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Social distancing is not social isolation

Introduction

The times we are going through right now are unusual. Our day-to-day is no longer what it used to be. We are adapting ourselves to new habits and leaving the old ones behind. The threat of the COVID-19 pandemic gives us uncertainty, both at work and at a personal level. Governments from many countries around the world have asked us to stay at home. So the question that comes to mind is; what is going to happen to us, as human beings living in a socialized world?

Social distancing vs social isolation

What is social distancing about? It means not physical interaction with other people, in order to “flatten” the curve and prevent the spread of the Coronavirus as fast as possible.

What is social isolation about? It is the separation from other people, whether it is physical or virtual. For example, when someone would rather stay at home watching Netflix than going to any kind of social gatherings.

The challenge

Putting the pandemic aside, staying at home for long periods of time can be challenging, emotionally speaking. At Coorva, we have been working from home since March the 16th, to reduce contagion and/or transmission of the well-known COVID-19.

This is what the challenge is about: keeping our motivation and that of our work team flying high, while we have to be locked down and the news seems discouraging. In other words, keeping a good mood and a positive attitude may seem like an impossible task.

However, our aim is to stay encouraged and more united than ever. That is why, at Coorva, since we are social beings, we keep virtual communication. Governments want us to stay apart from each other, not to isolate ourselves emotionally. Therefore, we should take the necessary precautions to put an end to this nightmare as soon as possible, and in the meantime, we should try to support each other by leveraging all the tools available.

Without people, organizations wouldn’t be able to exist, and therefore, any business activity would be meaningless.

Our solution

Nowadays, we have digital tools that, years ago, seemed like things taken from a sci-fi movie. Seeing each other on a screen and talking “face to face” though we are hundreds of miles away from each other, or taking a picture and showing it to your family members instantly without having to reveal it first?? Fortunately, technology can help us cope with isolation in ways we have never thought before.

Next, I will give you some tips and I’m sure they won’t be hard to implement at your company.

Virtual Lunch

It’s a video call where every member shows their meal ready to be eaten at lunch. It is important to take the time needed to cook something delicious. The idea is to chat in a relaxed atmosphere, as we would do in a “face-to-face” lunch. Every member talks about what they have cooked, and the idea is to discuss any topic at random. The goal is to share a moment together, as we used to do at the office. To sum up, we want to keep this habit, even if it is virtual, focusing on the human side of business.

Virtual Happy Hour

Occasionally, we have a traditional happy hour. We leave the office and we head to a bar nearby to have a couple of beers. However, since everyone has been put into quarantine, we schedule a video call on Fridays at 6pm, where every member shows up at the meeting with something to drink, whether it is a cold beer, a soda or whatever they want to drink. The goal is similar to that of the virtual lunch: share a pleasant moment together, talking about movies, TV shows, books, or anything else.

WhatsApp Group

WhatsApp is a messaging app that lets users text, chat, and share media, including voice messages and video, with individuals or groups.

In order to stay in touch with our team members, we have created a WhatsApp group, where we can stay in touch 24/7, even if it is outside of working hours. The idea is to know how everyone is dealing with this lockdown. In fact, we share useful information about where to buy food or medicine online.

These are the challenges we have to face this 2020.

Conclusion

The human factor is essential at any company or organization to reach success. Without people, organizations wouldn’t be able to exist, and therefore, any business activity would be meaningless. That is why it is important to take care of your employees, especially in these crazy times, because they are the most valuable source we have. We should see this pandemic as an opportunity to get closer to them and, above all, be more human than ever.