Out of sight, out of mind. With months of work from home and only virtual meetings, that’s kind of how relationships with your teammates can feel at times. Although many organizations have adapted to remote working conditions, humans are social creatures and it’s important to maintain that bond and cohesiveness you’d get in office.
Building relationships with your teammates can sometimes be pushed down on the agenda, but it’s vital to create a remote work culture. Taking the time to deliberately build relationships with your co-workers can make your work more pleasant. Exchanging ideas, enjoying lighter moments, and the feeling of being a part of a team are key to a well-oiled machine. Here are some tips to help you build camaraderie at the workplace.
We’ve all been guilty of forgetting to keep in touch with teammates when working from home. Most communication occurs in a formal tone, especially when it is work-related, and it can be easy to breeze past getting to know the individual, especially with deadlines looming. Intentionally find time for casual conversations during the week where you can ask some questions that don’t revolve around work.
Getting to know your teammates will help you understand and be more considerate of their preferences. This can lead to better communication and quicker turnarounds.
ProTip: Open-ended questions will create space for meaningful conversations.
Take the time to set up one-to-ones via video call. It is a fantastic way to get to know your co-workers better and works as a great substitute for in-person meetups. Try to keep work talk to a minimum as you are on a mission to build relationships.
One advantage of video conferencing would be the visual cues. You may even move around to show a glimpse of your environment showcasing your interests. Perhaps you could show some artwork you created or flaunt your garden. These offer indirect cues to the other person about your interests and passion. Not to mention, it works as a great conversation starter!
Pro tip: Position yourself in a well-lit spot and set a great background (virtual or real) with a cup of coffee or tea. Keep the meeting as casual as possible.
Work the Same Hours as your Team Members
General office culture lays down login and logout times. However, timings can be flexible depending on the individual. Try syncing your work timings with your team members when working remotely. This makes your communication quicker and helps your team resolve urgent requirements promptly. Being a team player goes a long way in building trust and showing you care.
Pro Tip: Offer to help if you’ve completed your work for the day and notice your teammate has a critical deadline to meet.
It’s easy for miscommunications to pop up when you’re not talking on the phone or face-to-face. Working remotely demands effective communication to build relationships. Choosing the right words and tone is a game-changer when communicating with your superiors, peers, or subordinates.
When texting or emailing, it’s possible to come across as gruff or brusque. Read the text before you click the send button, and remember to soften it up. Your message should put the person at ease and still clearly convey the work.
Pro Tip: Emojis are your saviors here, but make sure not to overuse them.
Be a Good Listener
Whenever there is interaction, there is a need to pay attention too. Understanding the person on the other side is never complete without listening attentively. Encourage your coworkers to share concerns or reasons for anxiety irrespective of the position they hold. Mutual understanding among team members makes work go much smoother.
Pro Tip: Remember you have one mouth and two ears, so listen up!
Remote working doesn’t mean you need to restrict your interactions with co-workers online. If you’re able to keep all safety precautions, meet up at a coffee shop or plan a trip together with your team. Celebrate the success of one of your teammates, or a birthday as a great way to break the ice.
Pro Tip: Meet at an outdoor location and work together from there.