If you’ve worked from home long enough, you know that it’s not easy to build meaningful connections with co-workers. This article offers up four ways you can build such relationships with your colleagues.

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professional standing during virtual meeting with the electric standing desk

If you’ve worked from home long enough, you know that it’s not easy to build meaningful connections with co-workers. That’s why it’s important to find new and fun ways to connect with your colleagues. After all, you need a good rapport with your co-workers to achieve your collective goals.

Also, positive relationships with co-workers can boost your well-being and productivity. In fact, “Co-workers who have positive relationships with one another are more likely to perform well when working with others on a project.” In a nutshell, such relationships not only increase individual employee performance, but they simply make work life easier. And who doesn’t want that?

professional working while standing with electric standing desk

Even more striking is the benefit to managers as well as the company when employees work well together. According to Gallup, “Organizations with higher levels of employee engagement indicated lower business costs, improved performance outcomes, lower staff turnover and absenteeism, and fewer safety incidents.” 

With all these factors, it’s clear that strong and healthy work relationships hold a host of powerful benefits for the individual and company. To help you better connect with colleagues and manage your teams effectively, we’ve outlined 4 ways you can improve your work relationships. 

1. Communicate Frequently

Whether you opt for email, chat or a Zoom call, it’s important to communicate frequently with colleagues and your manager when you’re working toward a collective goal. Without this, roles and responsibilities can become unclear, leaving some tasks to go uncompleted due to the confusion. Also, consider which medium may be right to get your point across. Don’t address a complex or sensitive topic over email or chat. Consider picking up the phone or hopping on a Zoom call instead to ensure clarity and mutual respect are at work. These micro moments of collaboration also help to build trust, which is another factor for producing positive results in the workplace.

2. Listen Actively

It can be easy to make quick assumptions about a project, communication, or result if you’re doing most of the talking and especially when you’re working from home. That’s why it’s critical to reach out and listen actively as part of your communication with co-workers. By doing so, you just might find a collaborative solution to your common challenges. With two-way communication, you also build trust with your co-workers, which will also lead to improved interpersonal relationships and business outcomes. And if you’re a manager, active listening can lead to improved relationships with your team members.

3. Be Positive

Working from home is no doubt a daily challenge for some due to loneliness. Some people prefer to be in the office beside their co-workers. By being positive and uplifting, you can likely offer support to a struggling colleague. You might even provide some tips and tricks for working from home to your colleagues that are having a difficult time. Switch your communication to video instead of interacting over email or chat as that can lend to personal conversations that build your relationship and their outlook. Your positivity can not only be contagious, but it can lend to better outcomes for you and your team, so do your best to look at the bright side and share that with others. 

professional standing to work at essential standing desk at home

4. Schedule Virtual Gatherings

While working from home has its benefits, it undoubtedly can result in less employee-to-employee interaction. One way to bring everyone together is to schedule Zoom gatherings that aren’t all about work. A virtual happy hour or team building exercise is a great way to encourage positive and healthy interactions and help employees get to know each other better, which eventually leads to better collaboration on group projects. Whether you’re organizing the event or just participating in it, be sure to be respectful of one another, stay engaged, and have a good time.