Building Better Relationships with Colleagues from Afar

September 3, 2020

Dana Klaboe, VP, Client Engagement


Have you noticed things are different being at work? Of course you have, you are living it and seeing how remote work is affecting us all. For the extrovert, we miss the naturally peppered interactions at the office. For the introvert, maybe it’s been more comfortable doing business online instead of face-to-face. And for those who are also parents – well, maybe your child is sitting on your lap during far too many meetings and your colleagues are really getting to know many sides of you. But enough about me….

 

We’re nearing the end of summer and most of us are continuing to work from home. Those who have gone back to work in offices must maintain social distancing, which greatly cuts down on people’s opportunity to socialize like the old times a half-year ago. So people have to be more creative to find new and purposeful ways to connect and maintain meaningful relationships with their colleagues.

 

Why Are Good Workplace Relationships so Vital?

Fostering positive relationships with colleagues can have an enormous impact on both one’s mental and physical health. And perhaps surprisingly, it’s also the #1 contributor to employee engagement.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management’s Employee Job Satisfaction and Employee Report, relationships with colleagues was deemed the number one contributor to employee engagement, with 77% of respondents listing workplace connections as a priority. Morale, job satisfaction, retention rates, and output all improve when employees feel connected to one another.

So as both a people leader and as an employee, we should care about good workplace relationships! But how can we create and maintain them when we’re physically distancing from our colleagues?

Here are a Few Tips to Help:

1. Be Thoughtful

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2. Video Meetings Do Help

3. Plan Collaborative Events

4. Connect Intentionally

Take the time to be creative and think how you can best connect with your co-workers. Your engagement at work – and theirs – may depend on it.


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