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With more companies promoting flexible work arrangements, employees seem excited. Studies show that work from home (WFH) improves employee productivity and encourages them to work more. Research suggests people working from home worked for an additional 1.4 days every month. But, things can get out of hand if employees aren’t trained to cope with WFH challenges.
This article explores the 7 most important skills you should possess to build better relationships with co-workers while working remotely.
1. Stick to a time table
Work from home doesn’t mean you can work according to your whims and fancies. It shouldn’t make you irresponsible. Instead, it should help you maintain a healthy work-life balance. The easiest way to do this is by creating a sound time table and sticking to it. Share it with your team members so that they know:
- Your core working hours
- When they can expect you to join for a virtual meeting
- When can you be available for any last-minute escalations
2. Have informal conversations with your co-workers
In an office setting, employees get ample opportunities to meet with their co-workers. This includes but is not limited to physical intimacy such as shaking hands, patting, and hugging. It also includes sharing psychological intimacy such as providing solutions to personal problems, seeking suggestions for a better future and sharing achievements with each other. This helps to form a bond of trust between co-workers. But it takes a back seat while working remotely. Following are the ways in which you can keep the bond intact within a geographically dispersed team:
- Wish a team member on their birthday
- Share pictures of a team event
- Check your co-workers’ health
This should not take more than 2 minutes at the beginning of the virtual conference. Small gestures such as these go a long way in building resilient relationships with your co-workers.
Also Read: 4 Major Challenges of Remote Working
3. Make good use of technology
In the digital age that we live in, we have umpteen methods of communicating and staying in touch with each other. And these should be made good use of. Following are some useful ways in which you can stay connected 24/7 with your team:
- Schedule virtual meetings and conferences with your team
- Share important files with your team at a moment’s notice
- Share files, videos, and presentations with your co-workers instantly
- Conduct brainstorming sessions with your co-workers
4. Give more importance to face-to-face communication over written communication
Give precedence to communicating through virtual meetings instead of written communication such as email. It is because written communication leaves loopholes that may cause a message to be misinterpreted or misunderstood. And this may lead to workplace conflict. Hence it is always advisable to give instructions and clear doubts on voice.
5. Be compassionate toward others
The concept of the global economy has given rise to organizations that have offices around the globe. This has created a workforce that addresses the following challenges on a daily basis:
- Working in different time zones
- Disparate working methods and practices
- Contrasting identities
- Inter-group prejudice
Companies should take the following steps to resolve such challenges quickly and efficiently:
- Take into consideration the other teams’ time zones while conducting a virtual meeting
- Learn about each other’s culture
- Learn a few words to greet your co-worker in their local language
- Celebrate each other’s holidays and festivals and allow them to elaborate on it
- Don’t let anyone feel left out
6. Readily accept more responsibilities
Never say no to something new. Always be ready to take additional responsibilities. The following 5 points list its importance:
- It allows you to learn a new skill/technology
- It helps you meet new people and form connections
- It keeps you motivated
- Senior management takes note of you
- Your co-workers look up to you and subconsciously start following you
7. Always be open to meet-in-person
Whenever you get a chance to meet in-person with your client, boss, co-workers, do not let it pass. It’s imperative to meet them periodically. It helps build trust, understand how they work, stay in tune with the company’s goals and lead as a united force to attain the company’s objectives. You shouldn’t worry if the initial meetings appear to be jarring, it gets well with time. Meeting in person helps cement a strong bond with your co-workers and helps you in achieving your tasks easily and quickly.
There is no escaping the fact that COVID-19 is a reality. The whole world has come to a screeching halt and governments have enforced lockdown. People are forced to work from their homes. This is where we can help. At Sage, we are home to industry-leading CRM systems that help to communicate with your customers proactively in times of crisis. To know more about them, SMS SAGE to 56767. You can also write to us at email@example.com.
Disclaimer: All the information, views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and their respective web sources and in no way reflect the principles, views or objectives of Sage Software Solutions (P) Ltd.
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