When your entire team is working together in one office, it’s easy to implement strategies in order to promote productivity and bonding. But when your employees work from home offices, coffee shops, and playgrounds all over the world, it can be a lot trickier to make them feel united and cohesive as a team. If you think outside the proverbial box (or in this case, office), there are ways to develop a remote team when you work virtually.
Here’s how to develop a remote team and keep the team connected.
Create more efficient team meetings.
No one can argue that gathering all of your employees together for an in-office meeting can help spark new ideas and camaraderie. That doesn’t have to get lost, though, simply because your workers are part of a remote team. By utilizing technological tools, such as videoconferencing, your team can still interact with each other as they would if they were in a real office. They will be able to see and hear each other, but in order to make the meeting the most effective it can be, you should limit the number of participants to under 10. That way, everyone gets to be seen—and heard.
Encourage team bonding.
Sure, everyone knows that Claire works in accounting, but do they also know that she’s also a competitive flamenco dancer? All of the nuances of your remote team’s personal lives can get lost when everyone telecommutes. In order to develop a remote team, employees should know not only just the professional side of their peers, but the personal side as well. As an employer, you can help foster this by creating opportunities for the staff to interact that have nothing to do with work. For example, you can create mini meetings where the topics range from the Kardashians to everyone’s favorite afternoon snack. Silly yet simple starting topics can help get your team chatting and help strengthen team bonding.
Improve your team’s skill development.
When remote workers are allowed to customize their workday based on their professional and personal needs, it helps build gratitude and loyalty to the company. (That probably explains why studies have shown that remote workers are far more productive than office employees.) But employees are also dedicated to employers who show a vested interest in them and their growth with the company. You can build a better, stronger team by offering your employees career and skill development in the form of mentoring and paid classes that they can take either online or locally.
Schedule regular check-ins.
Believe it or not, each and every one of your workers wants to do well and excel in their jobs. That’s why it’s important to schedule regular check-ins with them. Not only does it give them an opportunity to air any grievances that they might have, but it also gives you a chance to let them know how well they are doing and where they might need improvement. By stressing how your employee’s work is significant and directly ties into the rest of the team’s success, (which in turn makes him feel like an important part of your team), it can not only help boost his productivity, but his self-confidence, too.
Creating a strong team doesn’t necessarily mean that all of your workers have to be in the office. By taking advantage of today’s technological tools, a remote team can be just as unified and productive as an in-office one—no matter where they call home.