We recently discussed whether old school technology was helpful to switch off-line and recover. Research shows that another key recovery strategy is to connect with family, friends and work colleagues. However, a sense of connectedness can provide many more benefits.
One small organisation with staff who work remotely has decided that this connection is vital in maintaining not only a collective sense of purpose but also the overall wellbeing of their staff. Typically each staff member works away in their office or at home sending emails and messages flying to not only their clients, but also to other team members. Whenever they hold their annual staff conference, they always state how useful it is. The annual contact fosters a common sense of business purpose, they develop new strategies and have innovative ideas flowing. But they have decided that once a year is not enough. They believe their people and the business will benefit from more regular connection.
They have initiated a calendar of two-monthly meetings, held at different locations, which all staff attend. They also hold monthly video conference calls for all staff and weekly for specific teams. In addition, staff are encouraged to make daily phone calls to other colleagues rather than just emailing.
This smart idea not only allows for greater connection and the ongoing fostering of a common business purpose, but also boosts positive emotion. Experiencing more positive emotion has been shown to increase performance and productivity.
If you work remotely, it doesn’t have to mean being remote. As human beings we thrive on connection and, although new technology allows us the freedom to work remotely, we need to use this technology to maintain our connectedness, not remove it.
Written by Karen