Keeping Connected In The Remote Age
Recent events have served as a major catalyst for a transformation that was already happening in the business world. A lot of employers and workers were moving to remote working already, but the coronavirus outbreak and resulting lockdowns only served to speed that transformation up, so much so that many people don’t want to do back to the office once it’s all said and done. However, a lot of business owners and managers are concerned about how much of a connection they can have with their team as a result. Here are a few tips to help you keep those links strong.
Keep the conversation going
Regular communication is the key to ensuring that people understand one another and collaborate as best as possible. However, without the right organization, people in a remote work environment might not share the same preferences for communication and it can quickly get messy. A mix of emails, IMs, phone calls, and support tickets without any kind of rules defining when each should be used will make communication a chore more than a helpful tool. As such, using team communication platforms that centralize and organize conversations in one place can be hugely helpful. When people feel comfortable communicating, they also feel a lot better about the people they are communicating with.
Make meetings meaningful
IMs aren’t going to be enough for every meeting, and they don’t offer the same kind of personal connection that you get when you talk face-to-face with someone. Not everyone needs a webcam to participate, but you should try to have web conference meetings on a semi-regular, if not weekly, basis with your team. If there are managers under your employ, make sure they’re doing the same thing with their own remote teams. Know how to construct and run a good team meeting that makes the best use of everyone’s time.
Don’t cancel the big get-together
A lot of teams will have events planned that take the time to look over the milestones met over the past year or quarter, as well as plans to help everyone get on the right track for the same period going forward. If you have had to rethink this event going forward, it’s important to know there are still options to make it happen. A good corporate event planner will offer virtual event production and management services. These events can be very important for getting employees together and talking when they might not otherwise, as well as to ingrain a shared sense of purpose for the year ahead.
Give them some shoutouts
If you don’t get recognized for the work that you do, as a remote worker, then it can simply feel like you’re turning in your labor time and time again to some faceless entity that doesn’t care much about the effort you put into it. It has to be clear that a paycheck alone is not recognition enough. Be sure to thank employees when they go above and beyond, whether it’s by highlighting them in a weekly email, team meeting, or otherwise.
Make sure they feel valued
Putting the spotlight on team members who have been pulling their weight lately is one way to make them feel valued. However, there needs to be gestures of real and tangible value, as well. It doesn’t necessarily have to be of the monetary variety, but you should do some research into the most sought-after perks of any job and consider which of them you can offer to your employees. Not only will it help you improve your chances of retaining your best people, but it also creates a sense that they are valued as members of the team, which can improve how they communicate with other members of the team, too.
Start fun traditions
When you’re working remotely, you can lose some of the fun and the charm of a culture that’s organically made or organized within a physical workspace. However, you do have a chance to help foster this culture and some fun traditions can be a way of doing it. For instance, if you’re sending out weekly catch up emails, you can ask people to contribute a song that has been on their mind lately, making a joint playlist out of everyone’s submissions.
There’s no denying that a team dynamic can change drastically as a result of remote working and that it will take effort to find a new and healthy way to keep people connected. The technology and services to help are there, however, you just have to commit to finding the right ways of using then.