Being Social While Remotely Working

Being social at office lubricates official conversations and the work itself. The more we spend time with colleagues having non-essential chatter, the easier our work becomes with them.

It helps to be creative and infuse fun into a virtual interaction. Any official conversation, like a manager meeting his subordinates in a one-on-one meeting, can start by asking about the person’s life (something unrelated to work), so that a connection is built.

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How to transition to remote work in a hurry

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There is a sudden shift towards remote working in workspaces all across the world, with many people abruptly thrust towards it without warning.

Experts share a few tips on how to transition to remote working:

  • Mimic your office culture
  • Embrace social time
  • Default to transparency
  • Brainstorm differently
  • Don’t expect normalcy
  • Be flexible.

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Managers cannot expect high performance of remote workers in all the areas of evaluation in this sudden shift to remote working without training and preparation. 

It is a good idea to have regular checkpoints while working remotely so that managers can provide them with direction and guidance. Also, people working remotely have to be provided with some freedom and cannot be glued to their chairs all day. The results matter, not the number of hours.

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Managers need to be flexible and patient with their work-from-home approach due to the added pressure of closed daycare and schools, scarce resources, and high emotions of employees. 

They need to let workers decide the right time to work or the right days and provide them with the benefit of the doubt if they are unable to handle a task. We all need to be resilient in these tough circumstances and come up with creative solutions.

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Being transparent about what an employee and the managers are doing is crucial in a remote setup.

Daily check-ins remove any confusion on what everyone is working on and negates the need for unnecessary communication throughout the day. Managers need to make things clear at all times so that employees are not left in the dark, while not resorting to micromanaging.

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For many of us, the office becomes a fun place due to a sense of community, purpose and fun interactions that make up an office day. To try and mimic your office culture virtually:

  1. Set up Slack channels for water cooler conversation
  2. Schedule virtual movie days, when the same movie is streamed with the chat option on.
  3. Try to recreate virtual versions of what employees miss the most in office, like a coffee break, for instance.

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... that's capable of executing in a remote setup:

  • Hire doers: they will get stuff done even if they are working from a secluded island.
  • Hire people you can trust. And trust the people you hire;
  • Hire people who cand write: communication is one of the most important parts of a remote team - good writers are critical to a team's success.
  • Hire people who are ok without a social workplace.

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How to Run a Remote Team

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Personal Connection

A sense of connection and belonging are sentiments that are helpful for building “affective trust” – a form of trust based on emotional bond and interpersonal relatedness.

It varies from the “cognitive trust” – which springs from reliability and competence. Both are influential to performance, but affective trust tends to be more salient for a team at the beginning of a relationship, according to studies.

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How to build social connection in a remote team

knowyourteam.com

For the whole idea of remote work to actually work, you have to develop a remote culture for your team.
And that means having a shared context: everyone plays by the same rules, you have to understand your team's practices and everybody has to have an overall feeling that you are working in an equitable environment.

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How To Be A Happy And Productive Remote Worker

blog.trello.com