Where it used to be that a remote work force or remote teams might be rare, in today’s world, remote teams have become more and more the norm. With so many people being forced to work from home in 2020, it has helped business owners to see that they can in fact be productive and efficient with this kind of setup. Not only that, but it can allow businesses to downsize their office space, which means a reduction in operating costs.
But one thing that can be tricky is making sure that there is still that sense of togetherness in a remote team. There needs to be that constant collaboration despite the fact that no-one is in the same space together. If this is something your company or your remote team is struggling with, here are four tips that can help.
#1. Encourage Team Members to Take Breaks Together
One tip is to normalize the environment so that it feels closer to what they’d experience in the office. When you think about that, then you start to think about employees meeting up in the break room, sharing a morning coffee together, and just chatting about non-work-related stuff. So, why not encourage that same behavior in an online environment?
You can in fact encourage team members to take regular virtual coffee breaks together. This is a chance for them to break from shop-talk, relax, and chat. It’s this sort of conversation that can start to create connections and therefore create that sense of togetherness that the team is currently lacking.
They may even want to play some tunes while on their break – having fun singing or streaming music is an excellent way to relax.
#2. Make It a Habit to Hold Meetings by Video
When it comes to team meetings, rather than just sending a flurry of emails between each other, or even a streaming audio chat, it’s a good idea to opt for a video meeting. There is just something that feels very different if you’re in a video meeting hearing, and seeing those you are collaborating with. If you were in the office together, there’s no doubt you’d be gathering in a meeting room, so why make the remote team any different?
The trick to these video style meetings is hitting that perfect balance. You don’t want to go overboard and have too many, as that cuts into your team’s ability to actually get their work done, but at the same time, they shouldn’t be rare or sporadic. A good hosting tip is to set up a regular video meeting schedule so that team members can come prepared, know what to expect, and be able to have that successful meeting with one another.
#3. Take the Time to Get to Know Your Team
Another tip is to take the time to get to know each of your team members. This means you can go ahead and make small talk or ask that open-ended question. Talk about things outside of work and start to build that relationship and connection that can be lacking in an online environment.
#4. Go Ahead and Still Hold Those Special Events
Team building events and special events are quite normal in an office environment and just because your team is remote, doesn’t mean you have to give up on these practices. Holidays and special dates can still be recognized. Maybe you could have everyone dress up online for the video meeting during Halloween, perhaps you could host a virtual holiday season party, and even birthdays can be recognized. There is no reason to feel restricted simply because the team is remote.
By using these tips, you’ll find that over time you are able to build on that sense of togetherness and create a team that truly is collaborative and feels appreciated.