The enthusiasm for remote work has increased tremendously over the last couple of months, and one of the triggers has been the world pandemic. Even if it came with many difficulties and changes, it also made the labour market more flexible and open to new ways of working. If you take a look at the current state of the world, you can easily notice that in the long run, this would have happened anyway in a few years from now. The great benefit of the pandemic is that it accelerated remote work and digitalization. Remote work is the new way of working for many people, one that comes with flexibility and many other benefits.
You no longer spend time commuting, you no longer order food because you can cook your own, and you can organize your schedule however you want. But no matter how dreamy working from home may seem, it poses some real challenges to anyone. You mix the environments and now you need to find your focus and productivity in a place where you were used to relaxing. You need to communicate with your colleagues to ensure the progress of the team. And more importantly, you need to keep connected with your mentor, who can inspire and motivate you to go further.
Keep in Mind to Stay Connected
But because nowadays people meet online and not face to face, establishing a virtual connection with your mentor and colleagues might be more complicated than it seems. And it is a real challenge you might not see at the beginning. Thankfully, there are some ways you can build a virtual connection with mentors for remote work. Discover them below.
One of the things many people who work from home forget is to keep connected to their mentors. When you are alone in your working space in your house and working on your tasks, it is easy to forget that you have someone to help and support you in this process. Staying connected with your mentors helps you be connected with what happens in the company too. Getting updates about the latest news or changes within the business is essential, as you are part of something bigger, not only from your team.
But we all know that the role of a mentor is very important, especially for someone who is just beginning to take off their career. A mentor can offer you solutions to some issues you might have, but also help you achieve productivity and proficiency. Having a weekly or monthly meeting with your mentor is essential and it helps you stay connected with them and the company. Because remote work does not involve face-to-face meetings, you can use eyeson’s tool for video conferencing to organize regular online meetings with your mentor and team. For example, you can also use it to merge media, participants, and data in a single meeting and have on-point and effective discussions. The templates Eyeson’s tool for video conferencing offers you, improve the communication quality between you, your mentors, and team colleagues. They help you stay connected and in touch with your mentor and team, but also communicate and relate better.
Communicate and Manage Expectations
The expectations a mentor and a mentee have from their collaboration can enrich the entire relationship. We often see conflicts arise from misunderstandings or because the other one did not do what he was expected to do. But at the core of these misunderstandings are unmet expectations that were not even communicated.
The role of a mentor is to guide you in your self-development process and to support you with information and help whenever you need it. Your role as a mentee is to decide on your needs and goals and start working towards achieving and meeting them. However, a mentor has expectations from their mentees and vice versa, so these expectations need to be communicated.
It is important to meet halfway and have a fruitful collaboration, especially because you need to work together for your development and improvement. However, do not forget that each person will have a unique experience and that it is important to be patient and open-minded when communicating and managing your expectations.
Listen and Be Present
Even though working from home is something many have yearned for, it also posed some real challenges for many people. Remote work seems dreamy and ideal, but one of the challenges you need to overcome is to find your focus and productivity. There are many distractions in a familiar environment that is not adapted to remote work, and these distractions can keep you away from pursuing your tasks.
Not only when you communicate your expectations, but also when you work with your mentor it is important to listen and be present. A family member might call you, you might get a notification on your phone or laptop, your pet might want your attention, and so on. In these moments, it is important to try to keep distractions away, listen to your mentor, and be present in your communication with them. A virtual connection is more difficult to be built when working remotely, but not impossible.
One of the greatest challenges mentees meet when working remotely and having a mentor is to stay committed. The relationship between a mentor and a mentee should be based on trust, communication, and patience. But it is common that after a few conversations and online meetings, mentees lose interest in what they are doing or in keeping the mentoring relationship alive. Many expect this to come from their mentors, but this is not a one-way relationship.
A mentee can take initiative and update their mentor with the latest news or their progress. Many mentees think that the mentor has already answered their questions, so they could not come with added value anymore. But mentees can help mentors as well. They can come with fresh perspectives and points of view that help a mentor improve and develop their own perspective. Both parties can add more value to this relationship, even though they might feel this is not possible anymore. It is therefore important to stay committed as a mentee and take initiative whenever you feel like it.
Sometimes, people remain to keep their relationships with colleagues or mentors as professional as possible. But mentors and mentees can easily become friends, especially because at the beginning they need to collaborate and communicate a lot. Most think that a mentor can only help you with relevant information and guide you when you go off track. But mentors can also listen to you whenever you feel like venting and can provide emotional support as well.
Being friends, as long as you are comfortable, with your mentor is a nice thing. This will create more room for discussions and your collaboration will surely be enriched. Meeting and talking only about work-related subjects might not help you build that powerful connection between a mentor and a mentee. Seeing your mentor as a friend from work that guides you can make the relationship and collaboration healthier.
Remote work has become the new normal for a large number of people around the world. Even though there were many restrictions in place and people had to keep their physical distance, some processes couldn’t be stopped. One of these is onboarding new employees, teaching and training them to become better at what they do. The relationship between a mentor and their mentee should be a powerful one, based on patience, flexibility, and openness.
Establishing a virtual connection might be more demanding than doing this face to face, but it is necessary. Keep in mind to stay connected, share and manage your expectations, and create a space where you feel safe to share your opinions and discuss your problems. Listen and be present, see your mentor as a friend, and commit to being an active part of this relationship. Both you and your mentor have so much to add to this that would be a pity to not do it in the first place.