Even though more people work from home these days, remote working is still new to the majority of us. There will be changes in the way you need to organise your day, and you will need to use tools to stay connected to the people you work with.
It’s often easier to create good working relationships and friendships with colleagues in person, where tone of voice and body language plays a part in your interactions. Even though we’ll be working remotely for a while, it’s important to build on the relationships you have with your colleagues.
Here’s some ideas on connecting with your colleagues when you work from home:
Schedule regular catch-ups
Have daily, scheduled time to chat with colleagues. There may be days when you could go the whole day (or even week!) without chatting to anyone aloud. Call people but if you can, use video calling – it’s important to see another person’s face. Your call doesn’t need to be all about work, just chat like you would while making a cuppa or working together. If you work for a large company, you might want to limit daily catch ups to your immediate team but have a weekly virtual coffee/lunch where everyone is invited.
Working together with someone, even remotely can help you feel connected. There are lots of tools out there to help with managing projects. Some of these tools offer threads or chat windows so you can have small talk throughout the day as you would in an office.
Share interesting and funny content with your colleagues via a Whatsapp group chat or closed Facebook group to bolster solidarity. Bring back watercooler moments by creating different channels on Slack or folders on Google Drive where you can discuss and share a range of topics like popular series, boredom hacks, working out at home, recipes etc.
Grab some friends or colleagues together and do some co-working every day for an hour or two. Set up a video call, and work alongside each other with periods of silence intermingled with chit chat.
Assume good intent
While technology has its benefits, it’s important to keep in mind that without the personal element of face to face interaction, body language or tone; text based messages or emails can be misunderstood or lost in translation.
It may take time to get used to working from home, but you’ll adapt before you know it.