Remote Workers, Don’t Get Left Behind – Here’s a Tip to Stay on Your Manager’s Radar

By Rachel Puryear

As much as remote work opens up wonderful opportunities for lifestyle and family life, it has its tradeoffs.

One challenge facing remote workers is how to remotely build rapport with your manager and colleagues, and participate in company culture. In-person work naturally offers spontaneous opportunities to bond and build rapport with managers and colleagues; without much effort required on the workers’ part. Meanwhile, remote workers need to be more intentional about building such rapport.

Nonetheless, building bonds and rapport with colleagues and supervisors is also possible for remote workers. Here is something you can do to help close the gap.

People having a fun meeting on Zoom.

A recent study from Harvard University tracked over 1,000 interns at an unspecified large corporation during over five weeks, and at sixteen different locations. Due to the pandemic, all of the interns were remote.

The key finding of the study was that the interns who had the most face-to-face time over Zoom with their managers were more likely to receive a job offer at the end of the internship terms. Interns who proactively initiated Zoom chats with their managers got more face time, and also created more opportunities to build rapport as well as get more frequent feedback on their work.

This study strongly suggests that remote workers benefit greatly when they take initiative to talk to their managers and colleagues regularly on Zoom. Making a point of logging face-to-face time with your manager and colleagues helps build better rapport with them, and gets you more regular feedback on your work. This helps with getting jobs, and with industry advancement.


Note: There were limitations to this study. It has not yet been peer-reviewed. It was limited to the five-week situation described above, including with everyone involved being remote. The researchers did not break down results among different demographics. These limitations should be kept in mind, but they do not necessarily render the study invalid. It suggests, however, that this is an area of study worth exploring further.


Thank you, dear readers, for reading, following, and sharing. Here’s to your building better relationships with others and getting important feedback for your work, either online or in person.

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