With the rise of new collaborative tools and technological advancements, It’s been a very productive and successful year for remote work. 2020 has pushed many corporates and startups to go completely remote and have employees working from all over the world. Networking is a challenge by itself but adding remote work, differences based on location and time zone along with changes in the global workplace can leave anyone confused.
A research study by Global Workplace Analytics showed that businesses lose $600 billion yearly due to distractions within the workplace and remote workers are 35%-40% more productive than their office counterparts. Although this seems like a massive leap, it has also become difficult to network, make connections and build relationships remotely. According to Forbes Insights, 84% of professionals are most comfortable with networking ‘in person’.
According to Forbes Insights, 84% of professionals are most comfortable with networking ‘in person’.
Why is remote networking so important in 2021?
Working remotely makes it harder than ever to meet new people and build relationships. Many professionals have attributed their growth and success to the relationships that they have built and nurtured through networking. It creates a safe space to bounce off ideas and realize new opportunities, improves and challenges your intellect, helps to learn new concepts and practical application from field experts, etc. Research from Hubspot shows that 85% of job positions are filled solely through networking and 35% of networkers found new opportunities by engaging in casual conversations on LinkedIn.
How to start networking remotely?
Virtual coffees are an effective way to get started with networking from a remote setting. It uses the power of technology to schedule a chat or meeting with contacts from all over the world to build relationships. It helps to grow your network, learn, stay up to date with new trends & build connections within a professional space. Some of the most effective methods of remote networking are:
Sign up for virtual events like webinars & networking events
Connect with professional communities on Slack & Build relationships with Alumni
Register on networking platforms or applications
How to use remote networking to build stellar relationships?
A research study unveiled that people found networking very uncomfortable and it increasingly made them feel inauthentic and ‘dirty’. A major reason is that networking has become very transactional and is often taken on for some personal gain. Use these tips to convert networking, especially from a remote setting into a relational form of building connections:
Create mutually beneficial propositions – Statistics from a LinkedIn study have shown that people are less likely to keep in touch with their network when things are going smoothly in their career. It almost feels like networking has become the last resort to finding employment and is often a one-sided conversation. Start every networking conversation with the mindset of making a genuine connection and find ways to make the relationship mutually beneficial to both parties.
A research study unveiled that people found networking very uncomfortable and it increasingly made them feel inauthentic and ‘dirty’.
Choose to use video – While it’s easy to cower behind emails and audio calls, face to face interactions have a way of improving the quality of the conversation. A report by Hubspot showed that 95% of professionals believe that face-to-face meetings help to build great relationships. Video calls are more personal and help to understand the other person better by analyzing their body language and facial expressions to enhance the networking experience.
Be open to share & learn – When starting a networking conversation with the intent of making it mutually beneficial, it will become easier to be authentic and open up. Most younger professionals may find it awkward to reach out to connections simply because they feel like they don’t have anything to offer. Being open to learning will help develop a mentor-mentee relationship and this is extremely important in the early stages of your career.
Connect over similar interests – Professional relationships often require an element of friendship. Finding similar interests often help to connect better with the other person. You could simply ask about hobbies and passion projects to find common interests or take on some research before networking.
A report by Hubspot showed that 95% of professionals believe that face-to-face meetings help to build great relationships.
Volunteer & Offer Value – When striking up a conversation for the first time, find ways to offer value and help without expecting anything in return. Volunteer your time, effort, expertise, and look for opportunities to help potentially alleviate a pain point. Take a genuine interest and listen more than you speak when networking. For example, ‘Are you having trouble directing traffic to your website? I know a thing or two about SEO, I could take a look at it and suggest some recommendations for you’. This will put the other person at ease and they will be more open towards building a relationship too.
Always follow up after a conversation – After wrapping up a conversation, follow up and thank the person immediately for their time. If anything was promised during the call like a resource or review, ensure that it is shared with the contact. If they shared some advice or insights, reach out and provide an update on how you had applied the learning to a real situation.
Nurture the relationship over time – Reach out to your contacts periodically and catch up on their progress to continue nurturing the relationship. It’s always beneficial to have champions and cheerleaders within your network; people you can go to for mentorship and advice, contacts who will reach out for your expertise, connections who are always excited to hear about the progress you’re making and will cheer you on.
It is never easy to approach someone new and start to network with them, especially if you are a student or recent graduate. Use these 7 tips to rethink how you network and start building relationships. Through the Qureos network, young professionals like yourself can:
Tap into our global community of peers to meet like-minded individuals and collaborate
Gain access to industry experts and receive mentorship
Network with corporate partners from all over the world and build your personal brand
If you’d like to learn more about our Qureos, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.