Remote work culture has a lot of advantages over the normal office environment. You can have greater flexibility with your hours, spend time at home with family, work in an environment that is comfortable for you, and you do not always have to wear pants! However, the biggest problem with a hybrid workforce can be that there is not a lot of camaraderie.
At some points, it can even feel like the remote employees aren’t even part of the group at all, and the flexible working model can start to get very rigid as you deal with that. Remote employees can feel very far away, especially if they are in different time zones or parts of the world.
How do you connect to your employees? What can help you handle a remote team? Here are some of the best ways to keep your remote workers connected.
Pros and Cons of Remote Connection
- Improves employee morale.
- Allows you to keep an eye on the business.
- Helps you get to know your employees.
- Can take a while to set up.
This is one of the biggest morale killers for a remote team because lack of communication kills. You need to make sure that everyone is kept on the same page.
Give your employees a way to contact you and have check-in morning meetings to make sure everyone is on the right track. Also, allow your employees to give feedback on how the company is being run, and if the feedback is good, you should start implementing it.
Keep your communication constant as well. If you send out a morning email, you should send out your morning email every day. No one likes spotty communication, especially from the boss.
2. Remember the Big Moments
In the office, the big moments are very easy to remember. Make the last Friday of every month your annual office happy hour, and for every employee's birthday, there can be cake and pizza. When someone breaks a record and makes a massive sale, you ring the office bell, and everyone cheers!
Outside of the office and with a remote team, those celebratory moments are often forgotten. To help your team still feel like a unit, you can celebrate them online. Post happy birthday messages in the work chat, send an online gift card for lunch, or get everyone together to play a virtual board game.
Just because you are not meeting in person, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t going to celebrate those big moments together. If you continue to make time for the important events, your employees can continue to look forward to them. Then, it feels like you are all inside the office, and that the traditions are going to continue.
3. Show Extra Empathy
Even in a remote workforce, things still need to get done and you need to manage a remote team just like you would an in person one. It can be harder on some of your employees than others because they have home responsibilities too. Your single mom who is always so productive at work might experience a severe dip in output now that she is at home and does not have a babysitter.
Understand that remote work might not be easy for everyone and give some leeway. See if there is anything you can do to help, be understanding, and keep things flexible. This is the best time to remember that there still is a human behind the workers, though you should never forget it.
Forgetting that can cause undue friction in the workplace, especially whenever arguments over text can very easily become tone deaf. No one wants their words misunderstood, so make sure to keep the empathy in the loop before you start an argument.
4. Recognize the Good
It can be very easy to get frustrated with people for not turning things in on time or making silly mistakes. What is harder is remembering to share the praise. Working remotely has a huge set of challenges, and it can be easy to just delve into the world of taking the frustration out on your team.
Instead, whenever your employees go above and beyond, take the time to recognize that. Praise them for their initiative, their drive, their work ethic, or anything else they have done both publicly and privately. Make sure that your employees know they are doing a good job. That is the best way to fully improve morale for your team.
5. Keep Everyone Comfortable
Being more productive while at home can go too far sometimes, especially when the temptation to keep working well into the night is right there. To avoid employee burnout, you should focus on keeping your team comfortable. Prioritize their physical health by heading to an online ergonomic chair store. You can buy an ergonomic chair online for each team member to keep them comfortable.
Focus on mental health and urge the team not to take on too much too fast. You can also implement sanctioned time for breaks. The focus on physical and mental comfort is more important than ever when working remotely, so make it a priority to connect with each employee.
6. Bring Everyone Together
Perhaps the best way to improve connections with your remote workers is to put them all into one place. Whether that is a corporate retreat, a meeting at someone’s house, or something else, there is something special about seeing everyone in person that really improves morale.
Depending on where your team is, this might not be feasible, but at least try to try to meet your remote team members. You are going to be glad that you did!
Connect Your Team Remotely: It Is a Priority
Remote workers cannot just be told they are part of a team. They need to feel like they are too. When you connect a team remotely with different events and praise helps to keep everyone’s spirits up. The higher the morale that your team has and the more connected they feel, the harder they can work.
Happy employees are productive employees, and you need to focus on building that camaraderie. Once you do, it is almost impossible to break and can go a long way in the process of making each employee feel connected.
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