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5 Quick Tips to Build and Maintain Relationships Remotely

“That Escalated Quickly”- Ron Burgundy

For many in March, the transition to work from home was sudden. Most people were likely thinking that they would be back in a month, or at least by the end of summer.

Now it’s August, and it’s become clear that the end to remote working for many companies is nowhere in sight. While there are challenges that come with working from home, the consensus seems to be that workers can maintain a decent level of productivity (or sometimes more, which comes with it’s own challenges). Americans, and others around the World, have settled in for the long haul.

While many people may have initially enjoyed the extra family time and free time, humans are inherently social. And as a leader, you know that maintaining work relationships are an easy way to keep your employees happy. The last thing you want is for your employees just to see each other as names on a screen. Here are some quick tips to help you build and maintain relationships remotely.

Video Calls

As I said before, humans are social. We crave face to face interaction. While looking at a screen will never fully replicate face to face interaction, make it a point to schedule all of your meetings via your video software. This includes those “Oh, let’s just do a five-minute phone call real quick.” No. Make it a face to face interaction. No expectations to dress your best or have the perfect background, but making your calls replicate face to face interaction as much as possible is an excellent way to make your team feel bonded. Encourage your employees to do the same in their meetings. 

Acknowledge & Celebrate Success

In the office, congratulations may come often and casually. Your coworker could pass by your desk and say, “great job getting that new client.” Your boss could call you out in a meeting for your substantial impact on the recent successful marketing campaign. Going virtual does not mean those interactions should decline or disappear. Recognize and celebrate everything. Is it Jenna’s birthday? Send her a happy birthday shoutout in the Slack chat. Damien made a huge sale that is going to benefit the company? Let everyone know in the all hands meeting. At the very least, you should be congratulating your employees individually. Still, by making it a team or company-wide feat, you can add a little bit to create the social environment everyone has been missing. Plus, who doesn’t love positive recognition? 

“Water Cooler Chat”

Speaking of a social environment, replicate it the best you can by creating a “water-cooler” chat room on your company’s preferred communication platform. Encourage people to share memes, pictures of their puppies, or photos of the latest ridiculous artwork their kids made. Not everyone has to participate, but this serves as a good outlet for those who miss those little impromptu office conversations.

Virtual Lunches & Coffee Breaks

Set up a few times a week where employees can hop on a Zoom link during their regular lunch hour. Schedule some coffee breaks. Encourage non-work-related chats that help bring a sense of normalcy. Once again, it just gives employees another chance to feel some sense of togetherness and represent their typical working environment. There should be no agenda, just casual chit-chat. 

Let it be Known When you are Available. 

Almost every chat service has some kind of status button where you can mark if you are away or available. A lot of them allow you to write a status too. Set the example and encourage your employees to update their availability as often as possible. You can tell if someone is buried in their work or on a call in the office, but at home, you always have to assume they may be busy. Set your status as green and available when you can, and encourage virtual ad-hoc meetings or short conversations, just as you would in the office.

The Main Point

While remote work can never truly compare to the office atmosphere, by following these tips, you can help your employees and keep off the isolation blues. In the short and long run, this will make your employees happier, healthier, and in turn, your company healthier and happier. 

Peoplelogic can help let you know if your employees are engaged or if things are slipping through the cracks. The platform gives leaders actionable recommendations and insights that help spot and correct problems on their teams, and between the other teams they work with, before your company missed its goals. Get started for free.

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