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How to create connections at work in the age of isolation

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How to create connections at work in the age of isolation

NEW YORK (Reuters) – If an overflowing inbox is killing your productivity at the office, you are not alone.

FILE PHOTO: Workers are seen in an office tower in the Canary Wharf financial district at dusk in London, Britain, November 17, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

Well, maybe you are, but not in the way you think.

A recent survey of more than 2,000 managers and employees in 10 different countries found that employees increasingly depend on technology to communicate with their colleagues, including email (45 percent), text messaging (15 percent) and instant messaging (12 percent).

Of those who cited email, more than 40 percent said they felt lonely always or often, were not engaged and had a high need for social connection.

Dan Schawbel, author of “Back to Human: How Great Leaders Create Connection in the Age of Isolation,” offered Reuters these tips on working remotely, managing technology and building a collaborative workplace.

Q. Is there a dark side of working remotely?

A. One-third of workers in the U.S. often work remotely. The number of remote workers is up 115 percent in the past decade. But just 5 percent of these workers see themselves staying at the same company for their entire career.

While we want flexibility so much, there is a tradeoff. Our research shows that remote workers are more likely to quit because of loneliness as well as low engagement. The reason why (co-working space) WeWork exists is because people want the human connection. Otherwise, people would just work from home.

Q. Is there a “right way” to work offsite and keep remote workers engaged?

A. These employees will work harder if they have a sense of connection. For managers, it is important to let a remote worker lead the meeting. It’s so simple and brilliant at the same time. It also makes sense to fly remote workers in once a year for an offsite or social event.

And be sure to use video conferencing often for meetings – you get to see and hear someone, which is much better than an email. It also forces you to dress like you are in the office. If you dress the part, you act the part.

Q. How can we maximize our time when we are in the office?

A. When you are working, you need time to focus, think deeply and pay attention to your words, thoughts and ideas. You also need collaborative time to share those ideas.

The actual work is important. But it’s also crucial to cultivate friendships. The workplace survey I led, which was conducted by my company Future Workplace, an HR advisory firm, and Virgin Pulse, a digital health company, found that 7 percent of all employees globally have no friends at work and over half have five or fewer total friends.

The majority of people (60 percent) said they would be more likely stay with their company longer if they had more friends.

This was especially true for younger employees. Gen Z (74 percent) and millennials (69 percent) say they would be inclined to stay with their company longer if they had more friends than Gen X (59 percent) and baby boomers (40 percent).

You will never be able to replace face-to-face interactions at work. Once you are in a room – at a meeting, event, or even celebrating a birthday at work – be present. Put down your phone and actually talk to people.

Q. People spend so much time at work. What is the best way to avoid burnout?

A. Even if you love your job, everyone needs a break. That is why some interesting things are happening around the world to combat burnout. For example, in Finland and in the United Kingdom, they are looking at a four-day work week. In France, you actually have the right to disconnect – workers there don’t have to answer email on the weekends or after work hours.

In Japan, every Japanese citizen gets the right to take Monday mornings off.

Overall, it is about what you do, and who you do it with. The people you choose to work with are more important than the work you do. Even if you love your work, and it gives you purpose, toxic co-workers will make it unbearable.

Editing by Beth Pinkser and Bernadette Baum

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Bella Thorne sends hearts racing with sexy bikini snap after Mod Sun split

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Bella Thorne sends hearts racing with sexy bikini snap after Mod Sun split

Bella Thorne is showing her ex what he’s missing.

The former Disney child star posed for a series of sexy snaps on Instagram just days after announcing she had split from rapper Mod Sun.

“Not that chick that wears makeup in the pool,” Thorne captioned the sultry photo in which she dons a barely there black bikini as she exits a pool.

BELLA THORNE GETS CANDID ABOUT BISEXUALITY, OPEN RELATIONSHIPS WITH MOD SUN AND TANA MONGEAU

She wore the same bathing suit days earlier while posing yet again poolside. “It’s hot help me,” she wrote.

Thorne, 21, announced last week that she and the 32-year-old rapper had parted ways after dating for more than a year.

BELLA THORNE POSES NAKED IN WHIPPED CREAM TO PROMOTE MAKEUP LINE

“I  will always love you. All good things must come to an end,” the actress wrote on Instagram. She punctuated the snap with a broken heart emoji.

BELLA THORNE POSES NUDE WITH NO RETOUCHING

The breakup comes two months after Thorne announced she and girlfriend Tana Mongeau — who she dated concurrently with Mod Sun — split.

“Tana and I aren’t together anymore, pls stop asking. We love U guys,” Thorne tweeted in February.

Mongeau, 20, tweeted at the time, “i love her forever don’t get that twisted. she changed my life forever. don’t rly wanna talk on it.”

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In January, Thorne said of her relationships with Mongeau and Mod Sun, “I don’t think anybody will really understand the bonds that I share with Mod or Tana … Yeah, we joke around about poly, but we aren’t in the sense that we don’t put a word, a box or label too many things. It is what it is.”

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Chris Pratt reveals he’s ‘so thrilled’ to work with re-hired James Gunn on ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 3’

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Chris Pratt reveals he's 'so thrilled' to work with re-hired James Gunn on 'Guardians of the Galaxy 3'

Avengers: Endgame” star Chris Pratt is thrilled that he will work with writer and director James Gunn on the third “Guardians of the Galaxy” movie.

