Working remotely can lead to feelings of isolation and cause you to feel as though you are disconnected from your co-workers and colleagues. Though there are benefits and challenges to working from home, employees will find that they need to adjust and adapt to this new and different style of working. In order to feel connected and keep in touch with your team, check out these five helpful tips for staying connected in uncertain times.
Use online communication and video platforms
Technology makes it easier than ever to stay in close communication with teammates and colleagues. Chat and video platforms are easy to use and becoming more common in everyday life. Online communication tools, like Slack and Microsoft Teams, have become even more important in keeping businesses in contact and functioning. Video platforms help bring a personal touch to meetings and phone calls. Using Skype or Google Hangouts makes it easier to see someone's expression, which can be valuable in conversations.
Sending information or asking questions via email is fine for some situations. But when seeing someone in person would be more beneficial to a project, it is nice to have these online communication tools at our disposal. As an added bonus, communicating face-to-face can mitigate misunderstandings and miscommunications that sometimes come from emailing.
Communicate early and often
Checking in at the beginning of the day with teammates and managers helps establish the tone for the day. It shows that you are opening the lines of communication and are being productive. Maintaining contact throughout the day and providing updates on projects also goes a long way in feeling connected to your team.
This might seem intuitive, but you'll feel more connected if you are responsive and available to your colleagues. Staying engaged and responsive will keep communication flowing easily. Waiting several hours to get back to an inquiry or request can lead to bottlenecks and reductions in productivity. Responding in an acceptable timeframe, just as you would if you were in the office, keeps consistency in processes and in your work.
Keep lines of communication open and be proactive
Working remotely doesn't mean you have lost the ability to connect with colleagues. In fact, it's a good opportunity to sharpen your communication skills and take a fresh approach to your work philosophy. If you have questions, concerns, or comments on projects and work assignments, you should feel empowered to reach out. Taking a proactive approach can go a long way in helping to resolve any issues before they bubble up and will certainly leave you feeling more connected to your work and colleagues.
Provide regular updates
Checking in with your manager and teammates helps keep the communication flowing and ensures your projects are on track. Keeping yourself and others accountable while working remotely can be more challenging than when you're in the office, but it is necessary. Let everyone know what you've accomplished, any necessary project status updates, and next steps to keep things moving ahead. You should decide with your manager and teammates how often these updates should occur. Depending on the project and workload a weekly check-in might suffice. When things are busier or more time-sensitive the updates might need to happen more frequently during the week.
Working remotely can quickly take you out of your comfort zone if you don't adjust accordingly. It is important to find a work style that keeps you connected and productive. It is always important to communicate and stay in frequent contact with colleagues and your manager and it becomes even more relevant when working remotely. MSPs are an invaluable partner to businesses navigating uncertain times. From remote working to network security and everything in between, AJTC stands ready to create and implement solutions to best meet your company's needs. Learn more about AJTC here or call 708.942.8200.