Connect with your colleagues

Maximize your team productivity through cultivating professional respect among colleagues. It is easier to empathize with a colleague’s needs when they are close to you in physical proximity, because you can read their body language. Working from home means learning to elevate interpersonal communication with virtual methods such as the phone, messaging applications, and video conferencing.

How to become a valued virtual team player:

Consider keeping online meetings and phone calls for the afternoon or early evening, as some remote workers prefer to ease their way into the day and others are in completely different time zones.

Turn your camera on if possible. Seeing coworkers on camera builds a stronger connection and can reduce the feelings of being “alone” all day.

Look into the camera instead of searching for on-screen eyes during video conference calls. If you get distracted looking at yourself, try hiding the self-view.

Check your surroundings. On a video call, the last thing you want is something embarrassing behind you. Find a spot where you will regularly plan to take video calls. If you are unable to change what happens behind you, try out a background instead.

To stay focused during the day, only sign into the social media you need for interaction with co-workers. Avoid looking at your phone and try to keep it face down during meetings and virtual calls.

Listen actively and carefully instead of just bantering, because context is more difficult to interpret through a virtual medium.

Send an email instead of calling someone directly, unless it’s time-sensitive or you’re dealing directly with a customer.

zoom meeting

Virtual backgrounds in video meetings

On Zoom and Teams, you have the option to upload your own background image or choose a stock photo rather than showing your remote setup.

Zoom how-to
Teams how-to

Show your UA support with university themed backgrounds: