Working From Home 101: How To Stay Connected
Working from home has many benefits. However, it’s common for remote workers to struggle with maintaining connections to coworkers. In an office setting, it’s so easy to connect over small conversations in the break room or at your desk. In a home setting, you’ve got to get creative!
In my opinion, the single biggest thing you can do to is to embrace your webcam. It’s very easy to simply turn off the camera and, but that will really prohibit your ability to connect with coworkers. Trust me—none of us care about the state of your hair, makeup, clothing choices, pets interrupting, or children jumping into the frame.
Besides using your camera, here are my other top tips for maintaining connection while working from home:
- Set up virtual coffee dates, lunches, and happy hours with the people you work with.
- For managers, begin 1:1’s with a mental check in, i.e. “How are you holding up?”
- Schedule weekly team meetings so everyone is receiving the same updates at the same time
- Call a coworker for no reason whatsoever, just to catch up!
Finally, here’s what my coworkers who also work remotely had to share:
“Be available online at all times. Schedule 1-on-1s more frequently. Add your cell # to your signature. Ensure internet is working and if it goes out, have a plan to continue to stay productive!” – Alana Putterman
“I always chat my team first thing every AM to open that dialogue. Also, I like to pick up the phone and call about something that could be an email or chat, just to have that chance to actually connect.” – Alyssa Brown
“I really like having team meetings over FaceTime or Teams Video. This gives me the human connection with my team.” – Amanda Wallman
“Call your mom! Seriously. I think I talk to my mom more since WFH than before. I call and chat before work, during lunch, after work. It’s a great way of engaging in social activity during the few minutes you have free and your mom will love it. Trust me (just be careful, if you forget to call during lunch you might get text spammed with ‘Are you OK?’).” – Andy Alvarado
“Say ‘Good Morning’ via Teams the same way you would walking into the office.” – Ben Smith
“Set up a group text with your work friends. Pick up the phone and call someone if it is going to take 5 emails.” – David Lempp
“Schedule daily status calls with your team, utilize IMs, phone calls and video conferences. Oddly enough when I listen to podcasts, I feel more ‘connected’ than if I just listen to music.” – Kami Lentz
“Check in with clients, managers and teams more often than you typically might to prioritize relationship building. Picking up the phone more often helps big time.” – Kelly Wittmann
“Feel free to pick up the phone and give someone a call! Whether that’s your team, clients, etc., not only does it feel good to have an actual conversation with someone, but you’ll be surprised how much quicker/easier it is to talk through something vs. go back/forth on emails!” – Rich Brown
“Schedule a 1:1 with a colleague or co-worker for a mental health break. Try to mirror what would be a walk to the kitchen (if in office) with a quick chat.” – Holly Maine
“Call your team!! Think about how much you chat in the office. That doesn’t have to go away just because you are home. Pick up the phone and have a real-life conversation.” – Alyssa Hamm
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