The importance of being human at work

Building more personal connections at work makes us more motivated and ultimately more productive. As Sheryl Sandberg said in her best-selling book Lean In, ‘An all-business approach is not always good business.’ The Facebook COO frequently talks about the importance of being human when staff go through difficult times in their personal life.

However, it shouldn’t just be when things go catastrophically wrong for us or those around us that our human emotions kick in at work. In this blog, we’re looking at 4 ways being more connected could make our office environments nicer and ultimately more productive.

1) Being personable can make you more productive

Taking an interest in your colleagues personal lives is important in making connections with those around you. Although it may just be a small gesture, like asking about their weekend or holiday plans, connecting with your colleagues can create a more productive workplace as you’re motivated to work well with people you care about.

2) Reap the rewards of giving 100%

Regardless of your role in a company it’s easy, especially as tasks become second nature, to get stuck in a mundane routine. However, you’ll get more out of your working life if you keep challenging yourself, trying new ideas and giving more of yourself to a role. When you give 100% attention, you’re more in tune with the goings on around you and feel a greater sense of community.

3) Lead by example

Understanding each other and the implications of our actions can help create cultures where employees are engaged and thrive. If you’re a manager, think about your tone when you speak to direct report and other colleagues, think how your behaviour will affect how they work with their peers. Likewise when making tough decisions, such as restructuring or letting people go, you can make it far easier by being human and thinking about how to make it a better experience for them.

You’re not always just the boss, but also an individual so thinking about simple things like who’s going to receive and read the email you’re about to send. It’s not a business or a robot, but a person.

4) Performance can increase if you’re able to be a bit flexible

Research from the CIPD has shown that implementing flexible working hours can improve staff engagement, motivation and productivity. Flexible working could be having the option to work from home, work part time or allowing parents to rush off early to collect a child. Ensuring employees have a good work-life balance and feel they’re cared for means they’ll be happier, healthier and more loyal.

When we connect properly with the people around us, we’re more engaged and productive. Whatever your role, don’t underestimate the power of being human at work.