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April 2020 LILA Member Call Beth Schinoff – Workplace Relationships in a Virtual World

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April LILA Member Call:  Workplace Relationships in a Virtual World

Dr. Beth Schinoff – Carroll School of Management Boston College

The workplace is often the seedbed for meaningful connections – one of the “three main spaces” in our lives – home, work, church. Church has receded over time, replaced by technology and other places of congregation (e.g., coffee shop). Workplace has become an increasingly important source of belonging.

At the same time, we are facing a loneliness epidemic. We have an aging workforce, and remote work seems to play a huge role in loneliness epidemic, even among millennials. Hence, there are societal reasons to foster connection at work.

From an organizational perspective, when a friendship is overlaid on coworking relationship, this is referred to as “multiplex relationship.” The major benefits of these relationships for organizations are that they generally enhance job performance and organizational commitment.

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Harvard Graduate School of Education