Feeling Disconnected at Work? Here's What You Need to Do

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Laura Berlinsky-Schine2.3k
April 18, 2024 at 6:54AM UTC

Only one in four hybrid/remote knowledge workers feel connected to their business’ culture, a December 2021 Gartner survey found.

Not seeing colleagues in person is part of the problem. But it’s not the only factor contributing to this widespread disconnect

Across the globe, we’re coping with unprecedented challenges, and they're taking a toll on our work and personal lives. So, how do you reconnect with your work?

1. Listen to your colleagues.

A PwC survey found that only 36% of workers agree with the statements “At work, my opinions seem to count” and “I feel appreciated at work.”

That’s alarming. It’s only natural that employees who don’t feel respected or appreciated at work should be experiencing a disconnect. 

You may think it’s up to your manager to ensure that you and your colleagues feel valued, but you can play a role in fostering a more positive culture. Really listen to your colleagues and speak up for them. This, in turn, will make you feel like a team player — and you will be someone others respect.

Of course, if you ARE a manager, you’re in a unique position to support your employees. Consider, for example, having an open-door policy (virtually or in-person) so people know they can come to you. 

2. Take breaks.

Research supports the idea that taking breaks helps you recharge and actually be more productive. But try to make your breaks count. Take an invigorating walk, meditate or even stretch. Read an article or a few pages in a good book. In other words, screentime may not be the best use of your breaks. Either way, however, giving yourself even a few minutes here and there throughout the day will help you feel renewed and more able and willing to engage at work.

3. Have informal check-ins.

If you’re a manager, it’s a good idea to have informal check-ins with your direct reports to give them the space to raise concerns or simply tell you what’s going on. This, of course, will make them feel seen and heard and will allow them to have the opportunity to resolve any issues that don’t come organically. If you’re an IC, you can feel more connected to your work by suggesting these check-ins, not just for managers and employees but for team members in general.

4. Establish a mentor relationship.

Mentoring offers numerous benefits, from helping you direct your career to gaining new workplace skills. It can also allow you to feel more connected to your work environment, whether you’re a mentee or a mentor. Investing in and cultivating a relationship with someone at a different stage in their career will give you a new sense of purpose. Your mentee/mentor may even have ideas for feeling more connected in other ways!

5. Come up with three good things every day.

This is a good idea for anyone, no matter what challenges you’re facing. This exercise is associated with greater overall happiness. It’s simple: at the end of the day, think of three good things that happened. They can be seemingly minor events, such as getting a seat on the subway, or bigger ones, like receiving a promotion at work.

If you’re grappling with feeling disconnected at work, then try to make the three things about work. This could help you feel better about your job in general.

It’s not your fault if you’re dealing with a lack of engagement and connection in the workplace. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take strides to improve your outlook — and your attitude — toward your job.

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This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.

Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab mix Hercules. She specializes in education, technology and career development. She also writes satire and humor, which has appeared in Slackjaw, Points in Case, Little Old Lady Comedy, Jane Austen’s Wastebasket, and Funny-ish. View her work and get in touch at: www.lauraberlinskyschine.com.

What’s your no. 1 piece of advice for someone who’s feeling disconnected at work? Share your answer in the comments to help other Fairygodboss members!

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