Because of the pandemic, a lot of companies are still implementing a work-from-home setting. Even if vaccines are being rolled out, new variants of the COVID-19 virus keep emerging. And the best way to stay safe is still to shelter in place.
But working from home does have its challenges. For one, employees have little to no interactions with one another. Talking through voice calls or video calls is usually not enough to establish a good working relationship.
The lack of rapport can bring in other issues in terms of work quality and performance. And this is why building sound working relationships with colleagues is important, especially during a global pandemic when people are slowly becoming antisocial.
How to Build Good Relationships with Colleagues
Many articles have already been published on how employees can have a better relationship with colleagues, whether they’re at the same level, supervisors, or even clients. The primary key is always communication.
You need to be a good listener so that the people around you can see you as someone they can trust and get along with. You also need to be open-minded and supportive whenever you can. For example, sending your colleague a short email with positive feedback can go a long way in creating a sound relationship with your co-workers.
It’s also important to note that building a good relationship with others takes time and effort. You can’t become close with a new employee in your team just by spending one or two hours with them on a project.
The Benefits of Good Work Relationships
Even though it takes a lot of work, building good working relationships will be worth all the trouble based on its several benefits.
Gain Valuable Connections
During a pandemic, the opportunities to interact with others have greatly decreased due to social isolation. For many work-from-home employees, the most they can socialize is when they talk to people in their work circle, whether they’re co-workers or clients.
Thus, in a virtual workplace, you need to build good relationships with these people to gain valuable connections. Expanding your network can benefit you in many ways. For example, if you are thinking of moving forward in your career, your connections can help you find better opportunities or give you tips on how to climb up the corporate ladder.
These connections can also benefit you on a personal level. For example, someone is talking to their colleagues through an online messaging platform. This person mentions that they’re having a problem with their vehicle, so they cannot go out for errands. One colleague might share a contact with the best auto repair equipment, thus helping the other person’s problem.
Make Work More Enjoyable
Your co-workers are the people you spend time with at least eight hours a day, five days a week. If you build a sound relationship with them, you’ll find your work more enjoyable. And this can increase your motivation in the long run.
Your sound relationship with your colleagues can also come in handy if you ever need help. For example, you are more likely to ask for help if you experience any problems at work if you’re good friends with your colleagues. And they’ll also be more open in helping you out and vice versa. As a result, all of you will turn in better work and improve your work performance.
Become More Productive
If you enjoy your time at work, you are also likely to become more productive. Your personal productivity can benefit you in many ways. For example, you’ll be in a better mood at work. Being productive can improve your work performance, which can then earn you praise from your supervisors and clients and a good reputation in the virtual workplace.
Also, when your co-workers “have your back” in the virtual workplace, they can help you reduce stress so that you can work more efficiently. Maybe you’re chasing deadlines and are behind on your deliverables. One of your colleagues can offer to help so that you can get back on track. Or if you have a good working relationship with your boss, you can easily approach them and share that you’re overwhelmed by your workload. And together, you can figure out a solution to this dilemma.
The next time you come to work, even in a virtual setting, consider starting small talk with some of your colleagues during your break time or downtime. This can help you break the ice and start building a sound relationship with them.