The Complexity of the Various Types of Remote Work Relationships [Video]

How to Lead Healthy Teams with Remote and Hybrid Employees

A challenge in successfully managing relationships with remote team members is that there’s not just one type of remote employee relationship. Although we tend to talk about them. That way we Clump them all together. For example, we discuss how to deal with remote employees when in reality a wide variety of relationships exist among remote employees. Just as is the case with on-site team members one obvious variable to consider is the type of employee who works remotely Executives and administrators managers supervisors. 

Frontline workers accountants customer service Associates sales people administrative assistance HR directors, but just like in in-person relationships a multitude of combinations exist between employees and supervisor a team of managers in the director cross organizational relationship.

All of these variables together combined to create a crazy complicated Matrix of different types of relationships between remote employees and their coworkers. So what can you do to facilitate clear communication and healthy collegial relationships?

As a psychologist, I often find that the best path is to go back to the basics. First clarify and communicate clarify expectations about behavior and communication. What is the same regardless of whether a person is remote or on-site? For example, the expectation of the timeliness of a response typically would be the same unless one person Works in a time zone several hours away. Do you let team members search the internet during in-person meetings. What is your expectation for virtual conferences? Whatever it is, let people know. Second when possible communicate with others in the ways that are most effective for them. While this can be confusing when dealing with a large number of team members most of us learn about individuals preferences that Stephen is more likely to see in respond to a text while Nicole prefers getting information by email.

In the same vein when appropriate let others know the best way to communicate with you. Finally be gracious in how you relate to others and try to give them the benefit of the doubt healthy relationships require effort patience a commitment to try to work together collaboratively. If someone is delayed and getting back to you don’t rush to make a negative attribution about them their irresponsible rather investigate ask questions and seek to better understand their circumstances relationships are difficult workplace relationship can be more so and remote workplace relationships clearly have significant challenges. But healthy ones can develop when we consider the challenges involved and work together to be supportive of one another.