How to bring your human to work when you can’t bring your human to work


Erica Keswin


Spaghetti Project

It’s never been more important that we communicate with our colleagues, our boss, people on our team in a way that is authentic and real. Below are three ways to bring your human to work when you can’t physically go to work.  This talk is based on a speech I’ve given to companies all around the world called, The Three Ps of Bringing Your Human to Work. In it, I will provide the science and stories behind why being human at work matters more now that ever before.

The 3 P’s of Bringing Your Human to Work:   


  1. Prioritize Relationships: This is the time to be extra intentional about how we are prioritizing our relationships. Pause, take a deep breath, and ask yourself: Does your calendar reflect your values? Check in with your colleagues, friends, kids, spouse, and especially—yourself. We've got to put our oxygen masks on first before we can help anyone else.

  2. Position Technology: Which forms of communication can help you better cultivate your relationships, especially now? Look at tech along a spectrum from Slack/text on one end to (right now at least) video calls on the other end. Lean toward the end that cultivates more connection (aka, video) whenever possible. Another part of positioning technology is knowing when to put it in its place. Know when to turn it off. 

  3. Develop Protocols: Develop rules of the road to best curate connection. Especially now. Be sure to check in with each other. A simple, "How are you doing?" can go a long way in these tough times. I will give examples of what companies are doing in light of COVID19 to feel more connected to their employees.


The reality is, we're all scared. Everything is so uncertain right now, and people are feeling incredibly vulnerable. It’s important that employees hear from their leaders. Transparency is key, and if you can’t reinforce your company values through your actions, then you might want to reconsider your values. 


Rituals are the tools of the human workplace. Company or team rituals are always helpful, but especially now. If your company has rituals at work, try to keep them going. If it doesn't, now’s the time to create some. What have you got to lose?

© 2020