Being accustomed to using digital tools for work collaboration, the world didn't hesitate much in adopting those tools when the Covid broke out. However, we missed the point that those tools were designed to connect work not people. Hence, high-quality connections and the energy they produce are somewhat absent from today's workspaces.
What are High-Quality Connections (HQCs)?
As Aristotle said, man is a social animal. We are by nature social and in a habit of working together. Being in groups, we have been surviving since the inception of the world. Professor Sharon Parker remarks,
this evolutionary advantage of being in groups, our brains and bodies have evolved to both connect with others and also respond positively to connection with others.
High-quality connections are those short interactions that generate positive energy. In physical workplaces, these interactions are quite frequent and that keeps the whole environment energised. As Becky Andree writes,
High-Quality Connections (HQC) are interactions that create energy. That energy is contagious.
HQCs broaden the thinking capability of workers, increase their resilience and heighten the learning experience. Whereas the Low-Quality Connections (LQCs) are like black holes that absorb all the light and return nothing.
HQCs and Physical Workplaces
The type of human connection that can be achieved with physical presence is not possible online. With physical presence, you convey your body language and not mere words. You engage in the acts of using the language of friendship such as giving a high-five, patting someone on the back, hugging, and shaking hands. I'm not suggesting to start hugging your workmates.
These small acts unconsciously become a part of our spontaneous behavior, and we without even realizing becomes a source of motivation for our coworkers. It ends up increasing overall productivity and efficiency and creating a sense of belonging for everyone.
HQCs and Hybrid Working
As mentioned earlier, digital tools are great for connecting work, but not connecting people. Connecting work is no alternative to connecting people (even for work) as it doesn't precede high-quality interactions. Many challenges of hybrid working such as low level of job satisfaction, lack of productivity, not feeling a sense of belonging are caused by the absence of HQCs in a hybrid environment.
Lack of high-quality connections being the root cause for many hybrid working challenges, workplaces need to create an environment and design policies that prompt high-quality connections even remotely, so that efficiency, productivity, and employee's well-being are well assured. It may be tricky to accomplish, yet by any means, it isn't impossible.
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