Working from home can pose numerous challenges, but one that’s especially important to consider at this time is the ability to stay connected with our coworkers. It’s easy to take for granted the sense of connection we feel in an office setting and the benefits that go along with that. As you get into your workflow from home, it’s important to consider how this aspect of your work life has changed. Are you still talking with coworkers? Do you have regular meetings? Is it more challenging to stay in touch than you expected? These are important questions to ask ourselves. Let’s dive into this idea of connection with our coworkers a bit more:
First, we’re lucky to live during a time where it’s easier than ever to stay connected. While in-person connection might be out for the moment, professionals have countless options when it comes to connecting with coworkers. There are a few things to consider here. What medium will you use? Text messages, email, and other written messages are great for a quick back-and-forth or collaborating on a work project. But these alone don’t necessarily give us enough satisfaction in terms of connection. Though you may not be used to calling or video chatting with your coworkers under normal circumstances, these are great options that can help professionals cultivate that sense of connectedness. The other important thing to consider is frequency. With so much uncertainty, having a few regular things to depend on can be really beneficial. Consider getting some calls with coworkers on the calendar, even if they’re not specifically related to a work project. A brief weekly check-in holds more value than you may think, especially now.
Staying in touch with your coworkers can help you get into work mode. We’re used to connecting with these people at the office, and they signal to our brain that we’re in a professional environment. Even if you’re having a more general discussion or sharing work-from-home strategies, these conversations can help get you in a productive mindset to focus on your work.
When we work from home, we’re usually surrounded by things that could get our attention. Whether it’s a load of laundry or a leaky faucet, the list of things to do at home often feels endless. Talking to coworkers can help keep us on track and motivated to focus on our work. Talking about work, your goals for the week, and your plans for work more generally can be a source of inspiration for both parties. It also creates a sense of accountability when these calls are regular occurrences.
Finally, there’s no denying that this is a challenging time. And it’s understandable that morale can start to decline. Coworkers can be a major source of support during this time. They’re likely navigating similar balances and dealing with similar concerns. Staying connected can support morale. Even simply having this call on the calendar to look forward to is beneficial. Whether it’s a 10-minute chat or an hour-long discussion, connecting in this way can help lower stress and boost your mood.
Have you kept in touch with your coworkers? What strategies have worked for you? If not and you think it could be beneficial, why not reach out? I’d love to hear your thoughts.