6 Habits Every Telecommuter Should Implement to Build Rapport
Whether you ever aspired to telecommute or not, you’re now working from home. Perks? Say hello to a road rage free day, sweat pants, and slippers (or no shoes, if you prefer.)
Telecommuting also comes with a unique set of challenges. Without regular face time, you may struggle to feel like you’re truly a part of the team or you might have trouble deciphering your boss’ tone in emails. Whether you’re new to remote work or you’ve been at it a while, adopt these six habits to build a deeper connection with your manager and team.
1. Use video conferencing whenever possible. Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype, and GoToMeeting are all great options for turning conference calls into video calls. Utilizing video increases connection and gives people the opportunity to remember that you’re not just a voice on the other end of the call. Try to do this at least once a week, if not more.
2. Think through what you need to succeed and ask for it. Do you have the tools and resources you need to do your job well remotely? If not, don’t just wing it. Ask for what you need.
3. Remember birthdays and special dates. Put important dates on your calendar and make sure to send a gift or a note in celebration. This is a great way to build rapport with your team and show them that you care.
4. At least once a week, check in on life outside of work. Send your colleague a two-line email asking about her daughter’s school play. Start a meeting asking what everyone did over the weekend. Visit your colleagues’ social media profiles and comment on a photo. Build rapport by inquiring about life outside of work.
5. Initiate optional opportunities for team members to connect. Most likely, leadership at your company is open to groups forming, they just don’t have the bandwidth to initiate them. So go ahead and take that initiative and start affinity groups like a book club, movie club, or fantasy football league. Start by creating a shared document with tv, film, podcast, and book recommendations.
6. Overcommunicate. Remember that folks across departments might assume you already know company news. So check in with fellow remote workers to stay connected. Ask if there are any new developments you should catch up on.
Building connection and camaraderie with your team as a telecommuter undoubtedly takes a little bit of extra effort. But the payoff is worth it. Implement these six habits to stay connected while working away from the office.
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