1. Employees who are used to connecting in person miss the daily connection and stimulus;
2. Employers want to maintain trust, productivity and alignment during this time; and
3. It's easy to weigh in on this topic.
Once again, however, the focus of the organization is on extroverts and their needs - forgetting that introverts are not only more comfortable with remote work but also need uninterrupted time to recharge.
These days, even extroverts may feel what I call 'online fatigue' in the wake of extra online meetings to align and 'connect' with the team. That's because virtual meetings are more tiring than in person interactions, perhaps because you can't draw on the energy of the others.
Plus, when all your meetings happen at your desk it's easy to forget to stand up and move around, and that's tiring, too.
Unfortunately, one upshot of remote work is that there are even more meetings than before. In addition to the regular ones, there are all these new meetings and chat rooms to connect with colleagues for company updates and virtual team building.
That's great for extroverts who miss connecting with colleagues - and it's kind of cool - but may be stressful for introverts or working parents, and even more stressful for introverted working parents.
I don't want to criticize leaders who are trying to keep people connected because it's really important and let's face it, this is all new territory for many. This is just a friendly reminder that too much of a good thing is sometimes actually too much.
Not everyone wants or has time for constant connection while working remotely. Don't judge them, include them and their needs - by making virtual connction voluntary so people have time to recharge.
Like a groundhog, introverts will pop up again once they finish hibernating.
It's important for teams to stay connected but it's also important to give people a break from online fatigue. Here are a few ideas:
- Keep meetings short and to the point, including management updates - remember people are getting a lot of talking heads these days.
- If you've introduced daily team standups or chat rooms make participation voluntary so people can self select out if they need to do something else - and if no one comes, cancel them.
- Instead of communicating more in online meetings, try communicating more in emails, chats and project management tools so you need fewer meetings.