Developing cordial professional relationships with your colleagues can be a challenge if you’re working remotely. While digital communication tools have progressed rapidly in the past few years, there are still plenty of verbal and non-verbal cues that digital channels may fail to transmit properly. Not to mention that there are still limitations to what digital technology can do, especially in places where internet connection remains weak and unreliable.
Fostering positive relationships in the workplace presents plenty of benefits to individuals and the organization as a whole. Professionals who are able to connect with their colleagues record higher employee engagement levels and can positively affect morale, job satisfaction levels, and retention. This is vital in countries like the Philippines where having a sense of community is a valued quality.
If you’re specifically looking for remote Philippines jobs but you still want to make a genuine connection with the people you’ll be working with, it’s a good idea to brush up on your communication skills before you take on a new professional role. At the same time, it’s also smart to keep these tips in mind when building professional relationships with the members of your remote team.
Be Available to Your Colleagues
It’s difficult to develop relationships if you don’t have the time and energy for it. This is the same whether you’re meeting other people face-to-face or in online environments. But while you can just drop by your officemate’s desk in a brick-and-mortar workplace, it can be difficult to do the same when you’re in a digital working environment. After all, it’s hard to see if the people you want to converse with are available for a bit of office banter or if they’re trying to reach a deadline, and many people don’t want to be rejected or ignored when they want to talk.
If you want to appear approachable to the members of your remote team, you need to give clear signals of your willingness to engage with them. In case you don’t mind people messaging you anytime you’re on the clock, tell them so. When you need to leave your home office to go on a short walk or coffee break, give your team a heads up. This way, they understand that you welcome their attempts to reach out and that you have your reasons for not responding as promptly as possible at times.
Initiate and Participate in Conversations
To build a good relationship with your teammates, it’s not enough to be responsive to their messages and efforts to communicate. You must also initiate conversations and participate in exchanges that other people have started. Being an active communicator by listening and providing input is a great way to express your interest in the issues and challenges that your teammates deem to be worthy enough to be discussed by the group as a whole. Be a part of the discussion if you have something to say, or at the very least, encourage the free exchange of ideas and direct its flow so that it can lead to productive conversations. Participating in exchanges in this way helps you get to know the people that make up your team and the principles and values they believe in.
Make an Effort to See and Be Seen
It can be tempting to disregard the person at the other end of the conversation if all you see is a blank screen during calls. Now, this doesn’t mean that you should turn your camera on for every meeting—some companies have policies for and against this—but putting faces and voices together can remind you that there’s an individual behind the chats and the voice calls.
Another way to recognize the individual behind the voice is to take note of their interests, hobbies, likes, and dislikes. If the person you’re working with is extremely private, you can also take note of their preferred working style and way of communication. People notice when others remember specific details about them, and being familiar with how a person works or having an idea of how they are as an individual will help you make a more pronounced impact on them every time you communicate with each other.
Create a Space for Informal Exchanges
It’s a good idea to have a separate digital space for informal and personal exchanges between the members of your team. This digital breakroom, so to speak, can be dedicated to the team members’ interests, or it can be used as a space where you can share opportunities for leveling up at work, tips on how to design a conducive home office, or even memes or pictures of your pet dogs and cats, to name a few. While your official chat rooms and virtual meeting rooms can be focused on things related to work, your digital breakroom can be a place where you can relax, get to know each other, and perhaps brighten each other’s day.
Follow these tips and you’ll have an easier time fostering a good relationship with your teammates and strengthening camaraderie within the team. By creating a digital office culture that values communication, you’ll be able to work together seamlessly without even needing to see each other in person.
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