Weak Workplace Relationships Favor the Firm
The problem with mono-contextual interactions – social interactions that happen in only one context (professional, academic, domestic) – is that they tilt the balance of power to the entity that sets the context where the interaction unfolds (government, employer, university, social media provider). The relationship gets stronger as it grows into different contexts, like when you grow closer to your work colleagues after having a BBQ party.
The relationship is now more resilient because you're connected by more than the office. There's a duty of care that
Consider. Tight-knit communities (neighborhood, town, city) can muster stronger resistance to top-down changes emanating from central governments (city, state, federal).
In Constrast. Remote work fosters mono-contextual relationships between employees. The way you meet your colleagues is through a screen, with rare in-person interaction. Your ability to relate with peers in non-work contexts is limited, no sharing stories, no growing close to each other. Solo-minded individuals may find this preferable.
The thing with becoming close with someone new is that there's a point when a duty-of-care becomes implied. The closer you become with someone, a reasonable expectation arises not to act against their good-faith interests. Keeping your distance limits this duty-of-care, keeps the other as 'fair game'.
When a rich, multi-contextual relationship exists between colleagues — when they know each other more intimately and a bond exists between them that transcends the context of work — this relationship becomes a consideration for management. Employers would do wrong to ignore relationships among individual contributors before making any big decisions.
– Bryant Park, NYC