Social Connections in the Time of Physical Distancing: Grow Your Network



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Communication and Respect: Being Sensitive During Times of Increased Stress

As we develop new routines, working from a kitchen table or bedroom desk, deciding whether it is ok to wear athletic gear, most important to our professional demeanor and our mental health, is to remember to keep lines of communication open, and recognize the need to be respectful of others during these times of incresed stress.


Communication is key in any work environment, but now that many are working from home, it’s vital. Keep in touch using more than just emails and texts. Make time in your schedule for phone calls or video conferences. Video conferences enable a greater understanding of the intent of a message. It can be easy to misunderstand the intent of hte written word; body language can assist in setting the right tone and delivering the intended message.

In any workplace, the ability to read body language and assess non-verbal cues can shape the way we provide feedback and share ideas. one of the most important things to keep in mind.”


It’s especially important to be mindful of what’s happening in the world and the impact this has on the people you work with. As we cope with the effects of a global pandemic, make an effort to be more aware of new challenges faced by those around you. While we are self-isolating, we need to make an effort to be empathetic. People are being impacted by the stress of a change in routine, worries for themselves or loved ones and fears about their financial futures.

Part of this mindfulness involves recognizing the toll of physical isolation. Many of us are likely feeling lonely and lacking emotional support – especially those who live alone.

Reach out to family, friends and coworkers more often, even if it’s just to ask how they’re doing.

Checking in with others signals something we need right now – empathy and compassion. It’s important to make people feel like while they might be physically alone, they are still connected socially.

AWS Members Consider Career Changes

Eighteen months ago, AWS surveyed our members and found job satisfaction was high, particularly because individuals were relieved to have a job in a very unstable market. AWS’ jobs poll shows 84% of our members still report they are satisfied or very satisfied; in this group 25% were considering other career options compared to 41% of total respondents. AWS members are experienced professionals, many in technical positions and as such have had, and continue enjoying, a higher level of job security.

Of the Alumni who left their current positions in the last 6 months, 30% did so because of a better opportunity elsewhere. Twenty three percent left for a bigger challenge and 33% left for other reasons such as bad relationship with a manager, salary and benefits, selling their company, their company going bankrupt or retiring.

These figures are in comparison to a recent survey by job-placement firm Manpower which reported 84% of employees plan to look for a new position in 2011. The general industry figure of 84% is up from 60% last year. In a survey conducted by Firstdirect, almost seven million workers in the UK have moved jobs in order to find a better boss and improved working environment. The division of HSBC Bank plc has found that one in ten workers have switched careers in their search, while one in 20 has attempted to set up his or her own business.

Similar to findings in the CNN Money article, most ARCO alumni in 2009 to 2010 sat tight through the recession, not even considering other jobs because so few firms were hiring. For the past few years, the Labor Department’s quits rate, which serves as a barometer of workers’ ability to change jobs, has hovered near an all-time low.

But after years of increased work and frozen compensation, “a lot of people will be looking because they’re disappointed with their current jobs,” said Paul Bernard, a veteran executive coach and career management advisor who runs his own firm. Contrary to Bernard’s comment on disappointment at work, AWS community members were generally positive about their work, indicating new challenges and opportunities as a result of improved technologies and reorganizations within their companies had kept job satisfaction high.