Physical proximity goes a long way to establishing solid professional relationships. When you work alongside your manager and colleagues for 8 hours a day in the same workplace, cultivating and strengthening relationships is a natural process. But what’s going on when you work remotely? Is distance the death knell of authentic professional relationships? Certainly not. Even when working remotely, solid connections can be forged, provided the right processes are put in place. Here's how.
Choose the right communication tools
Obviously, this is the first thing to consider. Remote working requires the use of effective and efficient communication tools. There's no shortage of them on the market. With Slack, Zoom, Skype and Microsoft Teams, you have plenty of options. You can organize virtual meetings, share ideas and collaborate in real time. The choice of the right platform will depend on the needs and profile of your teams and your company.
Organize regular virtual meetings
We're not just talking about work-related meetings here, but also much more informal virtual encounters. In other words, it is the equivalent of impromptu conversations around the coffee machine. It's also, and very often, where creativity is stimulated by sharing common moments in a freer, more relaxed atmosphere. These moments of conviviality also have the added advantage of bonding teams.
Connect on a Personal Level
Of course, getting the job done should be your top priority. But don't let that overshadow the rest. Even at a distance, you need to take the time to get to know your colleagues. They're not just an essential part of the team. Getting to know them beyond their professional role is highly recommended. If only so that you don't miss out on those little touches that strengthen team unity, such as celebrating birthdays.
Fun and Productive: Engaging in Virtual Team-Building Activities
Team-building doesn't have to be face-to-face. Even at a distance, cohesion can be multiplied. All it takes is the right tools. Online games, quizzes, collaborative projects that require everyone's participation, make it possible to mix fun and work. These activities encourage teamwork, problem-solving and communication in a relaxed environment, ultimately leading to stronger relationships and a more cohesive remote team.
Feedback: A Two-Way Street
This is the compass that will guide you in the right direction. You need to encourage a culture of open feedback, where team members feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas. Similarly, never miss an opportunity to appreciate and recognize the hard work of your colleagues. A culture of recognition strengthens bonds while boosting morale. It's important that everyone's contributions are valued.
Sharing Knowledge: Encourage Learning
Remote working can be a powerful weapon in breaking down corporate silos. With this in mind, we must not hesitate to encourage team members to share their experience, expertise and skills with the rest of the company's talent pool. This can take the form of virtual workshops or knowledge-sharing sessions. This is an opportunity for teams to showcase their work processes and the quality of the results achieved. This encourages skills development, collaboration and a sense of community within the team.
Establish Boundaries for a Balanced Life
One of the great advantages of remote jobs is that they enable you to establish the necessary balance between your professional and private life. Establish your schedule and stick to it. For example, avoid sending non-urgent messages outside these times. Everyone has the right to a break. Respecting personal time and ensuring everyone gets the break they deserve is also a good way to maintain good relationships with your colleagues.
Be Adaptable: Embrace Change
Technical resources are constantly evolving. That's why you need to be adaptable and embrace change. This is a must when it comes to optimizing remote working processes. You can't afford to be left behind. Now, you know what you have to do.
It’s All About Canceling the Distance
Every true relationship is based on communication, understanding and mutual respect. Remote jobs are no exception to the rule. Digital tools make it possible to cancel distance and create real proximity, even if it's not physical. Today, rest assured that it is possible to forge meaningful bonds and a solid professional network, no matter how many kilometers separate team members.