Imagine getting these instant messages at work:
Coworker: Good morning! How's it going? Do you have a few minutes to chat today?
Coworker: Hi. Do you have a few minutes to talk?
Even though the content is the same, the first one is friendlier and feels more personal.
Making some minor changes to how you communicate virtually can help you strengthen your relationships.
"How Are You?"
Ask a casual question before diving straight into work. It shows you see your coworker as a person, first.
If you remember what they said they were doing on the weekend, you can follow up on that instead.
How was apple picking?
Which of these would NOT be an appropriate casual question to ask a coworker who told you about a new restaurant they tried?
Book A Virtual Coffee
Has someone new joined your team virtually?
Book in some virtual social time to get to know them. Try a coffee break or happy hour.
It's much easier to communicate virtually once you have started forming a relationship with someone live.
Reach Out When You Don't Need Anything
When we only work together virtually, sometimes are work relationships become very transactional.
Reach out to tell someone when you think they did a good job, or to ask an off-topic question. You'd do these things in person, and they are key to building strong relationships.
All relationships are built on trust, whether you're interacting in-person or through screens.