Is your brain ready to go back to the office? - Deepstash
Giving Effective Feedback

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Giving Effective Feedback

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In-person gatherings are blooming again

In-person gatherings are blooming again

As we pass the pandemic's two-year anniversary, employers are officially welcoming more people back to the office.

One of the most difficult changes during the pandemic has been our ways of communicating and collaborating. Constrained to a computer screen and videoconferencing, we've adopted unnatural and habitual ways of working with each other.

When we return to the office, we won't necessarily bounce back to some pre-pandemic way of working.


76 reads

Our shared reality has suffered

Research can pinpoint exactly what is happening in our brains when we connect over screens.

  • Connecting with others over video conferencing requires our brains to work harder to accommodate the millisecond delay in sound. 
  • At the same time, we have multiple eyes staring at us, sometimes unnaturally sized or too close, which our bodies can see as a threat.
  • We’ve lacked the unscripted and unexpected moments of being together in person, like the surprise of bumping into a friend or the spontaneous whiteboarding of a new idea.


58 reads

Looking forward

Looking forward

Going back to the office will be new terrain. To help ease into collaboration and communication, pay attention to the following:

  • Don’t overschedule yourself. Allow yourself some open, non-task time and space to readjust.
  • Set an intention for connection. Research shows that our minds wander 37% of the workday. Returning to the office can lead to distraction, which is not ideal for collaboration and connection. Try to set an intention to reorient your attention.
  • Get more sleep. Extra commuting, catch-up socializing, and mental overload will be tiring.


51 reads

How leaders can create spaces that nurture connection

Research shows that social isolation was the top challenge for those working from home.

If your staff returns to the office, consider the following.

  • Talk. Have a return-to-office plan and keep talking about it. When there is clarity about the strategy and plan, employees have 36% more pleasant feelings about being back in the office.
  • Organize schedules by key moments, not by days of the week. Plan in-office days when your team will most benefit from a shared reality.
  • Design office spaces for different ways of interacting.
  • Have agenda-free social interactions.


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