Ever since COVID-19 started spreading rapidly in the U.S., a growing number of employees have been doing their jobs from home. And it hasn't been totally smooth sailing.
For some, working remotely means balancing job-related responsibilities and homeschooling. For others, it means struggling with focus and concentration. And let's not discount the feelings of isolation so many at-home workers are feeling.
But a new survey by TopResume reveals some positive news on the work-from-home front: A good 61% of employees report feeling connected or very connected to their colleagues, despite the fact that they're not sharing an office. And feeling that connection is good for both productivity and morale.
On the other hand, this also means that nearly 40% of workers aren't feeling connected to their peers during this time, which could hurt their output and impact their attitude toward their jobs, as well as their personal performance. If you're feeling the disconnect, here are a few things you can do to get back in touch.
1. Start a chat app channel
You may have a certain group of colleagues you miss more than others. If that's the case, there's nothing wrong with starting a channel on a chat app you have access to and checking in daily. You don't need to talk about work matters; you can simply say hello for a minute or two, ask how everyone is doing, offer support from afar, or enlist support when you're having a tough day or a project or task is causing you stress.
2. Ask for more meetings
Many workers loathe going to meetings and would do anything to avoid them under normal circumstances. But right now, a lot of people are feeling disconnected from their teams and would probably welcome more meetings.
If you can't remember the last time your entire team sat down to provide updates, give your boss a nudge and suggest a group check-in. Better yet, ask that your manager put a recurring meeting on everyone's calendar -- say, once every other week.
3. Come up with a project that lends to collaboration
You may find that now that you're working from home, the assignments you're given are designed to be tackled solo. If that's lending to feelings of isolation, come up with a project that will add value to your team but is also geared toward collaboration. For example, if you're an editor, you might suggest a website overhaul. That way, you get to team up with web designers, developers, and copywriters to put something useful together.
The fact that most workers feel connected to their colleagues is a great thing right now, but that sentiment doesn't apply to everyone. If you're feeling out of touch, take steps to change that, even if it means sending the occasional email just to say hi. A little back and forth with the people you work with could really help your outlook and mental health.