5 Tips to Building Strong Relationships with Remote Colleagues
One key element to a successful remote career is how close you are to your team and remote colleagues. How can you substitute the water cooler conversation with an even greater level of communication? More of a proactive effort needs to be made when working away from each other but with advances in technology it’s now possible to replicate or even improve on what can be achieved in the office. Firstly, remember people working from home tend to be more rested, less stressed and happier, so that can be a great foundation to establish the start of a super working relationship.
5 Tips to Developing Strong Relationships & Culture with Remote Colleagues
1. Video Calls
Seeing your colleagues frequently will help build rapport. One of the surprising pleasures can be getting to know your team on a far deeper level because the reality is that at some point, their spouse, kids and even pets will make a background appearance.
Remote teams will often be very close, to the point where they will do little favours for each other, share video clips that will make others laugh and share their personal drivers and goals. Leaders who get this right can have the powerful combination of a happy and highly motivated work force.
3. Meet ups
Meeting up is important a few times a year and can be great for cementing the already strong relationships that will have developed. Remote teams talk about the initial 5 mins of awkwardness meeting the “rest of their body”! However this turns very quickly into a highly bonded team, delighted to be together and ready to have some fun.
Many immediate messages will be sent via instant messaging and email. Where possible video call and if you can’t, be wary of how your texts can be read by your colleague. If in doubt wait until the next morning, respect that being remote means being even more vigilant about what you say and when.
5. Personal touch
Sending a card, letter or gift for celebration or appreciation of great work can be so touching. Opening your front door to find something personal to you can really light up your day and more importantly make you feel close to your remote colleagues.
With reports indicating that by 60% of all workers will be remote a % of the time by 2020 this future work place and how we communicate with others will be important not only for attrition but for high performance.