Creating A Digital Office That Feels Connected
There are four steps to it:
To key to building a culture of visibility with your remote team is perceived proximity, where your remote team members feel connected to others mentally and emotionally. In the physical work environment, you feel comfortable talking to people, regardless of rank. However, you may feel more awkward to ping the CEO a question in chat when you've never seen them in the lunch line or said hi in the hallway.
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Visibility at work is when you are included, recognized, and valued by networks within your organization. Its how you get credit for your work, get considered for advancement and build influence.
Visibility is also necessary for teams. Research points out that remote team members who don't feel "seen" are less collaborative, innovative, and supportive of each other. Remote teams can face isolation from company culture, lack of face time with management, fewer informal networking opportunities, time zones, and technological problems.
Remote workspaces can quickly become a quiet space of unaddressed messages. Everyone should know their work is being seen and appreciated. The golden rule is: never leave an effort unacknowledged.
Develop a plan to be visible in front of key stakeholders. The goal is to create an equal playing field for remotes to contribute and have a say in business decisions.
Research found those who get more face time with management by being co-located are assigned better work assignments from their managers, are awarded promotions more frequently, and are less aware of their remote counterparts.
Many companies have learned how to integrate remote work into their business. Now is the time to set up structures to support the visibility and growth of remote teams long-term.
Work time is also a social time and important for encouraging professional relationships. In the office, these social moments happen at the coffeemaker or in the hallway.
Remote teams need consistent, inclusive interactions—but they need to be the right type, done in the correct way. This can be done in three ways.
... that's capable of executing in a remote setup:
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 understand your team's practices and everybody has to have an overall feeling that you are working in an equitable environment.
Most companies embracing remote work also have dedicated headquarters. But remote-ish teams have even more communication and collaboration challenges than fully remote teams.
For example, in hybrid teams, remote employees are often left in the dark. Office workers are often heard, recognized, and promoted, while remote workers are forgotten.
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