This month we came across this article on Wellable.com that made a very interesting point about how, among the millions of other changes brought about by Covid, it has also altered the way we socialize while at work.
Up until the pandemic hit, most of us spent the majority of our work week in the office. Which meant that the casual “water cooler” conversations likely made up the bulk of an employee’s social interaction for the week. Now, we are more prone to have chatty conversations with our pets than with our coworkers.
All of which means that the implications of the pandemic go beyond impacting the way we work, and extend into impacting the way we socialize.
Remote work has been found to have many benefits, like increased focus and productivity. However, it’s important to see the whole picture and understand the costs of remote work as well.
There is a strong belief that creativity and new ideas often arise from unplanned interactions like those that take place in casual chats at the copier or in the break room. This explains the rise of shared workspaces and open-concept floor plans that modern offices have adopted (or had, pre pandemic). Removing the physical workspace removes the spontaneity of interaction and makes interactions among coworkers take on a more planned – and possibly more forced – nature.
However, according to Wellable, the real price of remote work may be in employee retention. There are increased opportunities for employees now that location is not a determining factor. With increased opportunities and a decreased sense of community, overall ties to a specific employer and workplace may be diminishing, making it harder to retain top talent.
We’ll leave you with one piece of good news: there ARE ways to continue to build community in the workplace, even during these trying times. Our digital wellness classes are designed to do just that, and help you and your employees go from social distancing, to digital community.