Looking to virtual connections to create deeper relationships
During this unprecedented situation, I’m sure many of us can point to a time when we felt uncomfortable while working from home. Perhaps your dog tried to jump onto your lap during an important conference call, or your neighbor decided to start mowing the lawn just as a client was calling. It’s a fact of life and is increasingly a staple of the new normal that we’ve all found ourselves in.
As we all begin to acclimate to this new virtual reality, events like these are simply going to happen. Instead of shying away from them, I’ve come to realize that embracing these spontaneous moments can be critical opportunities to discover new dimensions of coworkers and clients – ultimately helping us to build even deeper relationships with each other. Moreover, these moments underscore the fact that work-life balance is dated – in the virtual world of work, it’s about work-life integration and how people successfully manage their personal and professional lives each day.
With this in mind, I challenge you to take an extra step to open yourself to those you interact with. For example, if you have five meetings each day, consider making three of those video conferences, giving those on the other end an inside look into your new workspace. If you experience an unforeseen burst of noise during an important call (for example, a baby crying, kids playing, or dogs barking), consider leaning into these moments as a way to get to know your coworkers a little better. In doing so, you can more confidently create and nurture lasting connections with colleagues even when you’re not physically in the same space.
For me, I had a food delivery during a recent video with Genpact employees. I used the opportunity to bring some real-world context to the situation. I just acknowledged I was hungry, and it gave everyone an opportunity to have a good laugh.