Have you recently taken a virtual job? Or perhaps you started working virtually when the pandemic started a year ago. In either circumstance, many mid-career professionals struggle with how effectively work with their peers in a virtual setting. It seems like many things can slip through the cracks and it’s harder to stay in touch with peers virtually. Not knowing how to handle these challenges can cause professionals to dread going to work.
We understand these challenges and want to provide you with three tips to help you work with your peers virtually because we truly care.
Create an agreement with your peers. One way you can work more effectively with your peers virtually is by creating an agreement on how you will work together. This involves establishing guidelines and boundaries for each of your roles. You can also agree to how you will handle any disagreements and feedback. This allows you and your peer to be on the same page, which is especially important in a virtual setting. This is something you can do even if you have worked with your peer for a long time. Try scheduling some time for a video call, let them know that you enjoy working with them and ask them if they would be open to trying something new to work together even more effectively. Then you can discuss who should handle which tasks based on their strengths, what challenges you may face while working remotely and how to handle those, and how you will communicate with each other.
Work on your listening skills. Since everything in the workplace involves communication, it is important for any professional to work on their listening skills. Not everyone naturally knows how to listen to others well, sometimes we tend to focus on listening to our inner voice instead of listening to what the other person is saying. Listening in a virtual setting can be even more challenging with spotty internet and lag time on a video call. During this time we recommend continuing to check in with your peers and ask them how they are doing and then truly listen to what they have to say. Don’t think about what you’re going to say next, just listen. When you are on a video call, speak slowly and deliberately, then allow for the lag time on the call.
Stay in touch. To stay in touch with your peers, you may need to be a little more creative in a virtual setting. Take advantage of any chat platforms or channels your company uses for watercooler talk. You can also share a funny video or interesting story via email with a peer. It doesn’t have to be a long email, just let them know you were thinking of them. You can also ask a peer to join you for a virtual coffee break.
Need more help with how to be more effective at your virtual job? Let’s talk! Schedule a free consult today.