Remote working is now the norm in a modern working environment. Employees expect a certain degree of flexibility within their role, whether it be working from home, on customer site, from a coffee shop or in a coworking space.
However, with remote and flexible working comes the complexities of forming working relationships with your colleagues.
How do you do this effectively when your team is scattered across the country or even the globe?
I’ve been working remotely for a number of years now, and have picked up a few tips and tricks along the way. Here are my top four tips on how to effectively establish and build relationships when you are a remote worker.
1. A picture says a thousand words
Sometimes it’s the simplest of things which can help us achieve that instant connection with our colleagues, and in this case, it’s a profile photo. We’ve all read the importance of having a social media profile photo, but it’s equally as important to have a professional profile photo on your internal workplace communication platforms.
And here’s a nice little photography fact for you according to Business Insider: more than 1.2 trillion digital photographs were taken in 2017.Which when you do the math, is unbelievably 160 snaps for every 7.5 billion people on planet earth! So, no excuses to not have at least one photograph to use!
And while we are on the subject of your internal workplace profile, don’t forget to add in a short bio, a small blurb of who you are does wonders to help create a digital profile.
2. I just called to say…
I like to keep in touch with my team, and having regular contact with your colleagues is another way to keep the communication lines open. For me, I find video conferencing a hundred times more effective than email. Email is renowned for creating miss-communication, so you can’t beat a good old face-to-face or video conferencing call!
One of the most obvious benefits of video conferencing is being able to visually see the other participant, and this is where body language comes into play. Did you know, that according to a recent article on Forbes.com, sitting up straight sends nonverbal signals of energy, enthusiasm and health - which goes a long way to helping to form those relationships.
3. Instant messaging apps
Creating a group in an instant messaging app is another great way to keep your working relationships open. Being able to effectively collaborate by sharing images, notes, and updates creates a fresh communication line to your team; cementing your relationships. I wasn’t surprized to learn that instant messaging is popular within technology industries, with statistics from ReportLinker showing 71% of employees use some form of instant messaging.
4. Introduce yourself
Don’t keep yourself siloed with your own department or even your own location. Reach out to your colleagues and introduce yourself, understand what other departments do and how they can assist you with your role, and in turn, how you can help them!
After all, it is all about teamwork!
Shane Dowler I Senior Account Manager I Condeco America