Reversing “The Loneliness of the Long-Distance” Worker: Rebuilding Motivation & Morale through an Expert Facilitated Webinar/Support Group

A Hi-Tech and Human Touch ™ Experiential Process/Production

Must distance workers be isolated workers?  According to recent organizational productivity surveys, the dramatic expansion of teleworking is causing isolation for distance employees. Whether being distracted on the Internet, not able to set up a daily work structure and routine, no “water cooler conversation” for a break or collegial inspiration, not to mention demands of family life for some of these teleworkers….   Clearly, this can be a formula for disruptive stress, energy drain, lack of productivity, even short-term depression or long-term burnout… all threats to company morale and your bottom-line.

Stress Doc Enterprises and Estrin Legal Staffing have developed a hybrid intervention model: part webinar and part facilitator-led participatory support group. These extraordinary times require uncommon skills and structures, experience and talents of purposeful and empathic, “Emotionally Intelligent” facilitators/counselors. These experts must adapt social media technology with quick engagement: empathic and “keeping it real” resilience and mind/morale boosting communication along with team building experiences. When facilitators have “The Right Stuff,” Zoom meetings don’t have to turn participants into Zoombies!

Adaptational Structure, Skills & Strategies

In a safe, skillfully orchestrated, appropriately open and intimate setting, participants will gain psychologically adaptive personal and work strategies for: a) realizing they are not alone, b) productively starting and organizing one’s work day, c) getting a kickstart or overcoming procrastination, d) asking for help; offering empathic, effective, and efficient feedback, e) learning to take rejuvenating breaks for boosting energy and morale, and, in times of need, f) creating stress buddies and creative-brainstorm partners.  Helping employees in group settings can enhance both individual and group motivation and morale, generating a virtuous cycle throughout the organization.  

Bullet Point Learning Objectives: Top Four Commandments 

To throw those isolated distance employees a life-line, here are the critical Art of Virtual-Psychological Support, Engagement, and Collaboration Learning Objectives:

Foundational Webinar: The Role and Responsibilities of the Facilitator in Creating a Safe, Flexibly Structured, and Participatory/Helmet’s Off Space for All; Establishing individual Participant and Group Norms; Sharing at One’s Own Pace, Breadth and Depth, and Overall Level of Comfort; Stressing the Criticality of Confidentiality and Trust-Building

1. Understanding How Anxiety and Anger, Loss and Grief Fuel Telework Isolation and Frustration

2. Establishing a Daily Structured Mindset/Workspace, Negotiating Family Roles, and Effective and Efficient Routines 

3. Learning to Openly and Safely Share and Give Supportive Feedback in a Teleworker Support Group 

4. Developing a “Stress Buddy” Emotional Support-Creativity Connection with Another Team Member 

And a little lagniappe: Providing Additional Support Group, Counseling, and Therapeutic Resources

Logistics

Clearly, this transformative program-intervention is more than a one-time program. In fact, it is envisioned as a time-limited series of support groups (e.g., four to six sessions) or as an ongoing collaborative experience, that has an organic beginning, middle, and end-point. And one indicator of success will be when program peers can be team leads, continuing the virtual group support, morale, and productivity process. 

The Stress Doc and Colleagues Are Resilient and Ready

The Stress Doc Enterprises (SDE) team has unmatched experience in delivering creative and transformative virtual learning-sharing-engaging experiences, whether leading Zoom mental health/stress resilience therapy groups, facilitating Zoom Unitarian Universalist Senior Support Groups, participating in Zoom 12-Step groups, interviewing prospective job candidates, holding virtual counseling and coaching sessions or running a variety of webinars for online training companies, Ijona Skills, Compliance IQ, Assent Global, etc.

The Stress Doc has decades in designing and deploying acclaimed Get FIT – Fun-Interactive-Thought -provoking – “hands on” training and teaming, as well as critical incident consulting.  The Stress Doc’s blend of virtual and vital (as in “we are together in this room… and I can take your vital signs” 😉) becomes quickly evident. The experienced and experiential Stress Doc team enables Emotional Intelligence and touch to vitalize and humanize hi-tech sense and sensibility. Through appropriately open and intimate “Helmet’s Off” (no rank in the room) sharing – in realms personal and/or professional, at each group member’s initial comfort level – once isolated employees quickly become engaged and rejuvenated; not only are they inspired, but often become inspiring role models for others.

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