After completing a Zoom call with my boss I sat down in deep thought on my couch. I felt distant from my work and my colleagues who were so integral to my life were now beginning to become mere professional acquaintances. I wondered if things would ever get back to the way they were. My wife looking at me swimming in my dark pool of thought asked me what was bothering me. I told her about my insecurities about my job. She told me candidly that treat your job as a long distance relationship. What did she exactly mean? She elaborated:
Make use of technology
Even though technology can hardly replace real meets, it is still a powerful tool to connect with all your colleagues. Don’t stick to just professional calls, make your calls interesting with some personal touch. Tell your colleagues about some interesting events or incidents you’ve encountered recently. You can even, without getting too personal talk about your life with your family and kids. Don’t just say you had a great day, describe that awesome day. Details matter.
Show your commitment
Your commitment towards your company and colleagues is important at all times but even more crucial while you are working remotely. There is a massive scope for misunderstanding as there is no real time supervision. Your employer may misconstrue your situation, he/she may not understand why you took so long to deliver a particular task for example. You must be prompt to inform about what kept you busy or what are the issues you are facing on a regular basis. Furthermore, this is also a good opportunity to gauge your commitment towards your job. Is this job motivating enough to wake up day in day out and perform? Are you aligned with your company’s vision and vice versa?
Do Stuff Together Even Though You’re Apart
You don’t have your coffee breaks anymore or your team outings and activities but still you can find some common free time and chat about things in an unprofessionally – just like you would do on a coffee break. You can even have play some online team building games, have fun quizzes, discuss movies, recommend the best restaurants in town…etc.
Fight off insecurities
It’s but natural that being apart from an office environment can bring in lots of insecurities. Insecurities make us do funny things. They make us think more, work harder to prove ourselves, communicate excessively. It’s important to feel secure in your relationship with your co-workers and your boss. There must be a constructive communication and connection that helps to develop an agreeable, confident relationship.
Stick to a Schedule
Don’t make yourself available to your teammates and bosses at all times. And also don’t go incognito for too long. Find a balance and make a schedule that’s convenient for all parties to meet. Communicate regularly but not too often and not without purpose.
Much of the workplace solutions lie in humanizing the workplace and not setting rigid modes of thinking for our professional and personal. If we stopped looking at ourselves and the people we work with as tools to achieve a business goal but human beings in pursuit of wellbeing and happiness we would certainly have a more harmonious relationship.