Does a Remote Team Signal the End of Camaraderie?
Author: Justin Robbins
Whether you’re part of a team that works entirely remotely or just have a few employees dotted around the place, building a sense of team spirit can be a tough challenge to overcome. However, with the right tools in place, it’s an achievable goal. We take a closer look at some of the things your team should be doing to ensure their bond can rival that of any office.
1) Make sure you have some kind of employee recognition system in place
When you’re in a physical office, it’s easy to shout about your achievements. You do a good thing, someone recognises it and inevitably mentions it to someone else, and you feel as though your good work is being properly rewarded. It’s important to try and replicate this as much as possible in a remote working environment.
This could be as simple as a weekly email highlighting any outstanding work, or maybe you have a voting system where everyone submits a piece of work they’ve seen by one of their colleagues and everyone votes on what’s worthy of a voucher/ fancy meal. However, you choose to reward your staff, make sure you’re at least noticing the work they’re doing, as nothing will sink morale faster than lack of recognition.
2) Make time for socials, even virtual ones
Ideally, a remote workforce should come together at least once a month to get face time with each other. However, as that’s not always possible when deciding on socials, try and think of things that people can dial into via video call. For example, this could be ‘drinks,’ at the end of the working day once a month where everyone gets the chance to catch up on a personal level. If you’re being ambitious you could even try party games via video call – challenge your colleagues to get creative and see what you can come up with.
3) Get on the group chats
A vital part of team building is encouraging a sense of commonality and community. So why not use an instant messaging service to create a few different group chats? You could start your own remote office book club or get a dads’ club going. Being able to talk about shared hobbies and interests will make the team feel as though they’re part of something more than a disparate group of individuals who occasionally email each other.
4) Celebrate each other’s national holidays
Having a global remote workforce can be a particularly tough challenge to overcome as language, time and cultural barriers can all get in the way. That said, it can also be a brilliant team enrichment opportunity. Coming from different cultures means a team is more likely to offer different solutions to problems or have different creative ideas and this can be a great learning experience for the whole team. So make sure you’re reaching out to your American colleagues and wishing them a happy Thanksgiving for example. Who knows, you might even get an invite for a turkey dinner out of it!
5) Have strong line manager communications in place
When people are working remotely, it’s easy for them to feel lost or to lose sight of their own career progression. By having weekly video check-ins with a line manager, any problems can be nipped in the bud. It’s a good time for management to get a better understanding of what’s going on beneath the surface of their teams and build a better understanding of them as a unit too.
6) Invest in the right technology
With the best will in the world, if you don’t invest in the right technology it will always be difficult for teams to feel connected. Thanks to modern unified cloud communications, crystal clear video calling can happen at the touch of a button. If you have the right technology in place, everything your teams need to be a strong unit is at their fingertips.
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