While remote working is becoming a more popular work option (it’s not just a trend!), it’s not without its challenges.
One downside is the difficulty of forming strong relationships with your workmates.
Effects of Remote Work on Our Relationships with Coworkers
Many people had little to no choice when the pandemic first hit. We had to leave our offices and instead work remotely.
Sure, the arrangement had its advantages. It saves us time, money, and effort from those commutes and lunches out.
However, it also had negative effects on the social lives of employees, making them feel lonely and isolated.
To add to the dilemma, building relationships while working from home can be challenging and complicated.
After all, how do you get to know someone from a distance?
Still, not all hope is lost. Making friends with your coworkers is not an impossible task.
Here are some tips that might help you develop and maintain good working relationships with your workmates.
Create a Virtual “Water Cooler”
Remember back in your office—when you and your coworkers would gather around the water cooler for a quick chat?
The same concept applies here.
In your communication channels, create a safe space where people can share mundane topics.
Allow people to send in questions and concerns without fear of being ignored.
Mind you, the virtual water cooler does not have to be 100% serious. It can also be a place for people to take part in fun discussions.
Organize Meetings Regularly
Office meetings have gotten a reputation for being a “waste of time.” (Insert, “this could have been an email” meme.)
No, but really, most employees often dread having meetings.
However, reframe your outlook. Instead of feeling apprehensive, think of meetings as a way to interact with your coworkers.
Sure, you might talk about work 90% of the time, but you can take this opportunity to learn more about them.
The more you speak with your workmates (even if it’s mostly about work matters), the more comfortable you will feel.
Make Room for Different Cultural Backgrounds
At work, we may often have to interact with clients and teammates from other countries.
As such, each of them has a different upbringing and background.
Make sure to broaden your perspective when collaborating with them. After all, what may be normal and harmless for you may not be the same for your other colleagues.
Time zones also present a unique challenge when remote working. Thus, always be mindful of when your boss, client, and/or coworkers are online.
You do not want to accidentally disturb them when they are supposed to be off work.
Be Available and Accessible
When remote working, it is important to be accessible. No, this does not mean you have to work round the clock.
It just means that you do have to be responsive when your boss and coworkers need you.
If, for instance, you need to be away during the day, let them know.
By doing so, they can assign tasks to someone else, and your team won’t bother you while you attend to urgent matters.
Check-In With Your Coworkers
It does not hurt to cultivate some empathy either.
Try checking in with your workmates once in a while. Ask them how they are doing. Or if they are going through a rough patch, let them know you are there to listen if they need to vent.
A little bit of empathy goes a long way.
Be Proactive in Connecting and Communicating with your Workmates
When we want to achieve something, we sometimes have to work for it.
Building and maintaining work relationships are no different.
If we want to feel part of a team, we have to proactively seek connections with our workmates.
The pandemic has done enough damage to all of us. So, exercise thoughtfulness and kindness, especially when communicating with your coworkers.
When you can, extend help for any task that troubles them.
You and your coworkers are all in the same boat. You would all benefit by helping one another.
Remote work has its challenges. Again, building relationships while working from home is hard.
Still, you need to exert effort and time if you want to get along well with your workmates.
It will take time, but it would all be worth it.
On that note, if you are looking for a fulfilling remote job, check out Remote Staff’s job listings, which are regularly updated. You will surely find a position that will fit your qualifications.
What’s more, Remote Staff offers their remote contractors solid support, even after recruitment. The company cares about each of their subcontractors, which is why it has been in business for 15 years.
Want to know more? Register today!