For the past few years, we battled a global life-threatening pandemic, which compelled us to work remotely. Businesses and employees seem to have benefitted greatly from the Remote Working Environment Workers reported a better work-life balance, improved mental health, and an increase in productivity. On the other hand, companies furnitures manila philippines and employers had a happier, more motivated workforce and the opportunity to cut back on costs here and there.
We largely found work from home to be a positive influence on work culture. However, we missed a key aspect that it affected negatively – meaningful work relationships. In the first few months of the pandemic, maintaining work relationships hardly crossed people’s minds given the chaos in the world. As time went on and communication gaps seeped into organizational culture, people started to identify the root cause behind it to be a lack of healthy working relationships.
A study conducted by Buffer in 2020, corroborates the idea and identifies ‘collaboration and communication’ to be the toughest challenges of remote work.
Furthermore, data shows that people enjoy a remote or hybrid working model and they will likely continue working this way. Research by Upwork shows that around 36.2 million Americans will opt to work remotely by the year 2025. This is an 87% increase in remote workers when compared to the pre-pandemic era.
Interpersonal relationships are what keep the work culture alive. Only after being deprived of them for the better part of two years, does one realize how they influence the quality of work.
We, fortunately, live in an era where staying in touch is easy. All you need is a stable internet connection and you can communicate with colleagues from across the globe.
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Building and maintaining positive work relationships with your clients and fellow workers can be tricky. However, Remote Working Environment certainly is possible with appropriate planning. Here are some tips and bits of advice you can employ to build better relationships in a work environment.
Relationships with team members
Put in conscious effort to communicate
One of the key reasons why our relationships with our colleagues got impacted was the lack of effort. When you are in a space where Remote Working Environment is convenient for you to interact with your peers, communication is a breeze. They are within your reach and reaching out to them does not require much effort.
This changed with the pandemic and so did our relationships. In the comfort of your home, while being swamped with work, we forget that we have a team that would appreciate the communication. Change this today and reach out to your colleagues for a virtual coffee date. You can schedule a meeting with all your peers and maybe even your boss to discuss work or life outside work. If this is a successful exercise, set time for this meeting every week to sit and reconnect with your co-workers.
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Working remotely is challenging in Remote Working Environment way for everyone. Under normal circumstances, there would be allocated time for lunch, meetings, calls, and projects. However, as the operation moved remote, meetings can take hours. Calls are long and exhausting as there is no fixed time when everyone is available.
In these circumstances, Remote Working Environment is easy to forget other people’s efforts over your inconveniences. Be kind and thank others for their input and availability. Kind words go a long way. We forget the importance of giving positive feedback. Remote Working Environmentcan truly make someone’s day.
You can also go the extra mile and give your colleagues a gift card to their favorite restaurant or a subscription to their favorite magazine. Remote Working Environment will show your appreciation for their constant efforts.
The most prevalent communication format that is used in remote working scenarios is written communication. It’s the convenience of the medium that makes it a popular choice. You can receive quick replies and interact efficiently with your peers. Voice calls and video calls are usually reserved for longer meetings and detailed discussions. For day-to-day interactions, texting is preferred.
You must communicate effectively during these interactions. This means ensuring proper grammar usage throughout your message and making sure your text has clarity.
Written communication is tricky because there are no verbal cues involved which increases the chances of misunderstanding and miscommunication. What you think is a funny joke might appear to your colleague as a rude insult. To prevent this scenario, make sure to soften the tone of your message especially if you are approaching a difficult subject.
Furthermore, consider using emojis in messages. Emojis are a great way to show that you are cracking a joke to prevent someone from misjudging your intention.
Make sure you are interacting with your colleagues in the format that is most conducive to effective communication. If texts aren’t the best way to communicate a message, make a voice or video call. In the end, Remote Working Environment just about ensuring your message gets across with utmost clarity.
No one is perfect. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. It can be potentially helpful to understand yours as you try to build and maintain work relationships. Being self-aware of your strengths and weaknesses allows you to communicate with your peers in a better way. You understand what your strong suits are and where you can better yourself.
Let’s say your strengths include empathy and conflict resolution, these are what you bring to your relationships. If being unable to take any kind of criticism is your flaw, you can actively work on it after identifying it to improve your work relationships.
Asking questions and effectively listening to your co-workers, allows you to learn more about them. This creates more open communication, which is imperative to build positive work relationships. When your co-worker talks to you about their work projects, family, interests, and passion, pay close attention. Make them feel that they are being heard. Ask them questions to show that you’re invested in the conversation.
Remember, it is rude to interrupt someone while they’re talking. Therefore, let your co-worker finish sharing the details of what they are saying before you start to talk. Establishing yourself as a good listener encourages them to come to you when they need someone to talk to.
