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infographic: building social connections at work

We all recognise that taking better care of ourselves will lead to enhanced health and wellbeing. Making smarter choices in life comprises of eating vegetables, exercising regularly, maintaining relationships with family and friends and even trying to schedule (and achieve) the 8 hours’ sleep which is so highly recommended. But did you know wellbeing is also improved by your ability to connect with others?

Unfortunately, many of us are guilty of neglecting our social connections, even though research shows that improving the balance of social connectedness is just as psychologically nutritious. One study showed that low social levels can be more detrimental than the effects of smoking, obesity and high blood pressure and that in fact when improved, those with high levels of social connectivity have a 50% chance of increased longevity.

But the question is… how do you know if your connectivity is balanced right?

We are all busy, which often results in social exchange being achieved in the quickest option possible – which is especially true when it comes to social interactions within the workplace. Hiding behind an email may seem like the stress-free option, but you’d benefit much more by picking up the phone.

Here are 3 simple tricks to re-programme your social connectedness. 

Call: Don’t hide behind email: it is all too easy to send a quick email to a colleague; however it is important to resist the urge and talk to them. Simply pick up the phone and call. Also, try to stand when you make the call as this will generate energy in your body and help you have a more confident and positive conversation.

Face to Face meetings:  maintaining relationships require effort and a good face to face conversation is extremely valuable. Be selective though as you don’t want to spend all of your time in meetings; maybe select those where you have a more complex topic to discuss or a sensitive subject where face to face will ensure that you get the right point across and you can ensure that there is understanding. If budgeting and resourcing is an issue why not try video calling?

Video Calls: there is a mass of free technology available on the market that can keep you connected with your co-workers and people in other organisations, for example, Skype and Google Hangouts. Take advantage of this technology to place video calls to your team. The simple addition of seeing the other person will lead to a better working relationship and sense of connection.

Take a look at our infographic for more tips on how to build valuable social connections in the workplace. You could even print it out and post on your notice board for your whole team and organisation as something to work on together!

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