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How Social Distancing Can Bring Us Closer Together

Updated: Sep 30, 2022

By Dr. Victoria Mattingly

This article was originally published on LinkedIn on March 14, 2020.

In response to the global outbreak of the coronavirus, the CDC is recommending we steer clear of one another for the time being, otherwise known as "social distancing."

Social distancing means remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible.

This prescribed social distancing is especially difficult for an organizational psychologist like myself, building a career on the premise that bringing people together leads to a better, happier, more productive workforce.

Businesses and leaders have needed to make difficult decisions all week, many of which come down to the personal assessment of:

How seriously should we be taking the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic?

As an entrepreneur, I have the privilege of being able to work from anywhere in the world without disrupting business as usual. Most of my clients (and the vast majority of U.S. companies for that matter) do not have this luxury.

Over the last week in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, mandatory work-from-home policies were enacted, travel bans were enforced, and many big, important events and conferences have been cancelled.

Is all the precaution worth it?