Detach & Attach For Success At Work


For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.”

― Rudyard Kipling, the Jungle Book


It has long been recognised we, as humans, need to have positive relationships in our life to thrive and be successful. But, working in a team isn't always a positive experience.

In our high-pressure workplaces, staying actively productive and engaged can be challenging, especially when outcomes are dependent on collaboration and team cohesion. The people around us have a significant impact on our performance and our general well-being.

This impact can be positive or negative, so how do we make sure we protect our psychological and emotional needs on an individual level, but also gain the same benefits from being engaged in a team when working in stressful environments?

From an individual perspective there is growing evidence to suggest we need to take every opportunity to regularly detach from situations or environments that potentially can impact our health and wellbeing. Typically, when we hear that someone is “detached”, this could be viewed negatively. However, recent research suggests the opposite.

There are many benefits from strategically detaching from what we do for a living.

Getting away from work allows us the opportunity to mentally, emotionally and physically recover. When we face stress, or have high workloads on a regular basis we need to ensure at the end of the work day we set boundaries and actively dis-engage from job related activities.

This could mean not checking e-mails or preparing for next day meetings. Being able to mentally distract ourselves from the stressful demands of the work environment during out of work hours has been shown to have restorative qualities that help us regain our emotional and cognitive balance in life.

Besides detaching from work for our wellbeing, evidence also suggests the reverse can play a big part in our success. As employees we spend a majority of our time in the workplace, therefore engaging in positive workplace relationships can be incredibly important.

As humans we crave social support, and connection, but unfortunately the workplace can prove to be a lonely experience for many. To build a successful workforce there needs to be a workplace culture that encourages social interaction and helps employees connect and establish strong relationships with one another.

Why not try joining in some work based activities or even after-work. Some other great ways to develop strong social interaction is to add co-workers on social platforms and arrange walking walking meetings. See more in our guide to making friends.

Building social connections in the workplace is about adopting an environment that supports mutual respect, trust and belonging.  It offers us an opportunity to minimise stressful work situations. It’s about having the faith from the relationships that you can confidently discuss your feelings, so you can maintain your mental health and deal with times when you feel troubled.

Talking about your feelings is not a sign of weakness, but a positive move taking charge of your well-being.

These relationships can either positively or negatively affect your stress levels, performance, productivity and general feelings of happiness. When we live and work together in harmony, the chances of enjoying the journey and achieving success is greatly enhanced.

Written by Robert McGivern - Life and Mental Skills Coach at Coaching With Impact.