Social interaction at work has always been an incredibly important aspect of job satisfaction. During the pandemic, employees lost some of that sense of comradery. Working from home has it’s benefits however it can be lonely in certain ways. The lack of interaction affects motivation. People have felt a sense of isolation and it has affected job satisfaction in the workplace.
Benefits of Social Interaction
There are so many benefits to social interaction not just from a personal perspective but also a company standpoint. Teams can gain so much from problem solving together. Feeding off of each other’s ideas and improving one another’s performance overall. From an individual perspective, it is great when you feel stuck to bounce ideas off a trusted colleague. The sense of belonging and comradery is invaluable. It affects your motivation and level of job satisfaction. Many managers recognize the importance of those relationships and what they do to productivity and employee satisfaction.
At the height of the pandemic, there was feedback from employees working remotely. They may not have been able to pinpoint it but their level of satisfaction with their work went down considerable. That has a lot to do with missing those relationships you built coupled with the stress of so many changes in the workplace. Collaboration affects the level of performance and the intrinsic value you place on your work. We spend more time at work than anywhere else. When satisfaction with your work starts to dwindle, you want to nip it in the bud. Determine how to get that enjoyment back and hold on to it. Some employees seek advice from their manager or colleagues. The best thing you can do is address it sooner rather than later.
Working remotely certainly has its advantages. You don’t have to deal with a daily commute, it offers a better work life balance and a host of other benefits. Although it’s not recommended some people can even work in their pajamas. You have the chance to see your family more. It did present a challenge from a communication standpoint. People had to learn new ways to communicate remotely. Some received more direction than others from leadership. Others had to figure out on their own the best way to perform their job, maintain social interaction and work more independently.
Adjusting to the New Norm
Many people have jobs that require being physically present like construction, restaurants, working in a supermarket and so many other roles. Some are able to work in a hybrid role or can work remotely full time. Learning to communicate and collaborate remotely can present a challenge at first. Rather than calling a colleague, every so often schedule a Skype or Zoom meeting so you get to see one another while you work on something. It is certainly more personal and will make you feel like you can maintain that social interaction.
Social interaction and collaboration have a significant impact on employee satisfaction and motivation. Make sure you foster those relationships. As a manager, create opportunities for more of those interactions especially with staff that is hybrid or working remotely full time.