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Hybrid working: wellbeing and inclusion
Hybrid working: wellbeing and inclusion

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5.4 Avoiding isolation

Social isolation is a challenge often associated with remote working. While some people may actually prefer working away from a busy office, it’s important to ensure that individuals and teams still have people or networks that they can reliably speak to. In a virtual working world as part of a virtual team, it’s easy for people to become invisible.

In some organisations the increase in hybrid and remote working means that full-capacity, open-plan offices where everyone had their own designated desk have been transformed into bookable hot-desking areas. This means that when you do arrange to go into the office, you might be the only person in the room all day, which may make you feel isolated or uncomfortable.

Check in regularly with your line manager and if you work in a matrix management situation, establish regular contact points with any other colleagues you’re doing work for, making sure both you and they understand the deliverables, the objectives, and when and how you need to deliver them.

If you used to have team-based social events in the office, have you tried virtual team events? These could be as simple as a half-hour tea or coffee break via video call, where you have the sort of conversations you might have had previously in the office kitchen, or it could be something more involved like a scavenger hunt. You can find more examples and inspiration for virtual team building activities at teambuilding.com [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] (make sure to open the link in a new tab/window).