Connecting at the workplace in the new normal

The boundaries of work and home are blurred and there is a sense of aloneness and fatigue. So how do we keep the spark of work alive in these times?

I have heard professionals say that they spend more hours at work than at home and especially in Covid times. The boundaries of work and home are blurred and there is a sense of aloneness and fatigue. How do we keep the spark of work alive in these times? Here’s where connecting comes in. So, what do I mean by connecting? I use this term as a means to know another from the heart. And, how do we connect? Of course, there are formal platforms – meetings, townhall, and learning sessions to name a few. What I am talking about is the informal means of knowing one another.
Here are 5 strategies that help build connection and a sense of camaraderie in these times:
Talk to someone you don’t know
Pick up the employee directory and find a person you may want to connect with on a certain day. Call the person and spend just 5 mins to know how s/he is and ask about their way of coping in the current times. Share your experience after having listened to the other. It just takes 5 mins!
You could call one unknown person each day and see the magic of knowing to unfold. I have had great relationships built this way. Be curious to know what drives the other person, interests, hobbies, strengths and the list is endless.
Wish someone a Happy Birthday
Check out from the intranet for birthdays. Give the person a call! You are never forgotten.
A friend recounted to me a story of her days when she was interning at a CA firm. The Head would always remember people’s birthdays and greet them no matter how busy he was! The employees felt a sense of belonging and cared for.
If you are not a calling person; write an email.
Saying thank you
You are in an online meeting and somebody shares an idea or an experience that resonates with you. Thank the person. Nobody forgets a person who thanks people genuinely.
In the same vein, apologize if you could not start on time or if you go overboard with time, or for any other reason that you may want to apologize.
In the One Minute Manager author Ken Blanchard suggests taking out a minute to appreciate someone or giving constructive feedback to someone. Following this rule helped build connections for me!
Are you okay?
In these times when someone falters a deadline and submits a tardy report, check if the person is okay. Oftentimes, there’s something the person may be dealing with which could be hampering the person’s effectiveness. It’s always good to check and extend support where required.
This list is not exhaustive. You could add your own strategies.
Connection builds camaraderie and a sense of belonging at the workplace. These micro-moments of connection also fill you with joy and allow you to expand your network web in the organization. You can always collaborate, seek help, render help and keep the workplace happy and energetic!