Tony Robbins once said;

The quality of your life is the quality of your relationships.

If we haven’t recognised this before, it is certainly front of mind now. Since the advent of Covid-19, various rules and guidelines around isolation and social distancing. It has emphasised the significance of relationships and connections.

In some cases, relationships have strengthened under unique circumstances. With people spending more time at home, many of us have discovered the true benefit of quality time with our immediate family. On the flip side, social distancing and various border closures have separated families, friends and colleagues. This is proving to be a challenge for many. Those that enjoy time on their own are starting to appreciate how much we value being part of a community. That includes the people we work with.

For most of us, the workplace has changed drastically this year. Nearly one-third of Australians have spent time working from home. This has caused a complete shift in routine and changed how we interact with colleagues. As workers start to return to the office, it might seem like everything is heading ‘back to normal’, but normal isn’t the word for it. Distancing will be in place, processes will be different, and staff could very well feel unsettled as they make the transition.

working from home

A review of more than 300 studies into workplace relationships, conducted by the Bryan School of Business and Economics at the University of North Carolina, found that. “Anytime there’s external tension, it can manifest between coworkers.” If Covid-19 isn’t “external tension”, I don’t know what is.

As leaders, where does this leave us with our colleagues and organisational culture? We don’t think much of it, but our colleagues are a significant part of our lives. They are part of our community.

This operational pause is not the time for distance or complacency. It is a time for connection. By harnessing the shared context of the pandemic and its fallout, we can help foster respect and empathy in the workplace. In turn, it will allow us to grow towards a new – and improved – normal.

Connection is a key component of my highly effective Leadership Programs. Learn more here.