Respect towards others should be standard behavior in the workplace, regardless of role, rank, or reputation. But as companies have become more virtual, global, and stressed out, this assumption can break down unless we focus on it more explicitly. Let me explain.

In the not-too-distant past, the majority of work was conducted either face-to-face or through real-time conversations in the office, factory, at meetings, or through customer visits. These personal interactions allowed people to get to know each other and create human connections. They also fostered a basic degree of courtesy since it’s awkward to have continuing contact with someone who is rude, obnoxious, or unpleasant to be around.


This article is available online at Harvard Business Review.