July 20, 2017 By Jen Mathews
February 17, 2017
Random Acts of Kindness to Perform for Your Remote Coworkers
Acting kindly towards a coworker is easy to do when you occupy the same physical space. Hold the door or elevator for someone. Bring coffee to your cube-mate. Acknowledge a great presentation with a high five and a smile.
But what happens when you work on a distributed team, where not everyone is in the same space (let along the same city, state, or country)? It takes a little more effort to show kindness to your remote or distributed coworkers, but it’s possible, and it’s important.
February 12 – 18 has been named Random Acts of Kindness Week. According to the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation (which is very much a thing), this week is meant to inspire everyone in the world to be more kind. So, if you’re feeling all sorts of warm fuzzies, how can you be kind to your far-flung teammates?
With over 460 million search results for “meme,” there’s sure to be a perfectly applicable meme to sum up your appreciation for your remote coworkers. If you’re lucky, your gesture might start a meme war, with teammates trying to one-up each other with other kind, and hopefully hilarious, memes.
If someone you work with deserves praise, thanks, or a high-five, consider doing it publicly instead of privately. Company message boards, IM channels, and virtual meetings on platforms like join.me are all a great way to publicly recognize someone. Online meetings don’t have to be reserved only for former meetings. Get everyone together and have some fun recognizing a job well done!
Send someone a small gift card for a local coffee shop in their area to brighten their day, and their energy levels.
We are living in a virtual world (to paraphrase Madonna) but that doesn’t mean you have to do everything digitally. Everyone likes getting snail mail that isn’t a bill, so send cards to your remote coworkers to wish them a happy birthday, congratulate them on a job well done, or just to say hello.
If you find yourself with some spare time, ask anyone if they need help with something. It’s hard to see when a colleague is struggling in a virtual environment, and they will really appreciate the help.
Most people don’t feel comfortable openly asking for recommendations, but they go a long way in publicly recognizing the work someone does. Write a glowing recommendation for a coworker on LinkedIn. You’ll make their day, and may even help them down the line if the occasion to find a new job ever arises.
Being able to focus on your to-do list is one of the biggest perks of working remotely, but that shouldn’t come at the expense of strong work relationships. A few times each week, perform a random act of kindness for your remote coworkers. You might inspire them to do the same!
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