“Somebody’s got a case of the Mondays!” You form a weak smile and give a polite hello. Some days you just wish you could come to work, get your work done and not talk to a soul.
Other days, you laugh, smile and connect with your coworkers like there’s no one on the planet you’d rather spend your day with.
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, no matter where you work, your coworkers are a big chunk of your relationship core. Think about it: in a 24 hour day, if you sleep 8 hours, work 8 hours, commute, go to the gym, shower, etc., you probably spend more time with your coworkers than anyone else.
Some people are all in, hanging out with coworkers on Friday nights after work and spending Thanksgiving together. Others hold back and try to maintain a professional distance. This is your team, your lunch crew, the people you collaborate with and sometimes even argue with. In most jobs, in one way or another, these are the people you rely on in some capacity. You’re cogs in the same wheel, working towards a common goal.
How you interact with your coworkers has the opportunity to create a profound effect on both your overall health and theirs. When you have positive interactions where you feel cared about, valued and heard, it boosts your self confidence, mindset and emotional core. It helps you be your best self, and hopefully, you put that same energy back out into the world.
Here’s the plot twist, though. Suddenly most of us are in a new world where, with minimal training working remotely as a team, we have to maintain that team and those relationships through online communication.
And it doesn’t appear to be a trend that will be changing any time soon. Many experts agree that for some of us, remote work is here to stay! Companies are getting a taste of the benefits of having a remote team and they’re going to find a way to continue to incorporate remote work to at least some degree. They’re reaping the rewards of far less overhead costs, more productive employees, the ability to recruit from a worldwide talent pool, and better employee attendance, to name a few of the benefits.
Furthermore, online tools and apps like Slack and Zoom have made it possible to communicate with ease and at a minimal expense, compared to the cost of a physical office space and everything that comes with it.
Yes, for many of us, remote work is going to be a new way of life.
But just because we no longer share an office space with our coworkers, doesn’t mean that we can stop relying on them or should allow those relationships to fizzle. In fact, teamwork and communication are more important now than ever. To keep the wheels moving, everyone has to stay in sync.
It might feel like a tall task, but fear not. My team here at Moore Momentum has always been a virtual team and it can be extremely rewarding with the right habits. Here are some top tricks for continuing to create success habits in your team and your work relationships:
Communication is now king. You can no longer rely on nonverbal cues or being in the same space as your coworkers to know what they’re thinking. Your communication needs to be clear, polite and readable. Vague messages where someone has to keep asking “I don’t understand. Can you explain?” can get frustrating fast.
Communicate frequently. The best remote workers can’t necessarily get tasks done any faster than their peers, but they acknowledge messages and provide updates. You might not be able to get to something right away, but a quick “I got your message and will start working on it as soon as I’m done with x project this afternoon” can go a long way towards building trust.
Communicate with the same kindness you would in person. A simple “hey there” or “how are things going?” before you dive right into a work message can make someone feel at ease and open up the lines of communication.
Use the tools available. Zoom, Google Meet and several other programs are free communication tools that can help you stay connected and on the same page. Don’t be afraid to use them just because you might have to change your pajama shirt and brush your hair during quarantine. Sometimes a live conversation can save a lot of confusion and frustration.
Be respectful of others’ time. We all know someone that can turn a 15 minute Zoom conversation into a 2 hour saga. Remember that many people are juggling kids and work at the same time right now so time is extra valuable. If you’d like to talk more, suggest a virtual wine night when you both have time.
Most importantly, remember to keep putting that good energy out there, even if it’s not in person. Be the best version of yourself and let that multiply out into the world, so the world can be the best version of itself. Right from the comfort of your own home.