I can’t take it anymore. I miss hanging out with my colleagues. I miss laughing in the hallways. I miss going for drinks after work. I miss seeing the lower half of everyone’s bodies. Make it stop!
But I don’t see an end in sight. The pandemic has permanently changed how we work. Whatever the “new normal” will be, it’s certainly going to be less in-person contact. I’m a social animal and I don’t know how I will cope. I don’t know how all of us will cope. After all, to be human is to need connection to others.
Here are a few things I’ve tried that work.
- I’ve ramped up my 1:1 conversations. More phone calls or private video sessions and less texting with people I want and need to connect with.
- Safe, socially distanced meetings. I’ve arranged to meet outside with a few teammates, masked up and far apart. Just seeing their faces, eyes actually, gave me a boost.
- Casual, non-work related topics. Those informal chats on the way to the parking lot or the café were usually more personal. Funny toddler stories, movie recommendations, bitch sessions.
If I can’t operate in a social setting anymore, I just need to get creative about how to infuse my life with more human contact. Something tells me that we are already living our future. Shit!
We are helping teams reimagine how to create the connective tissue required to collaborate in this new environment. We’d love to help your organization.