pandemic, we must prioritize caring for the emotions of the people involved in a corporation. These are my recommendations:
Increase the frequency of virtual meetings. While we have shared space, it was not as necessary to meet as it is now. Before we knew that the other was there next to us, we heard him speak, we felt his presence, we sensed his state of mind, we perceived his support … Now it is necessary to connect. That is why it is good to schedule, why not, a daily virtual meeting where we see people without a mask, we enjoy their smile, we connect with their eyes and, before establishing the lines of work, we ask each one how they feel.
Involve more people in the meetings. If there are people who must come to your workplace, it is also a good idea for them to connect virtually with those who remain at home. It is good to involve all stakeholders to be able to build a corporate network with a common goal, in which each counts and is important to the others.
Intensify recognition. Now that it is not possible to pat on the back, approach the other’s table to thank them for a report on time, or send a smile from one end of the office to the other, it is essential to acknowledge others, publicly and privately thank their effort and reward a job well done.
Show confidence. We have remote control systems for schedules and fulfillment of objectives, and it is good to use them, but without losing sight of the fact that delegating and providing autonomy is the best way for people to feel responsible for their task and, therefore, that they are get involved with your work.
Together and separately. To maintain team spirit, meetings should not be exclusively about work; They can also meet to have a coffee (each one behind their screen) and share how life is going, which series we are hooked on or what is the latest cooking recipe we have tried. On the other hand, it is not necessary to involve everyone at the same time; sometimes, you will have to connect only with someone who seems sadder or isolated, with more problems or less ability to manage their emotions.
Finally, there is something fundamental that companies must do in times of isolation and that is to take care of technology, providing training and providing computer systems to all members of the corporation, because, let’s not forget, the internet is the main window of our emotions.