How To Stay Connected While Working Remotely
Staying connected while working remotely is more of an art than a science, though it can be critical to the success of the team as well as your identity.
Since March 2020 millions of employees have been working remotely; with varying results. If you are one of these people, you had to learn on the fly of how to stay connected to your team while working remotely. For most, it was a pretty even playing field since nearly everyone was in the same boat.
Now with things ‘opening up’, businesses are starting to bring employees back to the office. If you continue to work remotely while some of your colleagues are in-person, staying connected becomes more of a challenge. The in-office team may start crafting the mood, mojo, and team dynamics while you remain at home as a solo satellite. “Me & Them” mentality may follow and/or you may begin to feel the significant and subtle value of face-to-face interaction.
Here are 5 must do’s to help your remote team stay connected:
Choose Your Role
Determine what type of team player you want to be. Do you want to be a collaborator, a culture contributor, a silent supporter or ___?___. It’s your choice on how connected you want to be and making the choice to stay connected will go a long way.
Go first when joining a call or virtual meeting to say “Hello” or ask your colleagues how they’re doing. Take time in emails to do the same. Act as you would if you saw them in the hallway at the office. Cutting directly to the tasks or requests may begin the subtle path of evolving from a personal or team relationship to simply transactional exchanges.
Be seen and heard. Attend team and company conference calls. Have your microphone and camera on. With every action you are either taking away or adding to the collective efforts of the team. Express your thoughts and views of the topic at hand. Making this effort will show your commitment to being a part of the team even though you’re not together.
Do the Little Things
Send the office team notes or cards of appreciation. Have impromptu check-ins with individuals about what is going on in your life. Request to be included in office events such as birthday parties or product launches. Create ‘water cooler conversation’ times to simply say ‘HI’ and to ‘talk story’.
If at all possible, go visit the office quarterly to see and be together as a team. The face-to-face time is valuable beyond measure and will make connecting easier when back working from your remote space.
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Written by Todd Demorest, Chief Facilitation Officer of Odyssey Teams