Culturally Fluent: Your Passport to Global Excellence

Culturally Fluent 🌍 Combating Loneliness in Remote Teams

Published 11 months agoΒ β€’Β 3 min read

Paul Arnesen



Welcome to this week's newsletter, where we focus on a critical aspect of remote work: - Loneliness in Working in Remote Teams.

As the remote work landscape grows, we recognise the importance of addressing the feelings of isolation and loneliness that can sometimes arise.

Here are my weekly insights to help you better understand combat loneliness in remote teams and build a stronger, connected workforce.

Global Work Insights

Remote Work Challenges and Loneliness.

Here I have listed some practical strategies to combat loneliness and isolation in remote teams. As a leader, showing you can get a long way with in-house cultural sensitivity to build productive remote teams.

​Click here to read the article​

Cultural Spotlight

Connectedness Worldwide

People from different countries combating loneliness at work through unique cultural practices can be great to learn and take inspiration from.

These are unrelated to remote work, but the practices can easily be adapted to a remote work setting.

Here are some examples:


  • Japan places a strong emphasis on building strong interpersonal relationships at work. Many companies in Japan organise regular social gatherings, known as "nomikai" or "enkai," where colleagues come together to socialise outside of work hours, fostering a sense of camaraderie.
  • "Kaizen," which means continuous improvement, encourages open communication and feedback among team members, creating a supportive work environment where employees feel heard and valued.


  • Sweden is known for its flat organisational structure and inclusive work culture, which promotes open dialogue and collaboration. This approach makes employees feel more connected and valued as integral team members.
  • Swedish workplaces often incorporate "fika," a coffee break tradition that encourages colleagues to take regular breaks together, promoting social interaction and reducing feelings of isolation.


  • In Brazil, there is a strong emphasis on maintaining a warm and friendly work atmosphere. Colleagues often address each other with informal terms like "amigo" (friend) or "colega" (colleague), which fosters a sense of familiarity and camaraderie.
  • Brazilian companies often organise team-building activities and events, such as outdoor excursions or sports, to strengthen bonds and create a sense of community among employees.

Success Story

Zapier's Recipe for Success: Fostering Connectivity in Remote Teams

By strongly emphasising team-building activities, employee well-being, and virtual social events, Zapier has effectively tackled loneliness and strengthened connectivity among its distributed workforce. Embracing remote work as an integral part of its company culture, Zapier has nurtured a sense of inclusivity and support, making it a prime example of thriving in the remote work landscape.

​How to manage a remote team by Zapier.​


Book Recommendation

​Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection" by John T. Cacioppo and William Patrick​

This book explores the science of loneliness and the profound impact it can have on individuals. While not specifically about remote work, understanding the psychology of loneliness can provide valuable insights for remote leaders in addressing feelings of isolation among their teams.

Article Recommendation

​Is Your Remote Job Making You Lonely?" by Octavia Goredema​

The author shares her experience of transitioning to remote work and feeling increasingly isolated. The article addresses loneliness, including identifying personal needs, assessing available options, and taking the first step towards connecting with others. Good read!

Podcast Recommendation

​Special: Remoteβ€”but not alone" by Oliva​

Oliva delves into the topic of loneliness in the remote working world. The episode highlights the challenges of spending long hours at desks alone. It explores an experiment where strangers on LinkedIn were paired up for 20-minute chats to discuss shared experiences related to loneliness. The conversations cover topics such as grief, travel, motherhood, and more, providing a meaningful exploration of loneliness in the context of remote work. The podcast is part of Oliva's efforts to address employee mental well-being and foster sustainable company cultures.

Learn From An Expert

In this insightful TEDx talk, Tom Oxley delves into the significance of workplace mental health. With extensive experience and expertise, he explores various aspects, including mental health, in school workplaces. Tom's passion for helping employers understand and address mental health at work is evident as he shares his knowledge gained from interviewing over 130 people and working with diverse organisations, charities, and sectors across the UK.

video preview​

Join the Conversation!

I want to hear from you! Share your thoughts, insights, or personal experiences related to this week's topic.

​Let's continue the discussion on my Linkedin!​

That's it for this week's newsletter! Stay tuned for more exciting insights and resources in the coming weeks.

All the best

Paul Arnesen


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