The Impact COVID Had On Work Relationships


Some people argue that working remotely has several benefits. However, many work relationships suffered in the two years of the COVID-19 pandemic when many workers left the office to work from home. The impact of missing out on daily informal interactions and general workplace camaraderie with colleagues was huge.

Loss of Social Capital

The unplanned interactions of people going about their work are known as social capital. Its benefits include mentoring, kindness, and knowledge sharing, which contribute to the thriving of organizations and their employees. Furthermore, social capital helps generate new ideas, lower staff turnover, better employee performance, and lower employee absenteeism.

Changes to social capital spurred by the shift to remote work changed social capital within the workplace. Yet, despite the continued need for interactions and online meetings, people globally reported feeling disconnected and isolated.

Studies showed increased interactions with close networks at the onset of remote work, whereas those with more distant networks shrunk. However, even close network interactions started fading with time, leaving a legacy of increased silo effect with more one-on-one or small group chats.

Less Productivity and Innovation

Strong workplace relationships positively affect organizations, leading to more productivity and innovation. However, with the breakdown in communication during COVID-19, many people reported decreased ability to brainstorm, innovate, or collaborate.

Social isolation was challenging for new employees and those in their mid-twenties. The lack of networking, onboarding, and training made it difficult for new employees to feel included in communications with both their direct teams and leadership.

Remote communication and lack of networking made it more difficult for young employees to feel engaged. They found it more difficult to share ideas during remote meetings or to have their say.

The upside is that many people reported improved communication when companies returned to a more hybrid model, decreasing their sense of isolation.

Shifting Command-and-Control Leadership

Collaborative processes bore the brunt of working from home for many teams as many leaders used the opportunity to avoid the process to get things done faster. However, the shift from a collaborative approach to a direct approach often leads to feelings of voicelessness and frustration since people are side-lined. In addition, tensions can ensue from this approach, disrupting the balance of power.

The danger remains that the collaborative leadership approach, one not favored by everyone, will be dismissed for a more directive approach.

Friendships and Work

Close work relationships and the rituals followed increase work fulfillment while improving productivity and company loyalty. On the other hand, working from home leads to loneliness. Its effects are the same as some people’s loneliness in the office, affecting their professional and personal well-being. Moreover, the lack of shared spaces and conversations takes its toll on these friendships, requiring extra effort to survive long-term. However, maintaining these friendships has the benefits of relieving both a sense of alienation and stress.

Uncertainty is another aspect of working from home, notably since the pandemic increased unemployment and social injustices. The results include increased depression, lack of energy, and burnout. On the other hand, maintaining office friendships remotely became an effort for some people, making it easier for some to recalibrate the balance of work life.

Whatever is best depends on the individual, but the difficulty of maintaining work friendships may mean that people shun them and their positive effects, preferring to shift their energy towards non-work relationships, their families, and favorite pastimes.

Maintaining Workplace Relationships Post-Covid

Ensuring people don’t feel isolated requires a small effort but promises great rewards to help keep everyone mentally healthy, productive, and fulfilled.

Replacing the conversations around the water cooler with digital communications like regular messages and newsletters encourages people to stay in touch, whether they work remotely on a hybrid model.

Listening remains vital to ensuring everyone has a role to play, helping to foster workplace relationships across all divisions and chains of command.

Employee relationships remain vital to satisfied employees who pay it back with loyalty and better productivity. In addition, communication and collaboration require encouragement, whether teams work remotely or just a few meters apart. Moreover, strong teams thrive on appreciation and recognition, which involves effort under all circumstances.

Last Take

The pandemic impacted work relationships in several ways; studies have shown its adverse effects. However, as people shift to a hybrid work model or return to the office, the opportunities for a social connection and work satisfaction remain. These opportunities include keeping an open line of communication, listening, and creating chances for involvement and team-building activities. Maintaining the above ensures teams that will collaborate happily together, no matter where they work from, at home, in the office, or the new reality of hybrid work.


Set Your Business Up For Success
Want to make this your most successful year yet? Make sure to cover all your bases. Focus on what you do best and find experts for all of the rest. Fiverr is a great place to find professional help in every field imaginable. Have countless to-dos? Fiverr’s freelancers can be counted on to do them all. On time and on budget.

Wondering where to start? Here are your 3 steps to business success:
1. Build a Better Brand
Want a brand that earns your customers’ trust and loyalty? Don’t confuse them with a bland brand.
Create a standout brand across every aspect of your marketing: Brand your logo, your website, your app, your social media.
You get the picture. (but make sure that picture looks good)
  • Get a world-class logo design

  • Design your social media to reflect your brand

  • Tailor your web and mobile design to fit your brand

Social Media Design
Logo Design
Web Design
2. Grow Your Customer Base
They’re not going to walk in your door if they don’t know who you are. Catch them while they’re browsing the Internet at home. Pop up on mobile while they’re walking around town. Whatever it takes to reel them in.
Pump up your presence online with these easy fixes:
  • Boost your social media marketing (SMM): Target your ideal customers and appear in their social media feeds.

  • Level up your search engine marketing (SEM): Pop to the top of the search results with your targeted ads.

  • Step up your SEO: Rank first on Google search results and get the attention your brand deserves.

Social Marketing
ASearch Engine Marketing
3. Stay Ahead of Your Digital Game
To keep pace with the latest digital trends, you have to keep up with the times. This means you need to give your users what they demand.
Constant content updates: Who wants yesterday’s news?
Short, engaging videos: Your customers crave them.
Seamless user experience (UX): Because no one wants to waste time looking around your site for info when they can find it elsewhere faster. A clean, user-friendly user interface (UI) can clean out the clutter and make your users even more engaged.
Stay ahead of the pack with:
  • Website Content

  • Short Video Ads

  • WordPress Site Building

Video Ads
Website Content
Everything your business needs is just 3 steps away!
Learn more about how to build and grow your business with
Fiverr Business Guides.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here