Remote working can be extremely beneficial for a business and its employees, but it can also cause a strain on working relationships. No longer can the tea run be used as a chance for a quick catch up and you’ll no longer be able to see if one of your colleagues is having a tough week at home by seeing it on their facial expressions and body language.
Now more than ever, a trusting and strong relationship between colleagues is essential for optimum productivity and employee happiness. Especially with a contingent workforce, you want to make sure all employees are comfortable and confident to communicate that they have the resources they need to do their job properly. Here are a few tips to help you grow and keep good working relationships whilst remote working.
This may sound simple, but it can be quite easy to get carried away with the business objectives of a meeting and forget to exchange the pleasantries. Even simple questions as to how they’re doing and what have they been up to. Express an interest into what your employees do in their free time. This is a great way to find mutual interests that fuel positive connections and this, especially in a time where working remotely can be lonely, is important.
Occasionally hold video meetings
If you don’t already use the video function for meetings, try it from time to time. This way, you can see how the person is doing physically and can read their body language throughout the conversation. Especially for interviews, using video is a great way to find out more about the candidate’s attitude and skills through observing their movements, their presentation and confidence.
Being honest is a major way to gain and keep trust. Be transparent with your co-workers about your thoughts and state of mind, work-related and not. Showing a little vulnerability if you are having a bad day will allow others to see that it’s acceptable too. Remote workers are all in the same position, but knowing you are not alone can help get through it.