Gunn was fired by Disney in July 2018 after decade-old tweets resurfaced in which he joked about topics like pedophilia and rape. Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn told Fox News at the time that the studio had “severed our business relationship” with Gunn. However, the studio reversed that decision in March.

“I was so thrilled, so excited. I think it’s the right move, I really stand behind it,” Pratt, 39, told People. “I’m really proud of Disney for hiring James back and ultimately thrilled for not only us, but also for the fans. I think it’s going to wrap up the trilogy in the best way.”

SCARLETT JOHANSSON SIZZLES IN SILVER AT ‘AVENGERS’ PREMIERE WITH BOYFRIEND COLIN JOST

He continued, “And Guardians of the Galaxy are really all about second chances and giving people an opportunity to be their best. We’re a ragtag squad of people coming together and having each other’s back. I think it really worked out the way it was supposed to, and I feel good about it.”

Pratt was among the eight cast members to share a note with Disney urging it to rehire Gunn in the wake of his controversy. At the time, Gunn had already apologized for his past comments noting that, early on in his career, he tried to be provocative with his comedy and regretted it.

Chris Pratt revealed that he's thrilled to work with director James Gunn again on 'Guardians of the Galaxy 3.'

Chris Pratt revealed that he’s thrilled to work with director James Gunn again on ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 3.’
(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

“My words of nearly a decade ago were, at the time, totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative,” Gunn wrote at the time. “I have regretted them for many years since — not just because they were stupid, not at all funny, wildly insensitive, and certainly not provocative like I had hoped, but also because they don’t reflect the person I am today or have been for some time.”

MARK RUFFALO WAS ASTONISHED TO LEARN THIS FACT ABOUT HIS ‘AVENGERS: ENDGAME’ CO-STAR BRIE LARSON

Disney announced that not only would it work with Gunn again, but it will use his script for “Guardians of the Galaxy 3” as well as reinstate him as director.

“I am tremendously grateful to every person out there who has supported me over the past few months. I am always learning and will continue to work at being the best human being I can be,” Gunn wrote following his reinstatement. “I deeply appreciate Disney’s decision and I am excited to continue making films that investigate the ties of love that bind us all. I have been and continue to be incredibly humbled by your love and support. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Love to you all.”

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Before his third adventure with the Guardians, Pratt is expected to appear again in “Avengers: Endgame,” which hits theaters April 26. Meanwhile, Gunn will helm the sequel to “Suicide Squad” for DC and Warner Bros.

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Prince estate to release ‘Originals’ album of late legend’s versions of songs he wrote for other artists

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Prince estate to release 'Originals' album of late legend's versions of songs he wrote for other artists

It’s a rare singer-songwriter who can just give away undeniable hits like “Nothing Compares 2 U,” “Manic Monday” and “The Glamorous Life” to other artists, but that’s exactly what Prince did throughout his 40-year career.

And on his birthday, June 7, the late artist’s estate, in partnership with Warner Bros. Records and Tidal, will release “Originals,” a 15-track album featuring 14 previously unreleased recordings by Prince of such songs. The tracks were selected collaboratively by Troy Carter, on behalf of The Prince Estate, and Jay-Z. (The full tracklist appears below.)

Starting June 7, “Originals” will stream exclusively on Tidal for 14 days. The announcement notes, “In the spirit of sharing Prince’s music with his fans as he wanted, the album will be available to stream in Master quality via Tidal’s HiFi subscription tier. Members will be able to hear the recordings just as the Artist intended the tracks to sound.”

On June 21, Warner Bros. will release the recordings, sourced directly from Prince’s archive of “Vault” recordings, via all download and streaming partners and physically on CD, while 180 gram 2LP and limited edition Deluxe CD+2LP formats will follow on July 19th. (Pre-order the album here.)

Prince was a monumentally prolific artist. By the mid-1980s, in addition to releasing nine of his most commercially successful albums, he also wrote and recorded many dozens of songs for proteges The Time, Vanity 6, Sheila E., Apollonia 6, Jill Jones, the Family, and Mazarati, and countless unreleased tracks. Often, Prince’s original demo recordings would be used as master takes on their albums, with only minor alterations to the instrumentation and a replacement of the vocal tracks. Other times, artists would rely on his demos to guide them through their own recording process, with Prince’s initial take informing their final version of his song.

“Originals” reveals the origins of these songs — many of which were substantial hits — along with deeper album cuts such as Vanity 6’s “Make-Up,” Jill Jones’s “Baby, You’re a Trip,” and Kenny Rogers’ “You’re My Love.” While several of the versions on “Originals” have been available on bootlegs, many have not. The only previously released track is Prince’s original 1984 version of “Nothing Compares 2 U,” which was issued in 2018 as a standalone single (although the 1992 live duet version with Rosie Gaines may be his definitive take). The song was originally released in 1985 by The Family, and made into an unforgettable No. 1 single by Sinead O’Connor five years later. The album also includes Prince’s versions of four songs he produced for Sheila E. and two by The Time.

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