As the world becomes increasingly digital, remote work has become more “the norm.” However, working from home can be isolating for some and may cause employees to feel disconnected from their work team.
Experienced managers know how important it is for remote employees to stay engaged, productive, and connected to their work and colleagues. That’s why it’s crucial to find ways to maintain and strengthen that connection, even if employees work from locations in many different parts of the world.
Below are some ways that remote employees can stay connected.
Table of Contents
1. Encourage Communication
Communicating with each other is vital to keeping your remote team connected. Encourage team members to communicate regularly through instant messaging, video conferencing, and other communication tools. A set schedule can help employees plan and save updates and other information to make better use of check-in meetings.
Encourage them to share project updates, ask for feedback, and offer support when needed while prioritizing quality over quantity. Set up virtual coffee chats to foster informal conversations among team members and build relationships beyond work-related topics. Consider workloads, and be flexible with the amount of time and the frequency required during busier work periods.
2. Schedule Regular Check-Ins
Maintain regular check-in meetings with your remote team members. This can be done through video calls or phone calls. Discuss project updates, goals, and other relevant information during these check-ins. Make sure that everyone has an opportunity to share their thoughts and opinions. Consider setting up buddy systems where team members are paired up to check in with each other regularly, especially if they work in different time zones.
3. Create a Virtual Watercooler
Set up a virtual water cooler by creating a chat room or channel where team members can discuss non-work-related topics. This can be a great way to help your team members get to know each other and build relationships. Rotate a “question of the day” to help break the ice and encourage team members to learn more about each other beyond their work roles.
4. Organize Virtual Team Building Activities
Organize virtual team-building activities to help your virtual team members bond, increase their team spirit, and feel more connected. This could include virtual happy hours, game nights, or other team-building activities. Try virtual escape rooms or online trivia games that require teamwork and collaboration to encourage problem-solving and communication.
5. Use Mobile Management Tools
Use mobile workforce management tools to help your team members stay connected and productive. These tools provide software configured to help team members stay organized and communicate with one another more effectively. And it’s important to consider using workforce management tools that allow for real-time collaboration and feedback, such as those that integrate instant messaging and resource sharing.
6. Encourage Feedback
Encourage your remote team members to provide feedback on their feelings about their work and the communication tools used. This feedback can help you identify areas for improvement and make changes to keep your team members engaged and connected.
Provide opportunities for anonymous feedback to encourage open and honest communication, and take action on the feedback received to show your team members that their opinions matter.
7. Recognize Achievements
Recognize the achievements and milestones reached by your remote team members. Celebrate your workers’ successes and acknowledge their hard work. This can help your team members feel valued and motivated, as studies have shown that employees love genuine recognition and appreciation even more than monetary bonuses.
Offer personalized rewards such as gift cards or shout-outs on company social media channels to recognize individual achievements and show appreciation for their contributions.
8. Prioritize Face-to-Face Communication
While virtual communication is essential for remote teams, prioritize face-to-face communication whenever possible. Plan in-person team meetings or retreats to help your team members build relationships and strengthen their connection to the team.
Consider incorporating icebreakers or team-building activities during in-person meetings to encourage more personal connections and get team members to work together in a different environment.
Keeping remote employees connected is essential for any business with a remote workforce. Encourage communication, use mobile workforce tools for managing teams, prioritize face-to-face communication, and organize virtual team-building activities to help your team members feel connected, valued, and motivated. By implementing these strategies, you can create a strong and cohesive team, regardless of your team members’ locations.