We have all been at the coal-front of a huge shift in how business, education, travel etc works. We have all experienced the shift from 9-5 workday at the office, from school being delivered in the classroom and a significant change to the freedom of travel.
Thanks to the development of devices, IT structures and tool capability we have rapidly developed the capability of driving work productivity from home. It has caused a changed paradigm in how we view our working environment and choice of workplace. Flexibility is now an expected part of the employer/employee conversation.
From an employee point of view – there is the enjoyment of less commuting and healthier work/life balance; for the employer they benefit from higher productivity and access to a wider pool of human resources.
There are many great benefits to the change in our working territories, thanks to technology. However, let’s not forget that as with any change, it is partnered with challenge.
In our coaching conversations, we have noted the increase that a high number of remote employees feel regarding isolation and combine that with COVID uncertainties, there is also the impact upon motivation. Those water-cooler chats and physical engagement with others are a missing part of the traditional workplace relationship.
We’ve put together some TIPS to support your remote working relationships and avoid increasing isolation:
Don’t sit on the side-lines
Working from home and apart from others provides a very easy choice to ‘opt out’ of social interaction. But take the time to consider the benefits of social interaction with work colleagues. Just as we practiced in the traditional working landscape, taking the time to get to know another person bring more depth and connection to the relationship. If you find yourself one of the first at a remote meeting – don’t sit in silence, talk to one another: How was your weekend? How are you finding working from home? What have you discovered works well? Are your kids in school or having to learn from home?
Schedule a remote coffee break
Clear 15 minutes from your work to schedule a remote coffee break with another remote team member. Send them an invite and look forward to the 15min to talk about anything BUT work. Try some ‘warm up’ activity to get the conversation flowing. You’ll be surprised at how quickly the 15min passes and what you learn about each other!
Give a shout out!
Recognise your fellow team members! It always feels good to be recognised and helps to build that connection. This will also support a positive team vibe and encourage others to do the same.
Work to have that camera on!
Many of us would happily sit behind a profile picture, but let’s be real, our strongest sense is visual and making a connection with others is supported by visibility! For those of us who like to multi-task, it also helps us to be more mindful and present in the meeting, by requiring your attention to the screen and not wandering off to grab a cuppa.
Stay up to date
Read those emails and engage with the dialogue! You’ll be up to date and you’ll also feel more connected to the organisational workflow.
It’s not complicated and it’s the small consistent things that can make the biggest difference!