Microphones. Video cameras. Screensharing software. Your company has gone to great lengths to make remote work possible for you…
…so why do you feel disconnected?
It’s a common experience among virtual employees. Feelings of isolation are widespread right now; one recent survey showed that more than 56% of employees working from home reported anxiety and loneliness.
Staying connected to your team takes more than fast internet and video meetings (although those are certainly essential). If you’re struggling with engagement or isolation, here are a few tips for feeling like you’re a part of your work team – even when you’re not physically together:
Socialize with coworkers.
Right now, it’s more important than ever to foster personal connections with your teammates. Try:
- Eating lunch in a video meeting to catch up with fellow employees.
- Participating in a virtual happy hour or another teambuilder your employer offers.
- Parallel working in a video meeting – simply hearing and seeing coworkers working diligently can boost your spirits and motivation. Just make sure everyone in the virtual workspace is working on something relatively quiet, so as not to disturb one another.
Right now, in the absence of in-person meetings and watercooler conversation, everyone is missing out on important nonverbal cues that signal when people are tired, stressed, or just having a hard time. Be a great teammate by being diligent and intentional about your communications:
- Take advantage of online communication tools (i.e., messaging platforms and online collaboration tools) to overcommunicate. Provide extra context and detail to ensure important information is conveyed clearly.
- When sharing information with coworkers, put yourself in their shoes. Provide everything you think your teammates might need, even if they haven’t expressly asked for it.
- Ask how your fellow employees are doing. Reaching out to connect on a personal level in your communications can help bridge physical distance and maintain workplace relationships.
Nip conflicts in the bud.
Workplace conflicts happen under the best of circumstances. During this prolonged period of high stress and anxiety; however, differences in personality or communication style can lead to misunderstandings – and quickly escalate if left unaddressed. Over time, unresolved problems with coworkers can heighten your feelings of isolation and erode workplace relationships.
If you sense discord brewing with a team member, address the situation calmly and quickly. Suggest a face-to-face video conversation, and prepare your thoughts for the meeting:
- Identify the situation and the behaviors – never make personal attacks.
- Use active listening to get to the underlying cause of the issue or tension.
- Keep the conversation focused on the future and work together to generate ideas for resolution.
- If you decide that your differences can’t be resolved during the meeting, schedule time with your supervisor or HR to help.
Social distancing may continue for a while, but it doesn’t have to make you feel disconnected at work. Make a concerted effort each day to engage in activities that keep you connected, engaged – and functioning as an integral member of your team.
Connect with PrideStaff!
Right now, we’re doing more than ever to stay in touch with associates and candidates – providing advice, resources, and great job opportunities. How can we help? Contact the PrideStaff office in your area to connect with a recruiter or search local job opportunities here.