It is one thing to pass by your colleague’s office and see they are on the phone or available for a chat, but what is the expectation when it comes to virtual interaction? It is easy to get absorbed in a task, lose track of time, and not connect with someone face-to-face (even virtually) for hours. While spurts of productivity are necessary, there are many ways to let your coworkers know that you are available for a quick question or brainstorming session.
Often, remote teams juggle team members with different time zones and varying schedules, but creating an overlap in working hours can help combat this. Make a plan to connect with team members who have different schedules to ensure you are in sync and maximizing resources. Similarly, whenever possible, prioritize video calls and phone calls over email. The fluidity of a conversation encourages dialogue and aids collaboration; conversely, the tone of voice of an email is open for interpretation. By connecting with team members over the phone or face-to-face, you can more quickly discuss complex concepts to understand your duties and increase productivity.
Another critical aspect of maintaining professional relationships while working outside an office is regularly connecting face-to-face (virtually or in-person) with your boss. Scheduling a weekly or biweekly touch base with your boss helps keep small projects moving forward and allows time to discuss long-term goals and initiatives. Although challenging for some, prioritizing face-to-face meetings is key to maintaining professional relationships, working as a team, and tracking long-term career development while working remotely.