How to Keep Remote Teams Connected

Fun day at work

The pandemic changed the way we do business, forever. Keeping employees connected and engaged can be difficult even in a traditional environment, so geographical separation only adds to the challenge.  Many companies are now exploring the benefits of remote work for the long-term.

Whether you have a few remote freelancers, or your entire company is operating from home, we’ve learned a lot about optimizing remote work. While it can be easy to focus on the negative aspects of a disconnected workforce, there are also distinct advantages.

But for your company to reap these work-from-home benefits, it’s critical to create a united team. While this can be especially hard across miles, it’s not impossible. Generating enthusiasm and camaraderie simply requires a little creativity and the willingness to adapt.

Create a Sense of Belonging

Everyone responds to remote work differently. Whether an employee thrives or flounders will depend on their home environment, personality style, and many other factors. Introverts may hit their stride and flourish, while extroverts might experience intense frustration.

Regardless of how each team member initially feels about remote work, you can encourage a positive experience by creating a sense of belonging. With a firm foundation of unity and cooperation, every personality type and disposition can make the most of remote work.

A sense of belonging in the workplace inspires:

  • Innovation
  • Divergent thinking
  • Open expression of ideas
  • Productive communication
  • A sense of pride
  • A desire to support teammates

Even though you’re geographically separated, continue to express interest in your employees’ wellbeing. You might consider a lively team discussion about home office products they can’t live without.

Read more about the 68 top things remote teams use in their day-to-day to stay productive.

Clearly Define Goals

When working and managing remotely, things tend to get lost in translation. No matter how vigilant or savvy you are, communication breaks down more often than it would face-to face. That’s why it’s more critical than ever to clearly define goals for remote teams.

Impressively, research has shown that many employees complete tasks quicker at home. It’s worth noting that some workplaces are far louder and more distracting than an employee’s home. If an employee is dealing with fewer interruptions than usual, their productivity might skyrocket.

But for remote workers to succeed, they need crystal clear direction. Ensure the lines of communication are open and your employees feel comfortable clarifying, confirming, and questioning goals.

Check in Regularly

Just like any other relationship, consistent communication is vital. Employees who feel disconnected or neglected are more likely to lose focus and motivation. And check-ins don’t have to be long. A brief video conference can lend a sense of structure and focus to your team’s day. It can also set the tone by delivering encouragement, positive feedback, and clear goals.

It’s no secret that a close-knit team is more likely to display loyalty, trust each other, practice accountability, and produce high-quality work. Regular check-ins, whether by video or chat, stimulate brainstorming, discussions, and innovation. Most likely, you hired a diverse team of people so they could inspire and sharpen one another. Check-ins help people stay close and create space for productive collaborations.

Explore New Communication Tools

There’s an internet meme that says, “This could have been an email.” It’s an exasperated response to a drawn-out meeting that probably wasn’t necessary. But with remote work, even an email might be the wrong approach.

Nowadays, there are more efficient ways to organize tasks, give assignments, and check progress. Platforms like Asana, Slack, and Trello offer efficient work management solutions so you can keep everyone on track. Many companies find that communicating within these platforms, geared toward remote teams, is better than firing multiple emails off throughout the day.

In Summary

Whether you consider work-from-home a temporary hassle or a long-term solution, keeping remote employees connected is critical. Once your team hits its stride, you might see benefits like streamlined communication, increased productivity, and improved morale.

For many employees, avoiding a commute, embracing autonomy, and eliminating distractions can lead to higher-quality work and greater peace of mind. As long as you communicate regularly and offer clear guidance, remote work can be an excellent opportunity for your team to shine like never before.


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