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Staying Connected to Coworkers When Working from Home

It's easy to lose connection with coworkers when you don't see them on a daily basis. Unfortunately, this is problem many telecommuters face when they log more time in front of the computer in their house, alone, than they do in a regular office.
A woman sits at a computer while she talks on the phone.

Nothing hurts a telecommuting situation more than not staying in touch with coworkers and employers. Not only will they wonder if you’re working, but they’ll also leave you out of the office information loop. Moreover, because you’re not a physical presence, you might get passed up for promotions.

When it comes to working a telecommuting position with satisfaction, it’s not just about the home-based worker. Coworkers and employers need to know you’re working, are invested in the company, and are engaged in office relationships. Here are some tips to staying connected with coworkers when working from home.

1. Share Your Contact Information

At the very least, your boss should be able to get in touch with you during work hours by phone or email. But your colleagues will feel connected to you and like you’re a part of the team if they can get in touch with you quickly and easily, as well.

2. Connect Daily with Everyone Who Is Important In Doing Your Job

Send a message at the end of the day letting you boss know what you completed. Text a co-worker thanking them for delivering needed documentation. Your communication doesn’t always need to be work-related. You’re more likely to be included in the social aspects of work if you call to wish people a happy birthday or attend a colleague’s retirement luncheon.

3. Show Up In-person on Occasion

Live contact forms the deepest connections between coworkers and employers. Make it a habit to attend meetings on a regular basis or stop by to check in. If you live too far away to appear in person, use video call tools, such as Skype, which are the next best thing to visiting in-person.

4. Be Accountable

You may be working at home alone, but there are people who are relying on you do to your job. If your working at home makes it hard for others to do their work, your telecommuting position will be in jeopardy. So, meet your deadlines and responsibilities.

5. Respond to the Office in a Timely Manner

Communication breakdown is a real and common problem with remote workers. This means there may be more email or instant messages to get clarification. Or you might get a voice mail message regarding a project that needs immediate attention. While working at home allows for some flexibility, you can’t expect your boss and colleagues to wait while you take your kids to the park.

6. Be Clear and Concise in Email and Messages

If you need to talk with your boss or coworkers but they aren’t available, leave or send a message letting them know what you need. It doesn’t need to be long (and in fact it should be brief). But, you’ll save time if you let the other person know exactly what you need from them.

7. Don’t Wait to Hear from the Office

Out of sight is out of mind, which means your boss and coworkers won’t think of you unless they need something from you. You’ll maintain your presence and relationships if you are proactive about staying in touch.

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