Working from home can sometimes feel isolating. Remote workers around the world report that they feel separated from their colleagues. Working remotely during the pandemic might require you to over-communicate to compensate for the distance that the coronavirus has created. We recommend taking advantage of the technology that is at your fingertips. These are 4 of our top tips on how to stay connected to the office while working remotely.
1. Don’t be scared to connect over the phone
It’s not always possible to effectively communicate through Slack messages and emails. If you feel like talking it out would be more effective, don’t be scared to drop a short call into your colleague’s or manager’s calendar.
You can also use Google Hangouts, Zoom, or Skype, to take your colleagues out on coffee dates or lunches during the week. Coordinating a weekly coffee corner is a great way to catch up with your colleagues and retain a sense of normalcy during these unprecedented times.
2. Create virtual spaces to socialize while working remotely
You can use the trusted Slack messenger to create virtual spaces for your colleagues. Some remote workers have initiated “water cooler” channels on their company’s Slack. Here, they recreate the conversations they used to have near the water cooler in their offices. This is a great way to stay connected while working remotely.
Make sure that the creation of “fun” channels is in line with your company culture before making the move. Your colleagues will thank you!
3. Initiate team activities to stay connected
In addition to opening fun channels, you can also initiate lighthearted activities and contests. Some companies have started book clubs, and decided on one or two books to read together throughout the month. Others create contests, attend the same webinar and share their thoughts, or workout together over Zoom or Google Hangouts. Engaging in fun activities can help you balance your work with a social life, as you would do when working in an office.
4. Over-communicate while working remotely
What do we mean by over-communicating? Send out multiple reminders and announcements through different channels, keep your managers updated on your progress, schedule regular check-ins with your colleagues, and create new spreadsheets to stay on top of projects. When working remotely, it is easy for messages and emails to get lost in a sea of correspondences. Avoid gaps in knowledge by doing your best to over-communicate everything.
Similarly, over-sharing photos of your home office or your pets can create the closeness you might be missing. Find spaces where you can keep your colleagues (and friends) updated on your day-to-day life. Sharing images of your daily activities can keep this period from feeling like the “lost months.”