5 tips for bonding with colleagues when working distantlySharika S Nair
It is vital to give importance to personal relationships in our professional life. A lot happens at work and we meet new people every second day. While at work, you may plan to go out for lunch, play a game of foosball or table tennis, chat over coffee, and informally discuss your team’s strategies. However, if you are working from home or at a branch of your office that is situated far away from the headquarters, bonding with colleagues who are miles away can pose a bit of a challenge.
Sometimes, the different time zones and mobile nature of work may seem to be a hindrance as well. But nowadays team building and maintaining cordial relations with colleagues can be made easy with a little bit of attention. After all, we live in a globalised and digitised world. Here are a few tips to help you do so:
Encourage face-to-face meetings
Face-to-face meetings are becoming a thing of the past. But it is one of the most important team building strategies and its importance is often neglected. If your colleagues are distributed across the globe, set up video conference calls. During meetings, maintaining eye contact and noticing each other’s facial expressions helps improve engagement. In case you are in different cities in the same country, ensure that you see office people at least fortnightly.
Keep everyone updated
Be it a managerial role or an executive one, always keep everyone updated about what kind of work is expected. Often, while working distantly employees tend to be taken for granted. If work has to get postponed or something has to go out on a priority basis, ensure that team players across offices get to know. Once this is done, work will have fewer roadblocks and so will relations.
Organise a potluck party
“There is no love sincerer than the love for food” – George Bernard Shaw
One of the most popular activities would be to conduct a potluck party wherein everyone chips in to cook their signature dish. Organise such an event at a different office every time, thus allowing members of every office gets to meet and greet each other. You may even get a thumbs-up from all the office foodies for your culinary skills and the memories will last forever. In case you don’t qualify to be a ‘chef’, you could volunteer to either bring plates, cutlery, or even organise the party yourself.
Help each other grow
Whenever anyone helps you with a task, however small it may be, remember to express gratitude. Also, do the same in return and offer help and support. Make sure you wish colleagues, seniors, and subordinates on their birthdays and anniversaries. Small gestures create emotion and loyalty.
If you are someone who enjoys working solo, this piece of advice would not be for you. A good team player will always be there to listen to the views of others. Irrespective of which part of the world you are in, make sure you are approachable. Maintaining a warm nature always spreads positivity. It also conveys the message that you are there when people need you.
With the right attitude, nothing is impossible. So what’s your first step going to be?