Imagine getting these instant messages at work:

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Coworker: Good morning! How's it going? Do you have a few minutes to chat today?

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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?

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Quiz

Which of these would NOT be an appropriate casual question to ask a coworker who told you about a new restaurant they tried?

Do you know if they do takeout?

What did you get?

How was it?

Who did you go to that restaurant with?

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.

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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.

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Summary

All relationships are built on trust, whether you're interacting in-person or through screens.

Which tactic will you use to start building better relationships with your virtual team?

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This Byte has been authored by

LB

Liat Brudnoy

Consulting Services Learning Leader at EY

KM

Kelly Ma

Consulting Learning Coordinator

SN

Sumaiya Najarali

Senior Staff Accountant, Tax Services at EY

MT

Melissa Teruoka

T and D is my life @EY