Getting to know your coworkers can be challenging. The process is made harder by working from home. When there are face-to-face interactions, it is easier to make connections. People feed off of your energy. However, it is difficult to make those connections when there is a computer screen between you and your coworkers.
This means that you need to be proactive and create scenarios that allow for intentional connection. It requires adapting by building relationships with coworkers you do not see daily. The following are a few tips that can help you get to know your coworkers better while working remotely.
Virtual Coffee Breaks
Setting up coffee breaks from time to time was a good way to get to know fellow employees and some in management. However, most people will not be visiting coffee shops anytime soon. However, they can still arrange virtual coffee breaks. This provides the opportunity to chat with coworkers on a one-on-one basis.
At first, virtual coffee breaks can feel a little uncomfortable. It could almost feel as if you are on a date. You will realize that you will click with some of your coworkers and may not click with others. When you find coworkers you click with, why not schedule a time for more frequent coffee breaks? Don’t worry about interrupting people. Most people are as excited as you are to get a break from working alone and want to make new friends.
Play Games As a Team
Obviously, the work environment should be professional. However, especially with remote work, it is important to balance professionalism and being friendly. This is where playing games as a team can come in handy.
Management and team leaders can take the lead by encouraging virtual team building through play. Although your team cannot meet together at someone’s house to play games or go to a literal escape room, there are ways for them to engage in these activities remotely.
Remote escape rooms have become popular. They can be played from anywhere around the globe. Team members can communicate with each other and the host. They can explore the escape room, examine the physical environment, and use what they find to progress through the adventure.
This is a great way for people to feel connected and have fun. Usually, the events that transpire while playing the game become the fodder for future conversation.
See People as More Than Just Words on a Screen
When you interact with someone virtually, it is easy to see them as just words on a screen or as if they are just robots. This is a bad viewpoint to develop and can impact how you do your work.
People work best when they feel some personal connection to the people they are working with. This does not mean that you have to be best friends with your virtual coworkers. However, the more you learn about them, the easier it will be for you to relate to them and work with them.
Getting to know your coworkers better can help you improve as a person. It can help you increase productivity. Especially since coworkers are also working at home, you may find that they are dealing with some same challenges you are facing. It can offer a sense of relief to know that you are not the only one dealing with balancing children at home, isolation, boredom, or loss of social life.
You can connect to your virtual coworkers by sharing hobbies and other fun facts about yourself. The goal is to encourage informal discussion and kick start conversation. This way, you do not view the people you work with as robots, and they won’t just see you as another face on the screen.
An Ongoing Process
Building camaraderie is an ongoing process. The goal is to create a feedback loop of information. Doing so will make you feel more comfortable at work, make your virtual teammates feel more comfortable with you, and increase overall productivity among the team.
Team leaders can help with this by holding regular one-on-one meetings with the team. They can also allocate time for team members to interact with each other with the goal of helping to build strong bonds.