Hello, Chingmay. I am an Intercultural Communication Coach.
Today I would like to offer a suggestion on how to maintain a smooth, and most importantly, human, online working relationship.
Working from home is very commonplace as our lives are very much “online” these days, especially during this current health threatening situation we have right now.
We are constantly videoconferencing and emailing our co-workers, partners, suppliers and various professionals who work in different cities and countries.
As you know, cultural barriers already existed before this digital age. In this digital age, communication can sometimes get a bit harder because we don’t see people and their surroundings anymore, whether they are busy or not (most likely busy and juggling with a few assignments at the same time).
Very often, via the computer, we somehow unintentionally treat people at the other end of the computer as “robots”, who are there just to give and/or receive information or orders.
The trick to bring humanity to the workplace is to get to know one another better. The better we know one another, the better we work together.
We will communicate easier because we know each other well.
We will be more empathetic and forgiving towards mistakes and misunderstandings.
We will have more fun working together.
Here’s what I suggest:
A casual weekly Online meeting. The purpose of these meetings is for team-bonding, and earning trust from your teammates by spending time together.
People can attend with their coffee or tea and snacks.
During the meetings, we will go round and tell one another
One bad news and one good news that happened to them in their personal life that week.
And share a tip or a new discovery on something that could be helpful for others.
It’s important that during the first of these meetings, people spend an extra 15-20 minutes to introduce their family members/girlfriends/boyfriends/pets to one another by showing their photos.
If you are a team leader, you can try to be more creative in the approach of these meetings.
I hope this suggestion is helpful for you.
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And, please contact me if you are interested to know more about my online coaching.