How To Nurture Relationships With Coworkers While Working From Home

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Mar. 30 2021, Published 4:55 a.m. ET

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Now that the COVID -19 vaccine is becoming more available, the chances of returning to work in the office have increased. Although we are not quite sure when this will happen, transitioning from a virtual home-office setting back to a corporate setting will probably be unsettling at first.

Here are some tips that you can practice now so that the transition back to the office can be smooth and stress-free.

1. Communication

Communication is extremely important in the workplace to keep things flowing, and zoom is no different. When communicating through Zoom there’s a lot of focus on tone. Successful in-person communication is based on verbal and non-verbal behaviors, and Zoom is no different. Your body language, for example, speaks as loudly as your voice.  Sonya explains, “Research has found even a two-minute phone conversation makes email negotiations easier.” Eye contact, leaning forward, nodding, and being physically attentive are all ways to show that you are engaged with the person you’re speaking to. Interest and engagement are important to demonstrate when networking with coworkers and building connections in person.

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2. Give a helping hand

Giving your co-workers a hand with tasks can help lighten their load during this period. Indeed emphasizes, “trust is an important part of building relationships and by helping coworkers when they need it most, you are demonstrating this quality.” This not only shows sympathy but also the consideration and professional respect you have for your co-workers. This behavior will open doors to more opportunities and friendships to arise.

3. Become an active listener

It is important to listen to the suggestions, concerns, and problems your coworkers have. Active listening is the act of listening, reflecting, and paraphrasing the important parts of the conversation. This skill guides friendships and builds trust throughout your career. Your coworker may be looking for support or someone to confide in while they adjust through these difficult times. Forbes Coaching Council states, “relationship-building is enhanced by paying attention to the speaker using facial expressions and eye contact.”

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4. Ask thought-provoking questions

Asking questions that show you’re interested and informed can open the door to stronger work and networking relationships. Ask questions that encourage people to give thoughtful answers or to share their experiences. Being open to learning from your coworkers shows the value you place on them and can, later on, lead to future opportunities. According to Inga Stasiulionyte, “it’s scientifically proven that we learn life through questions.”

Being successful in an office environment, virtually in a Slack room, or not, means being successful in building relationships.

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