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5 Ways to Make Your Remote Team Feel Connected

https://www.business.com/articles/remote-workers-feel-connected/

business.com

5 Ways to Make Your Remote Team Feel Connected
Working remotely has a lot of perks, both for a company and its employees. Employers save money by avoiding the expenses that come with a traditional office and can choose the best people for their team regardless of their location.

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Pros And Cons Of Remote Work

Remote workers save money by avoiding the expenses that come with a traditional office and can choose the best people for their team regardless of their location. They get to enjoy more flexibility, get rid of daily commutes, and spend more time at home with their families.

Downsides to remote work: decreased connection between workers and between the worker and the company, increased feelings of isolation and of being mistreated by colleagues, and decrease in productivity and company morale.

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Communication Tools

Communication Tools

To make your remote workers really feel connected, use instantaneous messaging tools that organize conversations into customizable channels. You should also create channels that allow your remote workers to chat about topics unrelated to work so they can benefit from the social aspects of work and strengthen their bonds. 

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Hold Weekly Video Meetings

Hold Weekly Video Meetings

Face-to-face interaction is an effective way to make your remote workers feel more connected. Holding regular video meetings will allow remote workers to get that face time they're missing and form bonds with their co-workers.

To build even stronger connections during your weekly video meetings, don't talk only about work. Add a personal touch like allowing team members to share any good news they have. 

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Establish Fun Company Traditions

Including remote workers in fun company traditions will create stronger bonds and preserve your company culture intact. Good examples are:

  • celebrate birthdays by posting "happy birthday" messages on Slack so other employees can send do it too.
  • deliver a pizza to your remote employee's location.
  • create online scavenger hunts or get everyone together to play an online game. 

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Celebrate Your Team

Celebrate Your Team

Recognizing the accomplishments and improvements of your employees will make them feel proud and like an important part of the team. Praise makes your team feel more connected, and studies show that it can increase productivity.

You can do this by sending a message of praise when a remote worker does a great job or adding an Employee of the Month program. Also, let your team members celebrate each other.

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Plan a Yearly Company Retreat

Plan a Yearly Company Retreat

Getting together with your remote team in person is a great way to form stronger connections and give employees something to look forward to all year.

A team retreat will allow all of your remote workers to get together and share ideas, work on projects together, and set company goals. Be sure to leave enough time for fun non-work related activities and for people to hang out.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Assembling the Team

... that's capable of executing in a remote setup:

  • Hire doers: they will get stuff done even if they are working from a secluded island.
  • Hire people you can trust....

Software/Tools

In a remote team, you'll need the right tools to make sure everyone stays on the same page and can continue to execute without a physical person standing next to them.

You likely will need a tool in certain categories like group chat and video conferencing to make remote successful.

Processes

Good processes let you get work done in the absence of all else. They provide structure and direction for getting things done.

A few examples from Zapier:

  • Weekly Hangouts;
  • Weekly One-on-Ones;
  • Bring the team together 2 times/year somewhere cool;
  • Automate anything that can be automated.

The challenges of hybrid teams

The challenges of hybrid teams

Most companies embracing remote work also have dedicated headquarters. But remote-ish teams have even more communication and collaboration challenges than fully remote teams.

...

Remote-friendly vs remote-first

The single biggest mistake companies can make is to opt to be remote-friendly instead of remote-first. Companies often accept the idea that remote is the future of work without creating an inclusive culture to ensure it works for everyone.

  • Remote-friendly environment: Employees are allowed to work remotely, but work is not optimized for it. There is a disconnect between office and remote employees and team meetings exclusively occur in a co-located time zone. Water cooler chat is a space for key decisions and presence is correlated with meaningful work. Communication is synchronous-first. Managers must work in the office.
  • Remote-first companies: Employees are empowered to adopt remote work. Real-time meetings are kept to a minimum and recorded. Decisions are made online and performance is measured by output, not by hours worked. Communication is asynchronous-first. Managers are encouraged to work from home.

Connecting a remote-ish team

Hybrid companies function best when the entire company is optimized for remote work. Successful hybrid teams set up processes to help their remote workers thrive alongside their office teammates.

Leadership must acknowledge the various challenges remote workers face and create solutions. Create a remote work policy that keeps remote workers and contractors from feeling like second class team members. Remote workers should feel fully connected and not missing a thing.

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Asynchronous communication

There are mainly two ways to communicate within a company: synchronous and asynchronous communication. While the second type has always been widely practiced, as face-to-face meetings or any other ...

Real-time communication drawbacks

While real-time communication inside of a team might lead to solving faster some issues, it also has various disadvantages. 

For instance, having your colleagues come to ask you questions to which you feel pressured to answer on the spot leads to you being continuously interrupted, which results in being less productive and feeling stressed or even getting a burnout, as you try to do everything in proper time.

The asynchronous workplace

When the employees are provided with control as to when they are willing to communicate with their co-workers, there are many advantages that emerge. 

For instance, having the freedom to decide exactly how your working day should look like leads to more satisfied employees as well as to better communication within the team. Further benefits vary from feeling less stressed due to better planning to greater transparency and more efficient work.