Governments, companies, medical professionals, and other experts are directing us to ‘social distance’ ourselves to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic. But as you may have heard by now, we’ve got the vocabulary wrong. We need to ‘physically distance’ ourselves.
Now more than ever, we NEED social connection, intimacy, communities, and togetherness. Virtually everyone who is sheltered at home is feeling more disconnected and less social.
And there is no way to completely reverse that.
But it’s amazing how far we can go to create connections remotely.
1. Formalize casual contact. Use your multiple forms of mobile chat like you have never used them before. ‘Bumping into’ a family member, friend, or co-worker via WhatsApp, WeChat, Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger, or all the other channels has never been so easy. Make a point of flipping through your contact lists to create informal contacts. This will open up the ‘hallway conversations’ that can unlock news you need to know and connections you need to sustain.
2. Meet a little more with your teams. They’re feeling as disconnected as you are, so create more forums to connect and chat. If you had a staff meeting, add another meeting on another topic, or two, every week. They’ll do the same with their teams. Look for excuses to meet briefly and informally instead of what you might have done before.
3. Use Video. It’s remarkable how much video creates the feeling of closeness, intimacy, ‘social life.’ Audio just doesn’t compare. By phone, by tablet, by PC or Mac, by whatever form, but definitely move to video as much as possible. Laugh about the appearance of special guest stars like your kids, pets, and spouses. It’s bring your child or bring your dog to work EVERY day now.
If you have other ideas for how to ‘not’ socially distance and actually become socially present while ‘physically distancing,’ please let me and others know in the comments below. We’re all in this together (apart).
– Written by Bracken Darrell, CEO, Logitech