Whether you are self-employed or employed, you will inevitably have to work with other people at some point. Freelancers have to interact with clients and customers and build relationships with them. Those in employment need to work well with remote coworkers whether they are colleagues, managers, suppliers, and customers.
It is impossible to avoid other people entirely—and few of us would ever want to do so.
However, remote working brings significant challenges to working with others. It is much harder to build rapport when you are not face-to-face. A significant amount of communication is lost without body language, facial expressions, and gestures, and telephone and email are poor substitutes for face-to-face contact.
So here’s how to work well with remote coworkers by maintaining relationships with others!
The Value of Maintaining Relationships With Coworkers Virtually
In the past, remote working was often a choice, and not always available to everyone. Few people worked remotely all the time; one or two days a week was more normal. This type of part-time working from home makes it easy to maintain relationships with your colleagues. After all, even if your colleagues are also working from home part-time, you probably see them at least once a week. Many managers make a point of holding all-team meetings to facilitate relationships.
However, many people have found remote working thrust upon them recently as a result of the pandemic. They and all their colleagues have been moved to working from home. This situation makes it much harder to work well with remote coworkers and maintain good relationships. However, this just makes it even more important that you do so!
How To Work Well With Remote Coworkers
There are a number of things that individuals and managers can do to help maintain good relationships when everyone is working remotely. An example would be to schedule ‘whole team’ video conferences on a regular basis. It is surprising how easy it is to become out of touch with everyone else’s work when you do not half-hear phone calls or spend any time chatting in corridors. This means that the formal arrangements for keeping in touch have to be better when everyone is working remotely.