Working from Home: an erosion of social capital?

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Wide-spread working from home (WFH) appears now to be a long-term proposition… Anecdotally, we think until at least 2022 by when the majority of workers would have had access to a vaccine.  But, by 2022, perhaps we will all be so used to WFH that the thought of reverting to an office environment will be a horror in itself.  Just thinking about being shoe-horned onto the Tube when I could be out walking the pandemic puppy is enough to heighten the blood pressure!

So now that WFH is here for a while, I suggest that we (and I mean both employers and employees alike) double check how things are going and what we can do to make WFH work as well as we can.

There are all sorts of things to consider – including wifi bandwidth, technical set up, desk arrangements, HR policies, dress code, office rental agreements, tax (especially if you’ve decided to WFH in a different country from your normal place of work), insurance…  But what about those water-cooler / lift / coffee queue conversations – the casual discussions (often on non-work related topics) that used to happen so naturally when we were office-based… what do we do about them?

It may sound daft, but chatting over mundane topics like the weather, sports, and TV shows actually have a genuine place in the workplace.  They help build up a cohesiveness and in turn strengthen a company’s culture.  Encouraging casual interactions has traditionally been a great way to meet the social and collaborative needs of employees – essential to any company’s growth and continued success.  We all know that engaged employees are highly motivated and more productive.  And teamwork is an essential ingredient for achieving goals and it helps define a company’s culture.

But while we aren’t in the office, what can we do to replace the chit-chat?  There’s only so long that we can trade off casual conversations that took place 8 months ago and every Zoom that we’ve attended since then is an erosion of social capital.   We need a covid-safe way to help staff reconnect with each other, to rebuild trust and improve teamwork across the organisation.   And for those that have been furloughed, they too need a mechanism to reconnect with the new ways of working and the morphed culture.

I believe that a Splash Project is the ideal solution, reconnecting staff and helping them feel engaged and inspired again.  It also provides your organisation with the opportunity of supporting a struggling charity / community (and sadly so many have been put under massive pressure as a result of the pandemic).

All our projects take place outside, in a socially distanced way and we have invested substantial time to ensure all our projects comply fully with Covid-19 guidelines so you can be sure your team will be safe.  Check out our recent project in Madrid.

Reconnecting staff through a Splash Project will yield numerous benefits:

  • Develop more effective teams and leaders,
  • Rebuild social capital amongst staff through a safe-yet-social atmosphere,
  • Allow real face to face time with management,
  • Provide a safe environment to network, brainstorm solutions and share ideas between departments,
  • The local community receive much-needed facilities that they would otherwise never have afforded.

The impact is life-changing for all involved.  For more information, please contact me at [email protected]

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