Developing professional relationships when working from home

by May 11, 2023

Developing professional relationships when working from home

Read how you can develop and maintain professional relationships when working from home either fully or partially


The global pandemic changed the way we work, with almost all companies and employees shifting to remote work during lock down. Employees found out that working from home has great benefits, (increased flexibility and reduced commute time), but it also presents challenges when it comes to building professional relationships. Without the opportunity for in-person interactions, it can be difficult to form connections with sponsors, colleagues and mentors and to advance in your career.

What has complicated matters even further is that some employees are now back in the office and their working life is unchanged from pre-pandemic times. The Battle for the Office has been lost in many geographies and Proximity bias is real. Others are working on a hybrid basis, hot-desking and hotelling are the norm. Developing professional relationships when working from home has become more important than ever.

So how do you develop professional relationships when working from home either fully or partially?

Developing professional relationships when working from home

Developing professional relationships when working from home can be harder because it has to be intentional.  It involves having clear goals, a strategy and a weekly even daily plan, and holding yourself accountable. It is important to identify who you need to develop a relationship with and work strategically to make that happen.

In a study by Harvard Business Review, it was found that remote workers who felt connected to their colleagues had better job satisfaction, felt more committed to their company, and had fewer intentions of leaving the organisation. It’s important to take the steps to build professional relationships and to make the most of the opportunities provided by virtual environments.

These are some of the steps you can take to build professional relationships:

1. Leverage digital communication tools

Digital communication tools such as email, instant messaging, and video conferencing are increasingly important for building professional relationships while working remotely. Email and instant messaging can be used to schedule regular check-ins and stay in touch with colleagues, while video conferencing allows for face-to-face interaction.

Now many people are simply Zoomed out and the old-fashioned telephone call works just as well. Don’t forget to establish communication preferences with your colleagues.

2. Attend virtual networking events

Professional organisations and industry groups have been quick to adapt to the new remote work reality by offering virtual networking events, conferences, and webinars. These events provide an opportunity to connect with other professionals in your field, learn from industry leaders, and expand your network.

Even post-COVID many choose to continue with virtual events.

Download Podcast: Create a networking strategy


3. Participate in virtual mentoring programs

Many companies now offer virtual mentoring programs that connect employees with experienced professionals who can provide guidance and support. These programs can be a great way to find a mentor or sponsor who can help you navigate your career and provide valuable insights.


Developing professional relationships when working from home

4. Volunteer for virtual projects

Participating in virtual projects or initiatives can provide opportunities to collaborate with others and showcase your skills. Volunteer to take on projects or initiatives that align with your interests and career goals. Not only will you gain valuable experience, but you’ll also have the chance to build relationships with colleagues and mentors.

5. Building relationships with peers

Building relationships with peers is also important, and it’s easy to do so in virtual environments. Join virtual groups or clubs that align with your interests, and actively participate in the discussions. This can help to create a sense of community and belonging, and can also provide opportunities to network and build professional relationships.

6. Give to receive

You can enforce these relationships by asking how you can support people. You can express gratitude publicly and go out of your way to show appreciation and recognition of your colleagues. LinkedIn provides many options to do this which includes: writing a recommendation and giving kudos.  Offer to mentor people junior to you to raise your visibility, because the process is not always a one way street.

8 quick hacks to stay in touch on LinkedIn – 3 Plus International

It’s important to remember that building professional relationships takes time and effort. It’s up to you to take the initiative to reach out to people you’d like to connect with. With the right approach, you can still make the most of remote work opportunities to build relationships that will support your career development.


Create a Networking Strategy – download today! 

Staff Writer: Career Contributor
3Plus welcomes any writers to join 3Plus as a Staff Writer. If you are an expert in Job Search, Career and Mentoring or just want to share your experiences, contact us! We would love to give you a voice!

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