Offer to help
If you find a co-worker swamped with work that they feel overwhelmed by, and you feel like you have extra time on your hands, offer assistance. They will appreciate the gesture a lot. This will help lay a foundation for a good working relationship. Not to mention, it helps create trust between peers.
Another way to initiate a healthy working relationship is by asking for help from a colleague. By collaborating with co-workers on projects, you can get to know them more and establish trust. Just make sure you ask for help at an appropriate time, not when they are swamped with work.
Keep your word
If you have given your word to a colleague, make sure you keep it. It could be related to a project you promised you’ll help with or simply about a scheduled meeting you confirmed being a part of, just make sure you follow through with your commitments.
Whether a person can keep his/her word is a display of reliability. You are more likely to create strong relationships with your co-workers if they feel they can trust and rely on you.
This brings up an important point, which is to commit to work projects that you are capable of managing. You must get your work done and have peace of mind afterward. So think carefully before committing to additional work.
Relationships with clients
Choose an appropriate format of communication
You need to communicate with the client and establish which method of communication is the most convenient for them. It is better to have an open conversation about this and let them state their preferences.
Ask them what their preferred mode of communication is- video or audio call. Video conferencing is the more personal of the two, which would be ideal to improve interpersonal relationships.
However, it is their call whether they want to opt for it or not. Not everyone is comfortable being on camera. Next, confirm the platform (Google meet, Skype, Zoom, etc.) they would feel most comfortable using.
Establish boundaries to manage expectations
The key to having a good relationship with your client is to establish open communication. You need to openly communicate your work boundaries so you can manage any associated expectations effectively. Setting boundaries means effectively discussing all aspects of your communication. This includes deciding the frequency of your meetings, your availability during the day so you can be a part of the meeting, and making a work plan which works best for both of you.
These are good practices to follow to manage your time. The work plan and schedule should suit both of your availability and should be flexible.
Collaborate on projects
Nothing would make a client happier, than staying in the loop to witness the progress of an ongoing project. With cloud computing, it is possible to collaborate with your clients virtually. You can view, edit and work on projects together.
You can use cloud computing for your teams to work together virtually. Therefore, you can still collaborate on projects while working remotely.
You can take advantage of cloud computing and a variety of other online tools to enhance collaboration between teams and clients. Just get the best internet deals to ensure superior broadband speed and reliability. Opt for a trusted internet service provider to prevent any unpleasant surprises.
Be attentive to what they are saying
Being attentive and listening actively is important for all relationships. The remote work status has increased its value by many folds in relationships with your clients.
During particularly long meetings or conferences, the mind can drift off. If this is the case with you, try to listen more actively. You can also take notes from the meeting and jot down minutes to help you stay present.
Clients often come forward with concerns and ideas regarding projects during meetings. Listen actively to what they have to say and provide the best solutions to these concerns.
Display interest in the work
Customers are very perceptive. They can easily judge whether an individual is interested in doing good work or they are just after money. To establish a long-lasting work relationship with your clients, you want to make them believe that you are invested in the work.
Work hard on the project and talk to them about the details. Communicate to them any conflicts or problems you are facing with the project. Customers pick on these little hints and appreciate working with driven people. If you are capable of winning their trust, they will prove to be a valuable professional contact.
Ensure a positive working experience
Work relationships are tricky they can’t be perfected over a day or a week. It requires consistent efforts to make progress in them. It is therefore important to prioritize working on these relationships every day to help create a positive one.
You need to make it a point to create the best experience for your clients. Strive to exceed their expectations and ensure the best user experience.
From planning and strategizing a project to its execution, make sure your client is impressed by the results. Another great addition to enhancing their working experience is providing them a forum where they provide you honest feedback.
It’s okay to be a bit personal
If you were meeting your clients in a real-life setting, what would the conversation be like? You would ask them how they’re doing, how they spent the holidays, or how their family is doing. The idea of virtual tools is to emulate real-life conversations. It’s perfectly okay to engage in a bit of personal communication with your clients. Small talk can ease the conversation and help it flow better.
If you don’t engage in any kind of small talk, you may give out the impression of being rude or cold. This is the exact opposite of what you are trying to achieve.
On a concluding note
Healthy work relationships add great value to your work experience. They make a seemingly difficult job fun, as long as it’s in the presence of co-workers whose company you enjoy. Being in presence of co-workers, seniors and supervisors provides a learning opportunity. Your work relationships and interactions with colleagues teach you many valuable lessons. Collaborating with your colleagues on projects allows you to see the different approaches there can be to a problem.
It is crucial to have a certain amount of personal interaction with your client to optimize their experience working with you. However, all work relationships seemingly took a backseat in the wake of the pandemic. This negatively affected the work culture. However, the situation can certainly be helped by making consistent efforts and optimizing work relationships for a hybrid work model.