How To Make Interaction With Your Remote Coworkers Easy and Fun

What’s one of the most significant changes people worldwide have experienced during the coronavirus pandemic? We can all agree that the shift to remote work ranks high. But how do you make interaction with remote coworkers fun?

The ongoing pandemic continues to hamper industries across the globe in terms of operating on-site and at total capacity. Hence, the rise of work from home and hybrid setups. Businesses are still struggling to find a middle ground for working arrangements, especially with every employee having different preferences. Companies had to arrange workflow where employees could maximize their productivity while reducing their risk of contracting or transmitting the virus.

Now that there’s the possibility of returning to in-person work arrangements, there’s a whole new culture shock on the way. With most remote workers only having virtual interactions, it could feel like they’ve lost their interpersonal skills after working in isolation for a long time.

As social creatures, we’ll always long for face-to-face conversations with friends, family members, and colleagues. However, the reality is that adjustment could take some time to get used to, even if we connect with them daily via digital means.

Why Is It Important to Have Good Work Relationships?

Humans are sociable creatures by nature. It's evident that having solid relationships with our coworkers will make our jobs more enjoyable.

The more at ease coworkers are with one another, the more confident they will be in expressing their opinions, brainstorming, and accepting new ideas. This level of collaboration is required to embrace change, create, and invent. Group morale and productivity skyrocket when people see how well they can work together.

You have more freedom when you have good working relationships. Instead of wasting your time and energy on unpleasant relationships, you might concentrate on opportunities.

Having a robust professional network will help you in furthering your career. This could be opening doors that might otherwise be closed to you.

4 Things You Can Do To Achieve A Smooth Meeting With Your Team

Do you need a refresher as you get ready to revert to ‘real life’ encounters after months of virtual meetings? Here are four tips you should take into account as you prepare yourself for the return to your workplace:

#1 Know more about the personal lives of your colleagues

Two female coworkers collaborating showing them something on their Black Surface laptop

A 2021 study reported that 43% of remote workers missed what many refer to as ‘water cooler chats’ in the office. Interacting with coworkers online is distinctly different from interacting with them in person. People only mostly interact through video calls and online messaging on the web. Interaction with remote coworkers through this is something that many may feel burned out from. Some have even described this feeling as “Zoom fatigue.” 

Try to recall what they’ve shared with you or your team in one of your chats or meetings before meeting with them in person: 

  • Where are they from?
  • Where’s their alma mater? 
  • Are they into any sports, shows, or particular hobbies? 
  • What do you know about their family?

The beauty of online interactions is that you can retrace your conversations or take a look at their online profiles. You don’t need to stalk them on all their social media accounts. Knowing their basic details will give you a list of icebreaker questions in case things get awkward. It’s also respectful to show that you can remember basic details. This proves that you’ve made an effort to know your coworkers better.

You wouldn’t want to embarrassingly forget the name of the person you’ve been working with for months on end, right?

#2 Build on current connections

people sitting on chair in front of table while holding pens during daytime

Aside from taking the time to know more about your colleagues, it’s also essential to find common interests. Build on what you might have in common. From this, you can generate a smoother conversation regardless of who you share in the workspace with.

Fostering interaction with remote coworkers paves the way toward long-term job satisfaction, and 70% of workers will agree, with some even saying that they would refuse a pay rise if it meant not being able to get along with the people at their workplace.

You can build on current connections by talking beyond work hours about non-work-related matters. However, please don’t overdo it! It can be hard to keep track of the interests of all your colleagues. Instead, you can talk about general topics you’d all enjoy and wouldn’t be shy to talk about. Avoid contentious issues such as politics or religion.

#3 Ask for introductions

three men sitting on chair beside tables

Employees often overlook when it comes to meeting someone in person to ask for introductions. Some people feel awkward, shy, or hesitant when introducing themselves. However, taking that first step in introducing yourself can help build bridges between you and your coworkers.

If you’re not too keen on approaching other people, you could have your boss initiate a team meet and greet. This will allow you to get an introduction to the entire team and have an idea of who you’ll be working with. Once that’s out of the way, it’ll be up to you and your coworkers to keep the momentum going.

#4 Find ways to bond with your coworkers

woman in black and white polka dot dress sitting on brown wooden chair

People will feel differently about get-togethers after office hours, especially since you and your coworkers have spent so much time in isolation. It’s safe to say that most workers will feel nervous about interacting with others in person. Still, when you make an effort and go out of your way to spend time with them, you’ll immediately discover that it’s a great way to boost team morale and chemistry.

It doesn’t even have to be outside office hours. Businesses are always looking for ways to enhance employee engagement and retention. You can approach the human resources (HR) and management departments to organize a get-together event to have an interaction with your remote coworkers. Think of it as a welcome back party for everyone to have the chance to get reacquainted.

Conclusion

It can feel challenging to transition back to a pre-covid lifestyle after nearly two years of working remotely. But while it may feel hefty, it will be a transition you won’t regret making. You’ll develop new work habits, foster new friendships, and breathe a sigh of relief knowing that the world (in some sense at least) is back to where it used to be.

As an employee, if you want to achieve your goals, you’ll need the support of your team. Transitioning together to the new normal can create significant benefits for your career. This can also help the future of the company you work in.

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