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.
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.
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.
Virtual team building is tough. Here are 7 ways you can build social connection in a remote team, even from afar. I'll be shocked if you're shocked: Building social connection in a remote team is the hardest part of managing a remote team.
If your icebreaker questions are intriguing, cheeky, humorous – the answers you receive will be, too.
Many remote teams will kick off their weekly meeting with an icebreaker question or insert it during their morning stand-up meeting. Even more popular is asking a series of icebreaker questions during the onboarding process when hiring someone.