How To Help Your Remote Team Feel More Connected
Many entrepreneurs and business owners are now choosing to work with a remote team. Not only does this save money, but it also allows you the opportunity to hire talent from all over the world. However, if your team isn’t working together as closely as they would in an office environment, it can be hard for them to feel connected.
The remote work revolution has been in full swing for a few years now, and more and more businesses are starting to adopt this 24/7 style of working. But the question on everyone’s mind is, how can you make your team feel like they’re all in it together when they never see each other? Here are some thoughts on how you can keep your team feeling connected, even though their offices might be across the world from one another.
Dynamic cultures of remote work can be challenging.
Telecommuting has been around for decades, but it’s just now that we are starting to see the benefits of this type of work culture. It can be hard not knowing what your co-workers do all day, and it might feel like you’re missing out on something when they get together in person or chat about their days online.
Some remote teams have figured out how to keep themselves motivated and connected with one another through social media channels such as Facebook Groups, Google Hangouts, Slack Channels, and other virtual meeting spaces.
Consider setting up a time during the week where employees come together virtually to collaborate on projects or simply catch up on life without distractions from work emails or phones ringing off the hook.
Offer a supportive ear.
Companies often ask for feedback from their employees, but they rarely offer an outlet. This can be frustrating and isolating for staff members who may feel like the only one experiencing a particular challenge or need at work or home — particularly when working remotely.
Consider polling your staff anonymously about what challenges they’re facing both on the job and in life. Use this data to help you create ways of providing outlets for them — whether it be through internal channels that allow people to share with each other without feeling too vulnerable, support groups led by professionals, mental health days where workers are encouraged to take time off when needed without fear of repercussion, etc.
Encourage positive mental health culture, so employees have a safe space to share if they want to talk.
Make it fun!
Not all teams have a lot of time to get to know each other, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make work fun. You could create different Slack channels for different purposes. Doing this means employees could share pictures of their home or animals on Slack and also use it for lots of different things like sharing GIFs, playing games with co-workers, or even using the app as a virtual whiteboard.
Although it sounds silly at first, if you want people in your team to feel more connected, then these are some ways you can do so virtually without taking up too much time. Which activities would be most helpful in making your team members love coming to work every day?
Focus on the onboarding process
Setting your remote employees up for success from day one with a good onboarding process is an essential step in making sure they’re comfortable and feel like part of the team. Set aside time to introduce them to their co-workers, get oriented to the company structure and learn about corporate culture, so they know what’s expected of them at work.
From there, you can also show new hires how to do things like access necessary resources or manage their email account so that it doesn’t become overwhelming when they start working remotely. Implementing a good onboarding process will help make sure your newest members feel included and are able to hit the ground running as soon as possible.
Invest in employees’ ongoing professional development.
No matter how great your culture is or how well employees perform, they may end up disconnected and disillusioned if they don’t feel a sense of purpose. You can combat this by implementing a program for professional development.
This will help them to take ownership of their work and stay engaged with long-term goals of professional development opportunities throughout their tenure at your organization. The more remote workers are connected to ongoing professional development programs that align with the company’s strategic objectives, the less likely it is for gaps in engagement and retention to occur later on down the line.
Encourage an open forum.
We all have bad days, and it’s not always going to be sunshine and rainbows. It’s important that your team knows you care about them even if things don’t go as planned. Whether they’ve had an awesome week or one full of challenges, make sure everyone has the chance to share how their workweek went with each other at least once per month. And remember to show appreciation for those who are putting in extra effort by sharing stories from your own life where something difficult happened!
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Originally published at Upstack.co on Mar 7, 2022, by Joanna Blomfield.