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We have been discussing the remote work lifestyle for a couple of weeks here at Hire PHP Developers now. This time round, we're going to touch upon another aspect of this work lifestyle i-e work relations. How to develop cordial work relations while working remotely is surely a cumbersome task, given the geographic distances. The only way around this dilemma is of course if you're an extreme introvert. Also the fact that their are quite a few nomad retreats popping up around the world pays heed to the point that such individuals want to be around other like minded people, even if they're working on different projects. So here are some useful techniques on how to develop such work relations while on the move.
The Display Picture:
Imagine yourself as an employee in an office where you're not actually present physically. In such a setting, your most obvious introduction with your co worker will be through your display image (at least in the start). There's more to a remote introduction that just accepting everyone's requests on Skype. For this purpose, your display picture should be a pleasant & professional photo of yourself, not a Ferrari or Darth Vader. The more the reality of your existence dawns upon them, the more responsive they will be to your interactions. The icing on the cake can perhaps be a 5-10 minute introductory video where a more organic connection can be established with your co workers.
Holding An Introduction:
Its the start of a project and all of your team is on a conference call on Skype; all 15(ish) of you who are total strangers. It would certainly not hurt in such a setting to hold a 1 minute intro before kicking off the work details. Such an organic start can go a long way in developing a humanly connection in the work environment. Not to mention that sharing a bit of intimate information about one's self can make the situation that much friendly.
Attention to Time Zones:
To say that this is a double edged sword would be an understatement. When you're working remotely, most of the time yours and your co worker's time zones are going to be on a collision course. You might be messaging them, inquiring about project updates while they'll be getting ready to slip into their beds. This pendulum interestingly swings both ways and to make sure that neither of you are stepping on each other's toes, a mutual timing has to be decided. There are many apps out there for this purpose but at the end of the day, it simply about empathy and knowing that the Sun doesn't shine on our globe all at the same time.
Honesty is the Best Policy:
We have already discussed in our previous post the need to be honest & transparent regarding one's work as a Digital Nomad. The reason for such stress upon this issue is the obvious fact that one's reputation is the only thing keeping them afloat in the remote work realm. With no corporate entity backing your credibility, you only have your word to rely upon. It therefore becomes immensely important to stay honest about projects. If you've committed to a deadline, do everything possible in your powers to meet it; if not, send out an advance notice sooner rather than later. Doing so will protect your reputation in front of your employer and co workers alike.