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Feeling Connection As A Remote Worker? It's About The Little Things

https://blog.trello.com/feeling-connection-as-a-remote-worker

blog.trello.com

Feeling Connection As A Remote Worker? It's About The Little Things
Even though I've been working remotely as a software engineer at Trello for several years, I've recently picked up a new habit: I schedule two ~30 minute weekly video calls with individuals on my team, just for social interaction and casual conversation. This simple change to my calendar helps me enjoy work more and feel more connected.

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Regular Small Talk

Regular Small Talk

These few weekly half-hours small talk make work more enjoyable. Communication barriers are lowered and channels smoothened.

Mutual reliance, understanding, and coordination increase. Slowing down and making social time helps people be better teammates.

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Real Remote Communication Experience

Nonvirtual work cements social relationships. And for remote workers, being committed to making an effort and spending resources to make remote work feel personal and connected can replace that.

Just scheduling a video call once a week and having some pleasant small talk can be enough to build relationships that last. 

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Early times

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From factories to cubicles to WiFi

Just after WW2, there was a rise in corporate headquarters and larger office spaces and cubicles. During this time, the 8-hour workday was established.

Then came the advancements in computers and technology that lead to remote workers of today. The internet and public WiFi allowed employees to do everything they would in their cubicle, but outside the office. They can also work all hours of the day.

Remote work is common

4.3 million people currently work from home in the United States at least half of the time, and this figure has grown by 150% in the last 13 years.  

Remote workers tend to have higher engagement rates and higher productivity levels. Once they switch to remote work, they rarely want to become office bound again.

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Hire the right people

Design your hiring process with remote candidates in mind. Look for 3 main things:

  • A strong skill set relevant to their jobs: you need to feel confident that they can ...

Put extra effort into onboarding

Remote workers won’t have the opportunity to be involved in spontaneous conversations or team lunches, but there are other things you can do to help them settle:

  • provide info with new job critical stuff: team member introductions (personal bios, photos, advice for new employees), HR training links, task checklists, long-term goals, and more.
  • assign mentors to new hires, who schedule regular video check-ins, make themselves available on Slack and make new employees feel welcome.

Default working setups

Remote workers need a dedicated, quiet space to do their work, so it’s important to set some guidelines:

  • encourage workers to join coworking spaces;
  • encourage workers to set a dedicated insolated space at home for work, with suitable furniture;
  • fast reliable internet access;

They can still work from a coffee shop every once in a while, but they need a good default setup. 

The shared context

For the whole idea of remote work to actually work, you have to develop a remote culture for your team.
And that means having a shared context: everyone plays by the same rules, you have to ...

Working from home misconceptions

Working from home does not mean you are a remote worker. For a lot of people “working from home” is synonymous with not really working, but instead sitting at home in comfy clothes and doing anything but working. Because no one is really watching you.

Rules for remote work

  • Assume remote, even if you have only 1 person that is not coming to the office. So make sure to share all the information from meetings in a written format.
  • Have a private, quiet, dedicated space for working in your home. Preferably with a door that closes.
  • Have the right digital equipment.
  • Over-communicate.
  • Make sure you get to actual meet your colleagues face to face.
  • Have a time overlap with your team.