Workplace design: Human connection in the workplace

Workplace design: Human connection in the workplace

Columnist Jules Galloway is the founder/owner of Evolve Design| Build

So. Are y’all fed up with the work from home articles, the get-fit apps, the hard sell on home office equipment..? Ya. Me too. To be honest I’ve been struggling to know what to write, picking up and putting down my quill and ink way too many times because I may be a few things, but I’m not a cliché. I want to give you something to get your teeth into, not just another COVID-19 ra ra ra… there’s enough of that out there right under all our self-isolating noses.

So I’m digging down for something deep that I can keep light, and it struck me that amidst all this topsy-turvy weirdness that we are navigating as best we can, there is an angle that I’m interested in, I thought you might be too…

Why do we need human connection in the workplace?

By that, I don’t just mean knowing our peers are there for us, I don’t mean the planned collision spaces that we bump into our colleagues and talk about work, life, cocktails, (is that just me?).. I mean the deeper connection that we didn’t know that we were missing until it was snatched away from us a month or so ago..

I’ve recently been hearing people self-identify as ‘introverted extroverts’ and ‘extroverted introverts’ with varying degrees of acceptance on the experience of working in solitude at home. And then there’s those incredible humans who are juggling home-schooling and sharing the dining table with a partner whilst trying to get Some. Darn. Work. Done.

But what is it that we are missing?

Were we simply underestimating the effect that spending up to a third of our lives with a random selection of people who happen to occupy the same four walls as us, has on our internal happiness? Or is it deeper than that? Could it be the absence of that connection making us unhappy? Stay with me on this.

It’s well known that we each need human interaction on some level to, dare I say, validate, our existence. (OK, that may be a bit dramatic.) but we know we need the physical and emotional cues that come from face to face interactions. We’ve all experienced the misunderstanding of a text tone, of a poorly placed emoji, or too many exclamation marks!!!!

It forces overthinking, even in those who pretend it doesn’t. We second guess, and begin to build opinions and barriers that only serve to grow that discontent over time.

We aren’t wired to build relationships digitally *cue online-dater uproar*. Face to face interactions allow us to register facial responses (and react accordingly), they are necessarily more efficient and productive, which in turn leads to a sense of achievement, and the non verbal cues allow us to build an internal framework about how we connect with this specific person. A framework that means we get to shortcut all that analysis the next time we interact.

Alliant University of Psychology webpage, states: “Communicating face to face also builds trust and connection between employer and employee as well as between colleagues. This can foster goodwill and build that sense of teamwork that can transform an organization from surviving to thriving. There simply is no substitute for connecting on a human level”.

So, I’m leaving you with that. If the freedom to do your housework in between emails, or the fact you can have your ‘quarantini locktail’ at 2pm and no-one knows (or cares, because they’re doing it too) is getting a bit old, the fact that you’re not close enough to smell your colleagues probably has something to do with it. It’s called the Olfactory Code. It’s science. I love science.

Until next time, my friends, stay safe, and let’s make that curve a little less bendy so we can all get back to that happy, smelly, place… Adieu.

Missed the last column?

Galloway: No ‘effing’ beige

About Jules Galloway:

Jules Galloway is known as an agitator and a change maker, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. As the founder/owner of Evolve Design| Build and co-owner of HUB Office Furniture, Jules ignores the status quo and is fundamentally changing the way the design industry does business. Having started her first business more than 25 years ago, Jules’ continued success comes from knowing when to buck the trends and instead dig into the ‘why’ as a way to understand what her clients really want. Especially when they have no idea! Jules has vision and it’s not just about the right chairs to go with that flooring. She is passionate about function-first design and purposeful projects. She has a clear idea of what it means to be part of the community and she incorporates this into every aspect of her life. As an instructor at the Centre for Arts and Technology Design School, Jules encourages young designers to understand the fundamentals but to also be confident to take the risks. Her personal passion for child and youth mental health has led to non-profit organizations making up 80% of her design projects. Jules brings her heart into all she does. She is a relationship builder who has a savvy eye, strong business acumen and leads with her heart. She lives in Kelowna, B.C.with her two children, her dog and her fiancé – soon to be husband, Lee!

www.evolveinteriors.ca

Email: jules@evolveinteriors.ca

Instagram:

