The new normal appears to be remote, at least for now. That means building relationships with your coworkers and your boss will be just a little tougher than if you worked within the same building. Even though you’re working on your own, you don’t have to go it alone. Here’s how to build relationships with your dispersed team and manager for better on-the-job collaboration.
How to Build Remote Relationships
No person is an island, so even if you’re working by yourself, it doesn’t mean you don’t need the help and support of your team. If you build relationships with your team you may even find that you make long-lasting friends. But how can you bond with your coworkers when there is so much physical distance keeping you apart? Here are some tips that may help:
Make an Effort
Make a deliberate effort to intentionally communicate with your team and your manager. If your boss hasn’t set a regular one-on-one each week, by all means, ask for it. Make it a goal to reach out to a coworker every day, even if it’s just to talk about the weather on an instant messaging platform. Part of the problem is the rule of “out of sight, out of mind.” If you’re not working closely with a coworker on a specific project, it’s easy to isolate yourself. In these situations, you should recognize what’s happening and set a tickler on your computer to make sure you reach out to people. You could even call a coworker by phone just to chat. As a bonus, do it at lunch while you’re taking a walk to get out of the house. Consider it a virtual coffee break, and make it habitual.
Find the Right Channel to Communicate
Use the right channel to communicate with coworkers. It’s easy to misconstrue tone when firing off messages on Slack. It also may not be timely if you’re sending an email. You have a lot of technology tools at your fingertips: Texting, video conferencing, email, instant messaging, and calling. Are you using the right vehicle for the right message? Crucial conversations should never happen by email or instant messaging, either. Pick up the phone or even better, conduct a video chat so the recipient can see your facial expressions.
Make Time for Casual Chats
Also, take time to not just be business-oriented in your communications. How well do you know your coworkers? Just like you’d do at the office, talk to them about what they watched on TV last night or about how their kids are doing. Always add a friendly, “How are you doing?” element to every message you send to tone down your all-business attitude. Make sure you take the time to send people e-cards on their birthdays or other special events. Also, are you connected to your coworkers on social platforms? That also might be a way for you to stay connected even when you are remote.
Talk to HR
Talk to your HR team about how you can stay connected with coworkers. The chances are high that they’re struggling with this as much as you are. They may decide to add more team building virtual events or conduct an employee survey to take the pulse of their remote teams. Your HR team also may have specific suggestions for how you can build up better relationships with your team members even when you rarely see them.
We Can Help You Find a Job with Great Co-Workers
ADD STAFF knows a lot about connections. We’ve spent years connecting top candidates with the best jobs in the region. If you’re struggling to feel connected with your team, the problem may not be you. You may need a better culture fit. That’s where we can help. Talk with our team today to begin to explore your options for the next stage in your career.