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Workers crave a sense of authentic connection with others and the best way to do that is by bringing people together in person. But it's not always a viable alternative.
One way to do that is to try to give everyone the same day off, give people a “theme” for an activity of their choosing on that day, and find a way for the team to share their adventures. This could be during a team call or a shared photo library.
A co-located office develops its own personality through inside jokes, shared experiences, and a collaborative environment. A remote team needs to develop something similar.
Creating specific Slack channels based on interests and book clubs where the company funds the books are the easiest ways to do this for remote workers.
Weekly video check-ins or catch-ups are fantastic ways to create a sense of community and belongingness:
Research indicates that successful teams foster “psychological safety”. This is a culture characterized by interpersonal trust and mutual respect, where people are comfortable being themselves.
Teams with psychological safety are more creative. They’re more trusting. They’re more innovative. And most of all, they’re more connected.
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To better build rapport and counter isolation do the following:
Voice and video calls can help you feel more in touch with your team and avoid the issues of asynchronous communication like time lags or misunderstandings.
However, you'll likely spend a lot of your day communicating via text as it’s a good way to interact without interrupting their work. So you need to be able to get your point across clearly and simply, show empathy and understanding, and be efficient to avoid wasted time.
Remote workers can feel overwhelmed by the amount of text they have to process. So finding ways to keep on top of what's going on is imperative for communicating efficiently with others.
Create archive lists and CC irrelevant emails to them, so you can save and share them without flooding non-involved people.
It doesn’t mean just telling people to share their thoughts, but actually doing it yourself and setting clear rules and guidelines about how to share.
It isn’t just about how you share information but also what gets shared.
... that's capable of executing in a remote setup:
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.
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: