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Presence and distance: Energize everyone, every day 

Does your team feel frustrated by the unprecedented restrictions that are threatening your business? Disorientated by the lack of visibility? Demotivated by the distance that constrains social relationships, which are so important for group dynamics? Here’s how to strengthen your team’s bonds in order to move forward together in troubled times.

Strong social bonds lead to good physical and psychological health – as well as creativity and performance – but it’s hard to deny that we’re far from being in an ideal place right now. Especially since the forced implementation of remote work. In fact, maintaining social ties is more complex than it appears, and requires a pro-active approach now more than ever.  

Go ahead and meddle 

It can be troubling to observe, when walking through a workplace, how many individuals work side by side without sharing the least personal connection – despite the fact that colleagues spend more time with one another than they do with anyone else in their lives.  

The subject of loneliness is not a new one to researchers, and plenty of work has been published on its impact on mental health, cognitive ability, physical health, and even longevity. However, research by Sigal Barsade, professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, and Hakan Ozcelikm, professor at California State University, is important for you to consider as a manager:  

Loneliness in the workplace negatively impacts work performance

Most earlier studies focused on environments outside of work, assuming that if people are alone in life, they are alone all the time. This is actually false. According to the researchers, loneliness depends on the setting and context as much as the individual personality. In the context of business organizations, loneliness is an epidemic with the potential to spiral completely out of control.  

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Tagged with: digital, distance, change, loneliness
Françoise Tollet
Published by Françoise Tollet
She spent 12 years in industry, working for Bolloré Technologies, among others. She co-founded Business Digest in 1992 and has been running the company since 1998. And she took the Internet plunge in 1996, even before coming on board as part of the BD team.