Why is it important to build a positive relationship with your team members?


Building a relationship with your co-workers and knowledge exchange partners has many positive effects. It fosters creativity, creates a positive work environment, boosts productivity and it drives innovation.
Furthermore, building relationships also enables trust. And as discussed in our last practice, trust is immensely important for a good collaboration. That is especially important if you are working remotely. If you can’t just walk over to the office next door, to check on the progress of a project, it is crucial that you can trust your co-workers and knowledge exchange partners to get important information on time. Trust and good relationships between team members are the bases that turn projects into success stories.
When working from home, one can feel isolated and depressed. Having a good connection to your colleagues creates a feeling of belonging and being part of a team can reduce or even eliminate those negative feeling associated with remote work.
In addition, positive feelings towards your team members foster effectiveness. Feeling comfortable around someone during a video call reduces the restraining threshold and makes collaboration much easier.
This unique situation we are in right now, shows how important it is to put the focus on the people and create relationships that go beyond work and common projects.

How do you build relationships while working remotely?


Working remotely can make that process of building relationships with your co-workers and knowledge exchange partners very difficult. But it is not impossible. While working in an office, interaction with your team members comes naturally. There is small talk when making coffee or spending time together while on joint lunch breaks. You need to put more effort into it when working from home. In other words, you need to be proactive and make an effort to get to know your colleagues better. So, how do you build relationships remotely? Generally, if people don’t know someone, they are hesitant and critical until they built up some rapport. Here are some tips, to achieve that.
First and foremost, value others by listening to them, especially active listening, ask questions and encourage them to expand on what they’re saying. Also, don’t just reach out to someone if you need something. Offer to share your knowledge and suggest that your colleagues can contact you if they have questions. In addition, have conversations beyond professional context, ask genuinely how someone is doing and how their family is.
These measures might seem like trivialities, but they can go a long way. They will create relationships and trust and thereby unblock the innovation process. Interaction and communication build strong commitment and team cohesion.
What are your experiences in building new relationships remotely? And how do the established relationships help you during difficult times? How do you maintain them?