Insights on empathy and trust in remote work culture

As many of us adapt to working remotely, it’s important to remember that digital connectivity is not the same as human connection. It takes extra effort on the part of everyone to foster empathy, trust, and compassion amongst teams. And employee’s ability to form meaningful, trusting relationships is the single most predictive driver of an organization’s success. Teams that are emotionally connected with each other work better together. As we were building zanie, we spent a great deal of time researching and learning about what makes teams thrive at a distance. So we wanted to share the insights and knowledge we’ve collected as we adjust to our new reality.

It is said that teamwork makes the dream work. So what makes the remote team work?  TRUST

Research tells us that the most successful, fulfilled teams are those who trust each other. And teams that are emotionally connected with each other work better together. Here are some resources to help your team cultivate empathy, establish meaningful connections, and build trust, so teams and organizations can succeed.

What’s needed to build trust in remote teams?  Three things:

  1. Consistency of interaction: Trust is built incrementally, never all at once. Engaging with team members at regular intervals makes people feel seen, heard, valued, and invested.
  2. Reciprocity: mutual, balanced, respectful dialogue is essential for building rapport, understanding, respect, and trust. Co-workers who are willing to be open, to share, and to be vulnerable with one another build better things together.
  3. Progressive Self-Disclosure: Social Penetration Theory posits that people are like onions: you have to peel one layer at a time to get to the center of who someone is. Making and taking the time to let people in and to hear them out, a little bit at a time, is the best way to establish trust.


You don’t have to take our word for it. If you like a rabbit hole, this is a good one to go down to gain insight into what makes great relationships, communities and teams thrive.

And finally

Consider introducing zanie to your team! zanie builds stronger teams and workplaces by facilitating the meaningful conversations between co-workers that build trust and lead to innovative, productive, and fulfilling work. Just add zanie to Slack and you’re ready to go!

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