Founder & Director
We’re three months into 2022 (yes, already!) and given new year’s resolutions tend to drop off by about week three, now feels like the perfect time to take stock.
Many of us are returning to the office, networking, socialising – and just generally getting back to ‘normal’. But does that mean we actually feel more connected?
Are teams performing at the high capacity they used to? Has our motivation returned? Are we feeling more fulfilled?
It’s clear in my coaching sessions that there is a lingering sense of disconnection. More of us are lonely. According to Medibank research, around 1 in 4 people were classified with a high level of loneliness in 2020 – and that figure is now more like 1 in 3.
And in the workplace, we’re seeing the impacts with productivity and motivation waning.
So what do we do about it?
It all boils down to one thing: relationships.
Strong relationships are fundamental to our wellbeing, but they don’t happen automatically. Think of it as a skill, no different to learning to write as a child, that is fine-tuned with practice over time.
Just like my personal trainer told me after I had kids – “your abs are still there, they just need strengthening!” – strong relationships are a muscle you can strengthen.
After two years of lockdowns, working from home and remote learning, our connection muscle is still there… it’s just weak.
This might be showing up in many different ways in your life at home and at work. Because after all, relationships are a thread that runs through every aspect of our lives.
For example, are you struggling with motivation? Finding it hard to get going? Well, that isn’t surprising, because connection a driver of intrinsic motivation. It’s a core human need.
What we need to do is build our connection muscle – and we need to be intentional about it. (Just like strengthening those abs!)
What does this mean in the workplace?
We’ve all heard the saying ‘you don’t go to work to make friends’, but to what extent is that true? The truth is, social connections in the workplace result in better business outcomes.
This isn’t about conversations around the water cooler.
Michael Arena, vice president of Talent Development at Amazon Web Services, talks about the two primary types of social capital in the workplace: bonding and bridging.
Bonding refers to the connection between team members and is key to productivity. It’s the glue holding the team together. (It basically means they can get sh*t done.)
Bridging refers to connections with outside groups or teams. For example, a member of the communications team and someone from the finance team. This ability to connect into diverse groups and resources supports the generation of new ideas and sharing knowledge.
So it’s obvious how these connections benefit the workplace. But, as Michael explains, analysis by Connected Commons found that companies have experienced a decline in both types of social capital since the beginning of the pandemic. People are becoming socially disengaged.
This finding reflects what we’ve been seeing here at The Intime Collective.
In fact, it’s why we’ve recently launched a new program that is directed at teams looking to “reboot” their ways of working, especially in hybrid environments.
Connected Together, Connected Apart focuses on building safety, trust and performance, and agreed ways of working and the ‘hows’ of connecting. In other words, building that connection muscle.
We look at how teams align (or don’t align) on the fundamentals – such as purpose, motivation, processes, systems and structures, relationships, learning, and leadership.
Since The Intime Collective was established, we have constantly evolved and grown as needs have changed.
Before the pandemic, we launched our flagship program to support to working parents. Better Together provides the elements needed to sustain intimacy and the practical tools working parents can apply to produce greater wellbeing, at home and at work.
While Better Together remains in-demand, our focus quickly expanded, and we added more program offerings. We became the “social wellbeing go-to” – covering broader relationship topics such as making friends as an adult, building more positive relationships, and setting boundaries.
Our latest program offering, Connected Together, Connected Apart, is the next type of relationship in our evolution. We are helping teams to not just build better connections with each other, but also to improve performance in the workplace.
All our programs are evidence based and practical so everyone can take steps straight away to create change.
It’s hard to predict where the rest of 2022 will take us, but one thing is for certain – relationships are everything.
If you’d like to know more about our program offerings, click here.
Founder & Director