Despite recovery efforts from the COVID-19 pandemic, remote work has become the new norm for many. For some professionals, remote work has created a disconnect between them and their coworkers or employer. When taking this into account, it’s easy to see why disconnected coworkers are more likely to be less productive and motivated.
Connected coworkers have an increased sense of community and are more confident in their work. Fostering professional relationships opens career opportunities and creates an environment that welcomes and encourages everyone. By putting intentional effort into your interactions, you build camaraderie and trust with your coworkers. Here are six ways you can keep in touch with your coworkers—no matter the distance.
How to Stay Connected
Even remotely, there are plenty of ways we can strengthen our connections with one another.
Engage in Slack Channels
Our team channels allow us to ask questions and offer support, but casual Slack channels encourage conversation about things outside of work. Asking a daily question like, “What do you listen to while working?” or “How do you spend your free time?” is a great way to get to know your coworkers. A direct message on Slack allows you to speak privately with a coworker, giving you the opportunity to get to know each other.
Join a Virtual Coffee Chat or Happy Hour
Hop on a virtual meeting to chat over an AM coffee or PM cocktail. Starting conversations with unfamiliar coworkers has the potential to expand your network and get acquainted. Virtual chats don’t have to be just for introductions, though. Try reconnecting with office friends, too.
Find Things You Share in Common
Discovering a shared interest is an easy way to network. Whether you love watching football or spending your free time reading mystery novels, there are plenty of hobbies to strike up a conversation about. Sharing common interests gives you and your coworkers something other than work to bond over.
Encourage One Another and Give Praise
If you have the chance, give a teammate a shoutout! Compliments go a long way, especially when someone has been working hard to achieve goals. Praising your coworkers makes them feel appreciated and can boost their morale.
Coordinate Schedules with Your Team
If your team feels disjointed, schedule days throughout the month for your local team members to come into the office. These coordinated days can be held for team meetings, 1-on-1s or just to reconnect with your team members.
Keep in Touch with Your Hybrid or Remote Coworkers
Active listening, empathetic thinking and thoughtful communication are all small steps we can take to build meaningful connections with our team members. While staying connected may take some creativity and effort, you and your team will feel more engaged with your work and each other.