GAUDES: The paradox of social distancing: We’ve grown closer to co-workersduring the coronavirus pandemic

Andrew Gaudes, Dean of the Goodman School of Business at Brock University, had a piece recently published in The Conversation about the changing nature of human interaction during the COVID-19 pandemic and how that will affect workplaces going forward.

He writes:

“While driving to work in the first week of 2020, I came upon the aftermath of a horrific vehicle collision involving a pedestrian. An hour later, I was in a meeting with colleagues at Brock University. Although still disturbed by what I saw, I didn’t share the experience with anyone.

A few days later, Ukrainian Airline Flight 752 was shot down by Iranian missiles, killing everyone on board — including dozens of Canadians who were closely affiliated with universities across Canada. Here again, at a meeting with colleagues, I didn’t bring up this tragedy. Despite the fact many Canadian academic institutions had just experienced a staggering loss of brilliant minds and their potential to improve our world, it wasn’t addressed by me or anyone else in the room.

I was so troubled by my own failure to discuss these events, I reflected upon what prevented me from sharing and expressing my feelings. By no fault of any one individual, we are first and foremost driven with workplace purpose within our organizations. As a result, we have neglected our connection to each other to focus on getting the job done.

Now, however, this desire to prioritize performance over relationships has been challenged with the onset of a global crisis — one that could redirect our purpose and redefine human connection.”

Continue reading the full article here.

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