Working from home can be both a blessing and a curse. Although working from home has many pros, such as zero commute, personal work environment, and comfortable clothes, it can also come with many cons. Several cons include little interaction with coworkers, less accessibility to coworkers, and often miscommunication. However, teamwork is incredibly important when working remotely to avoid these cons or at least ease their inevitability.
Little interaction with coworkers is unavoidable when working from home, but being intentional to maintain interaction and teamwork can often go a long way. Coworkers can maintain regular interaction and teamwork via meetings, Zoom, phone calls, or chat. Although it may seem like you are in more meetings or touchpoints when working remotely, it allows team members the opportunities to work together and collaborate on ideas and progress, which can affect others’ work. Additionally, provide yourself with extra time to join a meeting early to spend a few minutes asking other attendees how they are and how you can help them, which replaces the missed “water cooler” conversations.
Another inevitable aspect of working remotely is less accessibility to coworkers. One cannot simply walk up to another coworker’s desk to have a quick conversation about their work or ask questions, which again, often leads to miscommunication. Coworkers will need to work together in order to make themselves available while also being flexible with their schedule to allow more direct communication. In many miscommunications, the issue comes from an email thread or chat conversation where an individual has suddenly become lost in the conversation; however, both parties need to make themselves available (often on short notice) for a quick phone call, where the issues in question can be quickly resolved and mistakes avoided. Furthermore, workers should make themselves more accessible to potential calls from coworkers by having their phone charged and close by.
Coworkers using teamwork effectively while working remotely can proactively avoid or alleviate the cons of working from home. Staff can make their remote work experience more productive and connected while maintaining more interaction with coworkers, making themselves more accessible, and allowing direct communication with others.