Protecting Remote Workers’ Productivity and Performance

Women working on laptop at home

Practically overnight the vast majority of office workers became remote workers when social distancing measures put in place in March to slow the spread of the Covid-19 virus dramatically changed the way we go about our days. If that was you, over the last several months, you have had a taste of the long-touted benefits of remote work—no commute (a savings of nearly an hour a day for the average American plus the cost of commuting) and flexibility. You may also be wrestling with the challenges of blurred lines between company time and personal time, and how to effectively collaborate with colleagues who are no longer down the hall.

Burnout and the Importance of Connection

Appearance on The Mentors Radio Show

Stressed woman leaning over laptop

Recently, Katie Stallard and I had the opportunity to speak with Tom Loarie, host of the Mentors Radio Show, about career burnout and the role that connection plays in preventing it. It’s an important topic given the high stress levels that many professionals are experiencing today.

If you or someone you know is struggling with burnout, we hope the interview provides some helpful tips in getting back on a path to engagement and happiness. Listen to the full interview.

Protecting Employees from Covid-19 through Connection

Stack of disposable face masks

How can we protect people in the workplace so they don’t contract Covid-19? The Centers for Disease Control just released guidelines for offices that include temperature and symptom checks; encouraging employees who have Covid-19 symptoms or sick family members to stay home; prohibiting hand-shaking, hugs, and fist bumps; wearing face coverings; physical distancing of work stations (or separation by plastic shields); and eliminating seating in common areas.

Will people follow-through and do their part for the good of the whole? What can be done to increase compliance with these and other requirements so that the risk of virus transmission is minimized?  

Connection at Home During Covid-19

Family sitting on couch at home together

Are you home and feeling alone? Are you home and wishing you could be alone for even a few minutes? The Covid-19 virus has caused many organizations to move large numbers of employees from working together at the office to working remotely at home. For other organizations, it has meant temporarily shutting its doors and having to furlough workers or let employees go. Unless you are an “essential worker,” gone is the time you spent interacting with strangers, colleagues and friends as you commuted to work, ducked out to grab a meal or run an errand, and did your job. Gone is the time you spent socializing with friends at a sporting event or volunteering alongside others in the community.

Appearance on SHRM’s “All Things Work” Podcast

Person working on laptop at a desk at home

In this recent episode of SHRM’s “All Things Work” podcast, Katie Stallard and I spoke with host Tony Lee about the isolating nature of remote work and solutions employees can take to stay well during this time of social distancing.

I hope you’ll listen and share the podcast with a friend or colleague as we all work together to stay connected. Click here to listen to the podcast episode.

Why Relational Connection Is So Important During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Connection during social distancing represented by two people in separate kayaks

The novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the need for social distancing, quarantine and isolation so that vulnerable individuals are not exposed to the virus and healthcare systems are not overwhelmed. Collectively, we understand the goodness of “flattening the curve” by each of us doing our part to slow the spread of the virus. COVID-19 is not the only epidemic we are facing. 

“Michael Stallard Interviews with Pat Farnack on Ways to Connect”
by WCBS Newsradio 880

Health & Wellbeing with Pat Farnack

I recently had the pleasure of being interviewed by Pat Farnack, longtime radio host on WCBS Newsradio 880 in New York City. In our conversation, we talked about the toll that lack of connection takes on our lives, why it is important to slow down and connect, and practical ways to increase connection at home and at work.

Listen to the full interview below.

Boost Connectedness to Reverse Rise of Suicides in America

Stressed man at risk of suicide siting at desk

With the exception of America, suicide rates over recent decades have declined in most of the world. Suicides in the U.S. have risen more than 50% from 2005 to 2017 and now exceed deaths by motor vehicle incidents. In 2017, the most recent year data is available, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported 10.6 million people seriously considered suicide, 1.4 million attempted suicide and 47,000 committed suicide.

Is There a Place for Love in Leadership?

The Container Store's We Love Our Employees Day in 2014

“A company is stronger if bound by love than by fear,” the late Herb Kelleher, co-founder, CEO and Chairman of Southwest Airlines, once said. When Kip Tindell, retired co-founder and Chairman of The Container Store, first heard Kelleher’s bold declaration more than 40 years ago he was, in his own words, “completely taken by it.” In Tindell’s book, Uncontainable, he describes how he and his leadership team went on to shape The Container Store’s “employee first” culture in ways that reflect love. He credits the company’s culture for its success.