Friday, May 14, 2021

Pandemic reveals surprising differences in the way men and women network

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Welcome to Worksheet, a newsletter on how people work smarter in these turbulent times.

Each week, this newsletter will share an analysis on the state of the work of S. Mitra Kalita, a media veteran, author and journalist.

In this week’s edition, Kalita takes a look at the surprising ways men and women network very differently during COVID.


Caili Elwell is living her best life, despite the pandemic. She runs a branded studio, recently moved to Maine, and is president-elect of a networking group.

She spends her days onFacebookand Instagram chatting with other “mompreneurs,” as she calls them. Some turn into clients and others become friends and referrals.

Her husband Douglas, meanwhile, sees social media as a way to catch up with existing family or friends over networking between strangers.

For him, “Facebook is something to decompress. That’s the classic definition of an introvert, ”says Caili Elwell, 29. “I consider it a form of fulfillment if I can get someone to respond to a cold touch. He doesn’t like to do that.

The husband and wife couple is a classic case of how men and women network in very different ways during the pandemic. Marissa King, professor of management at Yale, is the author of the new book, “Social chemistry: decoding patterns of human connection. Initially basing the work on pre-pandemic research, she revisited the subjects after the lockdown and made a striking discovery: Networks had declined by 17% – almost entirely among men.


Kalita goes on to explain the differences between ‘segmenters’ and ‘integrators’ and how workplaces can – and should – help tackle loneliness right now.

Read his full column here.

Wondering what the future of work holds? Visit Fortuneof Work smarter hub sponsored by Future Forum by Slack.

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