The Prepped Team
April 27, 2020
Currently, remote working is more than merely a trend - it’s become a reality for many employees. Remote working offers the possibility of a better work-life balance, as well as cutting down on the time and cost of commuting to an office or workplace each day. However, one of the downsides to working from home is the lack of face-to-face connection with your coworkers. Here are some tips on how to build relationships with the people you work with when you’re not sharing office space.
It’s important to build strong relationships with your coworkers because they’re the ones that really make a difference in your day-to-day work life. People with strong professional relationships have reported feeling more focused and productive in their workplace - even if your workplace constitutes your kitchen table or a home office.
Credibility means your coworkers believe you know what it is you’re talking about, or that you are an expert in your field. When starting out in a new position, you’re likely still learning about your role, the company, and have a ways to go until you master expertise. However, there are other ways you can demonstrate credibility when interacting with coworkers remotely. For example, prepare and ask questions during online team meetings. This shows you’re curious and willing to learn. Alternatively, if an opportunity presents itself to showcase your expertise (perhaps you’re a whiz in Adobe or know more than conversational French), let that knowledge shine in a genuine way.
In relation to professional trust, security refers to your coworkers’ sense that they can trust you with information, which won’t be used in an unhelpful manner (such as showing up your coworker in front of your boss over Zoom). When you start working with a new team, one of the best ways to establish security is by practicing active listening. It shows you are focused on what your coworker is saying (rather than formulating a witty response). In fact, active listening is more likely to result in you providing a more thoughtful reply. Which, in turn, strengthens security and credibility.
Reliability is pretty straightforward. It’s doing what you say you’ll do; it’s following through on your commitments. Reliability is even more important when you are working remotely and are building solid relationships with your colleagues. Examples of demonstrating reliability include being on time (or better, early) to online meetings, be prepared and follow through in a timely manner.
Self-orientation means you are concerned primarily with yourself, especially your own needs, desires, and interests. An employee who puts their own self ahead of their team means it’s likely your coworkers will struggle to trust you. So, how can you avoid self-orientation, especially when you are working solo? Express appreciation for someone’s time or assistance - either verbally during an online meeting, or simply sending a quick email. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted during online meetings (meaning, no surreptitiously checking your Insta feed while your manager is talking). Especially if you’re part of a remote team, work means work. Save play for later.
Building professional trust takes work at the best of times. However, if you’re working remotely, it’s even more important that you take a proactive role in establishing a connection with colleagues.
When working remotely, it’s important to over-communicate, at least at the beginning when you’re just getting to know everyone. Learn about your working style through our workplace assessment. Introduce yourself to new colleagues with our elevator pitch generator. You can even incorporate some of the skills from your workplace assessment into your elevator pitch.
Sign up for Prepped and get access to the workplace assessment and elevator pitch generator, so that you can confidently present yourself, even in a remote setting.