The workplace is becoming more virtual, with many employees working from home. With technology at our fingertips, we can connect with colleagues and teams worldwide. However, human connection is what makes a relationship work. Teamwork, project performance, and delivering results all depend on it.
In a virtual and hybrid world, how do we let technology help, not hinder, our relationships? How do we make the interactions HUMAN? Here’s some stuff to think about.
Let’s stop emailing each other. It’s tempting to just send everyone an email and wait for answers. Sometimes it doesn’t work. Perhaps in the past, you would have brought it up in the morning meeting or around the coffee machine. Use a chat tool like Slack instead. In real-time, you can talk to one person or many people and even send attachments.
If you need to meet in person, use videoconferencing. On a video call, ensure you’re looking at the camera and not your screen (unless you’re looking at something relevant). Don’t stare at your notes or computer when it’s your turn to speak. It would be a good idea to look up at them. They are looking at you, so why not look at them as if you would in person?
Try to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Build better relationships with your team members by asking yourself what would make YOU feel more connected to them as a person instead of as an employee. It could be something as simple as asking how their weekend was or sharing an article you think they’d like.
Being human is the most effective way to connect with people. Don’t pretend everything is fine if you’re having a bad day. Don’t be afraid to let people know how you feel. If it’s something they can help with, they’ll appreciate your honesty and openness; if not, at least they’ll know where they stand with you and what’s going on in your life outside of work. And don’t forget about humor — it’s one of the most effective connections with people!