Last month I had some time before an appointment so I grabbed a table at an outdoor café and drank a coffee. I started to pay attention to the owner as she worked. She stopped by one of the tables to chat with one of the locals and then pivoted to welcome guests from the hotel across the street. When she wasn’t distributing coffees and menus, she was sweeping the sidewalk and rearranging the chairs so each table looked tidy. Occasionally, I’d see her wave a passing car or stop and chat with a passersby.
Her morning was punctuated with non-stop movement and small, personal interactions. Her activities created a positive energy and it was clear to see that she took great pride in her business and that her customers pleasure mattered.
As I watched her, I thought she served as a good example of what many of us are endeavoring to do as we reemerge back into offices. We’re seeking to balance our work and still find ways to connect with others and make the most of our in-person interactions.
I’ve heard so many colleagues say “I am making an effort to connect more with others, “Connecting with others is one of my wellness goals,” and “I don’t want to get caught up in the constant stress and office drama that I’ve experienced in the past.”
So what are some things that will help enrich your in – office experience?
• Move – Humans were not meant to spend their days sitting and modeling Hieroglyphics poses. Set an alarm for 30 minutes so you can remember to emerge from your chair. Chances are you’ll think better and come up with a better idea if you spent a few minutes moving and occasionally getting a breath of fresh air.
• Make Wellness Pacts – When I was working in a corporate recruitment department one company and going to graduate school, one of the reasons I stayed healthy and alive was that I formed a wellness pact with a work friend. She would actually make extra home cooked food and shared it. Now for anyone who knows me and how I feel about food, this was huge.
• Humor Matters – Having someone to share the absurdity of a conversation that was peppered with a string of coded acronyms or an inside joke, can do much to form connections and will relieve some stress.
• Practice Office Tourism – Leave your space and visit your internal clients or colleagues in their natural habitat. Changing how you attend a meeting will provide an opportunity for a fresh perspective.
• Keep Score – Make a point of keeping a tally of how many human interactions, as in heads up with eye contact interactions with words exchanged moments you’ve had during the course.
Then take a moment at the end of the day and ask “Did I feel more energized and connected when I took the time to have a conversation or greeted a few people?” If the answer is “no. “ we need to talk. You’re need to find a new tribe.
But If the answer, is “yes” you’re practicing workplace wellness and engagement.
So, add “The power of doing just one thing to reenergize and connect” to your list of actionable working prompts.
Julienne B. Ryan is a certified AccuMatch BI coach and the author of “The Learned-It-In-Queens Communications Playbook — Winning Against Digital Distraction” and an applied, narrative storyteller, speaker, trainer, and coach. She believes in the power of listening and is on a mission to improve how we communicate with each other, one authentic conversation at a time. Click on this link to learn about her services.