We are now at the end of 2022, and it is the perfect time to reminisce on the importance of peer relationships at work. 66% of the US workforce take a fully remote position, compared to 38% in the UK. As the work-from-home model is still very much popular, communication often faces challenges like misunderstanding and lack of ‘human’ interaction.
Even if you love your job, there’s probably at least one colleague you just can’t seem to get along with. But having strong peer relationships at work is important for both your career and your sanity, so how can you improve things?
In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of working alone, and why building steady peer relationships at work matters so much for productivity and well-being. Then, we will deep-dive into 7 ways to strengthen communication with your colleagues, including several tips for the remote workers out there.
Why Is Working Alone So Lucrative?
There’s a reason why working from home is becoming an increasingly popular option for so many people. And no, it’s not just because you can wear your PJs all day. There are a lot of benefits to working alone, along with some cons to be wary of. Stay tuned!
Working alone can offer several advantages.
For starters, you don’t have to worry about managing other people and coordinating tasks with your colleagues. You are also free from office politics, as well as the distractions often caused by co-workers in an office environment.
Plus, remote workers have been found to be more productive than their traditional counterparts due to the lack of interruptions and their ability to remain focused on one task for longer periods of time.
However, working alone also has its disadvantages. It can be isolating and often more difficult to find professional support or guidance when needed.
Furthermore, it may be harder to foster relationships with peers since there is often no opportunity for face-to-face interaction. Lastly, without regular feedback from colleagues, it is difficult to gauge how productive you are and what areas need improvement.
Here Is Why Building Strong Peer Relationships At Work Matters
Now that we have discussed the pros and cons of working alone, let’s take a look at why building strong peer relationships at work is so important.
Firstly, positive peer relationships can be beneficial for both employees and employers. When colleagues get along well with each other, it helps enhance collaboration and trust across teams – leading to enhanced productivity and better team performance.
Additionally, having a close clique of work friends can help reduce your stress levels and make the day-to-day grind more enjoyable. And finally, strong peer relationships at work can help boost morale and increase loyalty – which is great for both employees and employers alike.
How To Strengthen Peer Relationships At Work: 7 Tips
Serve as an example: One of the most powerful ways to foster strong relationships with peers is to serve as a role model for those around you. This includes demonstrating professionalism and respect, being punctual and reliable, and maintaining high-quality work standards even during difficult times.
Be a team player: In an office environment, it can be easy to get caught up in individual tasks and forget about the importance of teamwork. Try to actively engage with your peers instead – offering assistance or advice when needed and taking part in group activities whenever possible.
Make use of technology: For remote workers, making use of technology such as video conferencing, instant messaging, file-sharing and business process management tools can help build trust and foster collaboration with colleagues.
Don’t be afraid to reach out: One of the first steps in building relationships with your peers is simply reaching out and introducing yourself.
Make an effort to communicate regularly: Whether it’s through email, instant messaging, or video calls, make sure you are checking in with your colleagues regularly and offering them support when needed. This will help build trust and create an open communication environment.
Show appreciation: A simple thank you can go a long way in making someone feel appreciated and valued. Whether it’s for a job well done or even just recognizing their effort, showing gratitude towards your peers will help maintain strong peer relationships and create an atmosphere of trust and respect.
Be open to feedback: Lastly, be open to your colleagues’ opinions and suggestions. While you don’t necessarily have to agree with each one, listening to others can help strengthen relationships with peers and make it easier to collaborate on projects in the future.
Peer Relationships As A Remote Worker: Challenges & Solutions
Building strong peer relationships at work is indeed possible even if your position is remote. Make sure you assess the loopholes that may appear from indirect communication.
Working remotely can feel lonely – especially if most of the team is in a physical office, together. But let’s face it – that’s the reality of the modern, flexible workspace.
Isolation and estrangement can be major challenges in such situations. After all, you are contributing to the company from a distance and may end up getting important information too late.
Another challenge when working remotely is gossip. As much as it is difficult to admit, we all love juicy rumors, especially in the office. When working remotely, unfortunately, you’d often be in a position where you don’t get to know the true attitudes of your colleagues towards you.
As a result, your opinion and professionalism can be overridden by vocal individuals who ridicule your work behind your back. This way, they may go on and set the wrong impression of you in other team members, including management.
If you are a remote worker, you have to face the fact, that, well, … you work remotely. Thus, do your assignments to the best of your ability and make an effort to communicate all important information clearly.
Also, understand that your employers have made a conscious decision to hire remote people in their company. Therefore, they are fully aware of the repercussions that may occur if one is working away from the main business setting. If you have any concerns that block your performance and motivation, raise the matter with them.
So, don’t feel left out and be proactive about forming lasting peer relationships with your colleagues. Attend team gatherings and celebrations when you can and steer away from meaningless inter-staff drama.
In case you notice unrightful attitudes towards yourself, the first thing you should do is remain calm. It’s important not to fall into the trap of getting involved. That’s unless it gets too far and you are on the verge of leaving the company because of this. So, avoid conflict and just do your job. In fact, step it up and blow the haters away!
Overall, maintaining strong peer relationships at work can be tricky, especially when you are a remote worker. However, with the right attitude and communication techniques, you can create a solid bond with your colleagues even from a distance. So, stay confident in yourself and don’t let anyone put you down for your hard work. Good luck!