How to keep connected when working remotely
Working remotely isn’t a breeze for everybody and many people miss the social interactions they were used to with their colleagues. This is an important factor in employee morale and engagement which should be focused on especially whilst we work from home.
So, how do we ensure we stay connected even if we can’t see each other in person? Here are the best ways we’ve been connecting.
All of your meetings, unless very short phone calls, should be via video.
This one is pretty obvious, and we are almost certain everyone is doing this as much as they can. Whilst you may not always be ‘video ready’, we really encourage video chats as much as possible. Especially if you are working with someone new who you haven’t met before, it helps to put a face to a name. Additionally, it’s important to see your team mates. Not only can it boost your mood but it can also impact your motivation to work and help you become more productive.
You will also be able to grasp a sense of a person’s mood and see if they need cheering up or if they just need some space to get through a large workload. By picking up on the energy of your teammates from afar you can avoid any miscommunication around why someone might be a little distant or ‘off’ in comparison to their usual self.
Video casual catch ups
On top of work video meetings, try to schedule one meeting a week that is purely social. This could be catching up on a Monday after the weekend to satisfy that nostalgic feeling of asking ‘how was your weekend?’ Or it could be Friday drinks. Or it could be a Tuesday morning coffee break. You can even create a reoccurring video chat that is set up at a certain ‘break time’ and whoever is available can chime in. You can discuss your favourite Netflix shows or what you’re doing to keep busy when you can’t go outside. Whatever it may be, just allow for some stress free, organic conversation.
Calling someone instead of sending a long email
Sometimes it can be tempting to just dump everything into an email, but before you do that, a great idea would be to pick up the phone and call the person. Many times, giving someone a brief chat and outline before receiving and email can make them feel better prepared. It is also a nice way to touch base and hear someone else’s voice. If you’re unsure of the person’s schedule or work-load, send them a quick instant message or text depending on your relationship and ask them if they are available for a quick talk.
Sending instant messages (including non-work subjects)
Another ideal way to stay in contact easily is instant messages on programs such as Microsoft Teams. Messages can be for work topics as well as just social topics. This is a quick and easy way to reach out and keep a constant flow of communication without the pressure to respond immediately or too formally (like in an email). By keeping in contact throughout the day or week this way you will be able to maintain that rapport and employee morale that existed in the office arena.
We are not living in ‘regular’ times and everyone’s schedules will be a little different from home. Be careful not to overload the communication as it is more of an effort to socialize from home, rather than organically in an office. But make sure you’re checking in and keeping in touch, especially with those who really thrive off the social aspect of work.