How to stay connected with coworkers when working remotely

You’re not the only one trying to make the transition to remote work.
Interestingly, this question was raised quite a lot during a panel Q&A that we hosted recently. So I thought I would share a few tips that we shared to help you keep in touch with your team. Here are some tips to keep a strong connection with your colleagues even if you work remotely.
Show kindness and compassion.
There is a lot happening right now, and we are all going through a lot. In a recent interview with Harvard Business Review, David Kessler, a grief expert, stressed the importance to be compassionate with others.
“. . . It’s a good idea to stockpile compassion. Everyone will experience different levels of grief and fear. One day, a coworker was very snippy to me. I realized that this is how they deal with it. I can see their fear and anxiety. Be patient. Be patient and think about the person you are interacting with, not what they appear to be right now. Find ways to reach out to your team and build a personal connection.
Here are some ways to show kindness and compassion to your team during this difficult time.
You can check in to see how people are handling this situation. Many people are carrying a lot right now. It’s important to stop and question the status quo. It’s as easy as setting up a meeting with everyone to update them on their lives or posting a quick Slack check-in to see where everyone is at the moment and what they are doing in their spare time.
Offer help. Even the most experienced remote workers can feel lonely. Social distancing can make it all the worse, making it easy for you to feel isolated in stressful situations. It’s important to let your coworkers know that you are there for them. Ask your team member for help if they are struggling.
Flexibility is key. Many people suddenly find themselves faced with caring for their children and even educating them. Consider what you can do to ease the burden or give yourself a little more grace when it comes to deadlines. This moment is only temporary in the grand scheme of things. Flexibility and kindness will help build trust with your team in the short-term.
Reach out to someone and dial them
Sometimes, just talking to someone can be better and more efficient than emailing. If email or Slack are not working, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone or jump on a video chat with a colleague to discuss things.
When you are alone at home, it is easy to overlook miscommunications. Remember: To be clear, is to be kind. It is important to reach out to your teammate when you are confused or misunderstood. This helps everyone work together better, no matter how far apart. Also, it prevents false assumptions from causing division within your team.
Enjoy virtual fun together
Fun is the best way to bring people together. We have fun together and work as hard at our annual meetups.
The good news? Social distancing does not have to stop you from having fun. It’s just a matter of being more creative. Here are some ideas to get you started:
You can host a virtual lunch and learning, book club, or watching party. Meetings don’t have to be the only reason you get together. Why not have fun gatherings after work or at lunch? Book club members can schedule a Zoom call to discuss a book they’ve read or to share a TED Talk. You can also watch a movie or show online with Netflix Party.
Slack channels can be created to share your life and/or hobbies. Remote work is more productive than casual conversations around the water fountain. This is great for productivity.