Founder and CEO @evolve_designbuild

Co-Own @hubofficefurnitureinc

Facebook

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Interior design

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

It was an opening day filled with blue skies, sun and COVID-19 protocols at Vernon’s SilverStar Mountain Resort Friday, Dec. 4, 2020. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
VIDEO: Passholders enjoy sunny opening day at Silver Star Mountain

Resort staff say parking reservations, COVID-19 protocols went smoothly Friday, Dec. 4

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
81 new cases of COVID-19 detected in Interior Health Friday

One additional staff member at Kelowna long-term care home tests positive, no new deaths

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Two arrested after attack at Vernon home

Police spotted around 43rd Avenue linked to Wednesday assault

Lumby Mayor Kevin Acton has been re-elected as Regional District of North Okanagan Chair Nov. 18, 2020. (Richard Rolke - Morning Star file)
North Okanagan district re-elects chair, vice-chair

Acton, Shatzko re-elected for third lap as chair, vice-chair

An Armstrong resident shared video of a beaver gnawing away on a stick to Facebook Friday, Dec. 4, 2020. (Robyn Civic Adnoh photo)
WATCH: Beaver gnaws away in Armstrong wetlands

A resident captured video of a beaver chewing happily in a local creek Friday

Pickleball game in Vancouver on Sunday, November 8, 2020. B.C.’s public health restrictions for COVID-19 have been extended to adult team sports, indoors and outside. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
711 more COVID-19 cases detected in B.C. Friday

‘Virus is not letting up and neither can we’

Demonstrators, organized by the Public Fishery Alliance, outside the downtown Vancouver offices of Fisheries and Oceans Canada July 6 demand the marking of all hatchery chinook to allow for a sustainable public fishery while wild stocks recover. (Public Fishery Alliance Facebook photo)
Angry B.C. anglers see petition tabled in House of Commons

Salmon fishers demand better access to the healthy stocks in the public fishery

Farmers raise slogans during a protest on a highway at the Delhi-Haryana state border, India, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected the diplomatic scolding Canada’s envoy to India received on Friday for his recent comments in support of protesting Indian farmers. Tens of thousands of farmers have descended upon the borders of New Delhi to protest new farming laws that they say will open them to corporate exploitation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Manish Swarup
Trudeau brushes off India’s criticism for standing with farmers in anti-Modi protests

The High Commission of India in Ottawa had no comment when contacted Friday

Nurse Kath Olmstead prepares a shot as the world’s biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway Monday, July 27, 2020, in Binghamton, N.Y. U.S. biotech firm Moderna says its vaccine is showing signs of producing lasting immunity to COVID-19, and that it will have as many as many as 125 million doses available by the end of March. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Hans Pennink
Canada orders more COVID vaccines, refines advice on first doses as cases reach 400K

Canada recorded its 300,000th case of COVID-19 on Nov. 16

Apartments are seen lit up in downtown Vancouver as people are encouraged to stay home during the global COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer says provincewide data show the most important area B.C. must tackle in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic is health inequity. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
Age, income among top factors affecting well-being during pandemic, B.C. survey shows

Among respondents earning $20,000 a year or less, more than 41 per cent reported concern about food insecurity

Victoria-based driving instructors are concerned for their own and the community’s safety with the continued number of residents from COVID hotspots in the Lower Mainland coming to the city to take their driving road tests. (Black Press Media file photo)
Students from COVID hotspots travel to Vancouver Island for driving tests

Union leader calls on government to institute stronger travel ban

(Hotel Zed/Flytographer)
Kelowna hotel grants couple 18 years of free stays after making baby on Valentines Day

Hotel Zed has announced the Kelowna couple has received free Valentines Day stays for next 18 years

Damage to window panes at the downtown Salmon Arm Askew’s location could still be seen on Dec. 4. It was apparently caused by a pellet gun overnight on Dec. 2. (Jim Elliot-Salmon Arm Observer)
Windows damaged by pellet gun at both Salmon Arm Askew’s locations

Window panes were shot multiple times overnight on Dec. 2.

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix wears a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19, during an announcement about a new regional cancer centre, in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, August 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
PHSA bought faulty respirators; spent money on catering, renovations: Dix

Such spending included ‘unnecessary, unbudgeted renovations’ to the authority’s headquarters in Vancouver

Most Read