Insightful takes on scaling your business

Connect with your remote team: A simple heart emoji goes a long way

Love and attention, but mostly attention

Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten
Story by
Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten

CEO and co-founder, TNWBoris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and (show all) Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and Boris is very active on Twitter as @Boris and Instagram: @Boris.


Boris is the wise ol’ CEO of TNW who writes a weekly column on everything about being an entrepreneur in tech — from managing stress to embracing awkwardness. You can get his musings straight to your inbox by signing up for his newsletter!

I know these are tough times, and a lot of people are struggling with being locked at home. I also hear a lot of people worry about how difficult it is to care for families, or run companies remote, and dealing with all the anxiety that comes with it. However… I also hear another important story. 

A few parents I spoke to recently quietly admitted that their children are also really appreciating all the time they’re getting to spend with their parents. Sure, we’re confined to small spaces, and sometimes bored or scared, but dinners are more relaxed and seem to take longer, and the children often are more relaxed and patient.

Again, I don’t want to ignore the stress a lot of families are under, but it’s important to be aware and nurture this one positive aspect of these current dark times: More attention for the people close to us.

[Read: A good CEO confronts their worst fears with humor]

Now here comes the challenge: Replicating that for your company. Your co-workers, partners, and employees also want your love and attention. This is easier said than done when you’re remote. 

Normally an understanding smile and nod at the end of a meeting, a friendly tap on the shoulder, or a casual chat near the elevators would show the people you work with that you cared about them and valued them. But all these things are gone for now, and will be sorely missed.

But it’s up to you to keep this going during lockdown, so my advice is: Just reach out. A smiley over text, a photo via email. A selfie, a link to a book you read, even just a “how are you holding up?” is good enough. 

Personal contact doesn’t have to be intense and prolonged. Sometimes, one small gesture is all it takes. Now go and say hello to a random acquaintance, send a funny clip to your coworker, hug your kids, and pet your dog. Or send them a reply with only your favorite emoji. I’d ❤️ that.

Can’t get enough of Boris? Check out his older stories here, and sign up for TNW’s newsletters here.

Published April 23, 2020 — 15:52 UTC