FEBRUARY 14, 2023

It Takes Added Energy To Connect When We’re Virtual

Working from home used to be a coveted position. It was the exception rather than the norm, and many of us were jealous of those who did or could.

And now that it’s here, we tell ourselves things like, “I’m working from home and have so much more time. I can do laundry on a call or get dinner started before my 4 pm meeting.”

Some of us see working from home as a low-stress, low-interaction environment we need to make our job palatable.

True, but…now that the world has gone virtual, we all seem so much more tired and depleted.

These things are connected and interconnected.

It’s possible to feel that you’re more productive and in control of your time now, yet stretched thinner than ever.

Increased Burnout

The main issue I see with working from home is lack of separation.

It’s harder to focus on that meeting when you’re thinking about what’s boiling on the stove.

You’re stressed out at work but staring at all the unfolded laundry.

Our work and home lives no longer have a transition break, like a commute, where we used to decompress, process, and prepare for what’s next in our day.

Now we’re going into personal life or evening time with no transition. We’re not “going in”; we are “always in” both work and home life.

Transitions are important. Taking time to go from one mode or role to another is important. There should and needs to be some clearing of your mind and space.

Living and working in the same environment leads to faster burnout and depletes our mental and physical energy quicker.

The emails, the laundry, the zoom meetings, the dishes, the proposal, the baby…sometimes it’s too much, and we can’t see that work relationships suffer, home relationships suffer, and most importantly, the relationship with ourselves suffers.

Inability To Connect

When you’re depleted, it takes even more to muster up the energy to be “on.”

There’s no energy (or time) left to connect with people on a real level.

Human beings need social interaction. We need confirmation. We need affirmation. We need a connection with others to be seen, heard, and understood.

These are real human needs that we are not adequately fulfilling when we’re working at home, alone.

We are becoming more disconnected in an environment where there’s no separation.

My advice to you is to put the oxygen mask on yourself first. When gasping for air, connecting with your co-workers and serving the company mission is harder.

If you’re a business owner considering a company-wide return-to-work, or a manager struggling to get your staff back in the groove, let us know. We can help.