If you’ve never worked remotely before, making the transition can be quite stressful. You’re used to going into an office and interacting with people and the structure is already set up for you. Working from home can feel a bit isolating. In order to feel more like an office environment, you’ll want to set up your office with everything you might need. You’ll want to schedule break times and such as no one will be prompting you to get up from your desk or to go have lunch. Staying connected can be much easier than staying motivated when you work remotely. Here are some ways you can continue to stay connected to your colleagues despite the physical distance.
1. Use your online chat tool. Gartner uses an online chatroom for all kinds of official and unofficial groups from specific work questions to special interests. Using this technology, you can stay connected to your colleagues and teammates while working remotely. Don’t be afraid to reach out or strike up a conversation to feel like you’re still in the loop – just as you would if you were in the office, seeing these people face-to-face.
2. Pick up the phone! If you want to stay connected, pick up the phone to call your mentor, a colleague, or your manager. Even better, I’ve found that using video while connecting helps with non-verbal communication cues. The important thing is to reach out. You’d stop and say hello to a colleague if you were headed to the cafeteria or to grab some water from the water cooler, well stop and take a break to chat for five minutes. I have a colleague where we set a meeting every few weeks just to check in and say hi and see what’s happening. This helps continue to build relationships as if you were in the same office.
3. Set goals. It’s important to set challenges and schedules for yourself. Gartner is a data-driven company, so set goals for yourself or deadlines to hold yourself accountable. Another great way to build team culture is to create a challenge for your team to complete. This could be something as simple as making a social post, suggesting new ideas or sharing 1 interesting article you read a week. The challenge keeps you motivated and helps your colleagues continue to be engaged.
4. Celebrate your accomplishments. If you get mentioned in the news, bring it up during a team meeting and share the experience, if you publish a piece of research, blog about it, tweet and post to LinkedIn. If you receive an award, make sure you celebrate that achievement too. Outwardly celebrating gives you a sense of accomplishment and will drive you to continue on to the next project.
5. Challenge yourself. Look for special projects where you’ll be challenged or can stretch into another area of interest. With everyone’s day to day jobs expanding and changing, it’s a great opportunity to consider how you can learn a new skill or become a subject matter expert. Special projects can help you get introduced to others you normally wouldn’t interact with and build your network at Gartner. It will also help you to expand your horizons which will help you to stay motivated. If you feel like you need some extra motivation, see number 2!
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