Work from home saves time, resources, provides flexibility, and so much more to employees. Despite all the WFH benefits, we can't ignore the fact that it is lonely and depressing to work remotely.
It is challenging for both employees and employers to maintain consistent communication and interaction with one another remotely. It is even more challenging for employees as they can't share lunch or discuss things with their colleagues anytime. This, in return, both mentally and physically challenges them.
Today, a great rift between employees has been created because of miscommunication, the wrong interpretation, and lack of transparency. Therefore, it is essential for all remote companies to work on virtual peer relationships building.
Building relationships while working from home requires effort on both employees' and managers' parts. Using the right tools and strategic approach, it is possible to nurture remote work relationships in your organization. So, without any ado, let's check out how to build relationships at work virtually.
Why Is Building Relationships While Working From Home Important
Many employees say that they are at work to do work, not to make friends. Similarly, managers advocate that they want employees to deliver the best outcome, not waste time on making friends.
Now, both ideologies are wrong here. That's because having friends at a workplace can help in improving work quality. When people can freely discuss and connect with their fellow colleagues, they start to feel more comfortable and connected. This, in return, boosts their performance and productivity.
According to a Gallup study, if you have a friend in your workplace, you will be more engaged, produce a higher quality product, and have higher well-being.
Having a friend at a remote workplace is very important, such as:
- You can better share your mental state with a friend who is going through the same things as you.
- Communication and remote collaboration become seamless when you are dealing with your friends.
- Employees/friends can resolve workplace conflicts among themselves without consulting management.
- You can confidently and comfortably share your ideas with your colleagues.
All in all, having friends at the workplace can harness a positive work environment in the organization. Therefore, both employees and employers need to take some initiatives to build remote work relationships. So, let's see how to build relationships at your work organization virtually.
Virtual Relationship Building Tips
Usually, HR departments host informal meetings, events, and seminars for employees to connect and make new friends. But, with the pandemic strike, not many corporate events are being organized lately. Thus, it is getting a bit harder for organizations to build harmony among their remote teams.
Now, you can't control the situation, but you can adopt a new strategy in your organization to the strong virtual relationship between your employees, such as:
1. Get the right software
The right technology is the core of work from the home system. Without adequate software and programs, remote work isn't possible. Therefore, organizations should provide proper tools to their employees where they can coordinate and collaborate without any hesitation.
For this, TrackOlap has taken a small step to build a centralized platform for employees and employers to collaborate. Through time management software, employees can easily connect with one another and share real-time information.
The best thing about centralized remote work software is employees can easily share information, collaborate on a project and even delegate their responsibilities seamlessly. So, managers, first get a custom remote work solution for your team and then move ahead on building relationships.
2. Open and concise communication
Besides the right technology, open and clear communication is another vital virtual workplace relationship-building requirement. When there's no pre-defined communication structure or channel available in your remote organizations, it can create misunderstandings among teams.
Thus, a real-time and clear communication system is required to build a cohesive relationship among remote workers. So, here we have embedded a two-way communication system into our portal that helps to bring your team together.
Foremost, all the communication is established through a centralized dashboard, which is fully monitored by managers. This makes sure that nothing unethical or unprofessional material is shared between the employees. Secondly, instant notifications help remote employees to respond in real-time, eliminating latency and redundancy from the way.
3. Establish work accountability
Lack of accountability is the major reason behind numerous workplace issues. When no fixed responsibility hierarchy is defined in the organization, this often raises conflicts among employees and ruins their friendships.
So, the simple solution here is to set accountability for each and every task. For example, whenever a manager assigns a task through our portal, it sets the person's responsibility to complete the given task under the given time frame. This leaves no room for argument or miscommunication between the employees, and nothing will impact their friendships.
Let's take an imaginary example to better understand this relationship-building technique. Suppose Ashoke (manager) and Sunil (sales department head) are best friends. Management asked Ashoke to prepare an annual sales department report by Wednesday, and he conveyed the same message to his friend Sunil.
But Ashoke forgot to mention the timeline, so Sunil didn't prioritize the task. This, in return, raised a responsibility issue between both friends. Now, this will have ruined their friendship if they haven't been assigned tasks through the TrackOlap dashboard, which helped them understand the real reason behind the problem.
So, to establish accountability and transparency in your remote work environment, it is vital to manage workflow via a robust digital portal.
4. Work on trust-building
The way to relationship-building goes through trust. Trust between employees, managers, and employers is very important for strong virtual relationship building. Once you and your remote team trust one another, it won't take long to blossom a friendship.
Now, it sounds easier than actually establishing trust in your remote team. Especially when you have to deal with physical restrictions, tight deadlines, and many other remote work challenges. In this new normal, things are already so intense that many employees lose their trust in their colleagues and management.
So, in this hectic situation, we have tried to build trust between remote teams using different time tracking techniques, such as:
- Remote time tracking system. Using this system, management can monitor the real-time activities of their remote workers and ensure that they are working as per the instructions given to them.
- Automatic timesheet. This method automatically records employees' working time, break time, and other activities in real-time. Using this data, employers can learn to trust their employees based on the automatic information shared by the software.
- Application/website usage tracking. In work from home system, it always worries employers whether their employees are working or just wasting their time. And, often employers accuse employees of not working hard in the WFH setup, which causes a rift among them. Here, when managers can get detailed information about apps or websites used by a worker during working hours, this can automatically eliminate guesswork, and employers can fully trust their team.
- Automatic productivity reports. For better trust-building, employers can get daily, weekly, or monthly productivity reports, which helps them understand each employee's performance level. Plus, they can share these reports with the concerned employees to help them self-evaluate their performance.
Overall, we have many features embedded into our portal that can help to nurture trust among remote workers and managers.
5. Don't micromanage your remote employees
We often advise our clients to value their remote team, don't micromanage them. There's always a blurred line between managing and micromanaging your team. You need to understand that and offer flexibility to your remote teams.
That's because when you control or regulate every move of your remote teams, this will suppress their productivity and trust. Plus, it will dampen relationships between subordinates and seniors.
Here you can offer schedule flexibility to your remote team with TrackOlap and still have control over your team. Your team members can fix their own working hours and use an automatic attendance button to record their working hours. This way, you can ensure that your individual team members work for designated hours but on their own schedule.
Relationship Building Helps to Grow your Business
Not many companies realize that strong bonds between employees, managers, and employers boost overall business growth. It can increase employee retention rate, build your employer's brand, boost productivity, and so much more.
Thus, whether you have a remote, WFH, or in-house team, relationship building is the core of success for you. So, to help your remote team build strong virtual relationships, connect with our team today and book your free demo.