Looking for effective strategies to shape up your remote team? Building a community with a strong connection can be a challenge in a remote work setup. What efforts should you administer to keep the group connected and prevent them from getting the feeling of detachment?
A recent study has proven that people need social interaction to maintain a high level of efficiency and productivity. It’s easy to focus on the tasks, but isn’t it better if your people feel a fun and rewarding environment that could make them love their job even more?
As a remote team, having each member look forward to another workday is already an awesome achievement. But how can you do that? By trying out effective ideas and hacks to build a culture of trust and connection.
Having Coworkers is Different from being a part of a Community
If you are getting a little confused about whether or not your team has achieved the level of community, this is what you have to take note of: Having coworkers is different from being a part of a community. Coworkers only mean working the business processes together, sharing resources to complete the tasks, and earn. On the other hand, the community is all about having a strong connection with each other, having shared visions, and doing activities as a team with unity and camaraderie.
How Does a Community in a Remote Team Improve Business?
A remote team is more likely to be productive and efficient when there is a sense of community. Some of its benefits to businesses are the following:
- Higher employee retention rate
- Higher productivity and efficiency rate
- Reduced conflicts in the workplace and within the team
- Increased collaboration and innovation
- Healthier work culture, and many more
All of these helps create a better impression and drives your business towards growth.
10 Keys to Build a Great Culture and Community in a Remote Team
The future of work setup now looks different from how we imagined it before the pandemic started. Today, at least 1 out of 5 workers is a part of the distributed workforce, but this will not hinder people from interacting with others. We always seek ways to connect, learn and grow.
Here are the effective and top hacks for remote teams to stay connected and foster a sense of community:
1. Communicate Honestly with Clear Expectations
Communication will always be at the top of the list for an effective remote team. One way to do this is to set a schedule for weekly team meetings. An effective virtual team meeting allows you to discuss challenges, brainstorm processes, and celebrate successes together.
Moreover, setting clear expectations will boost productivity. Take some time to talk about the goals of your team including the specific target per task. This way, you can achieve both building a strong group connection as well making your team high-performing.
Nowadays, there’s no way for you not to connect as remote communication is now easier. As a result of the continuous development in technology, many sites and applications have emerged to keep us connected whether through chat, video calls, or emails such as Gmail, Slack, Viber, WhatsApp, Zoom, and many more.
2. Create a Dedicated Random Channel
A non-work-related group chat would greatly help create a lighter aura within the team. It is more important than it may initially seem. Remote work can sometimes make employees feel lonely. This channel can help improve team collaboration and workflow.
Here, each individual in your group can ask questions and share thoughts, stories, and random things they want to share such as everyone’s favorites, new movie releases, pets, kids, celebrities, and many more.
A dedicated random group chat helps create connections and community in remote teams. It can make you feel as if you are all together in the same room, eliminating the barriers of working and having conversations virtually. Just a tip, promote a positive vibe within the channel to encourage everyone to read and get along.
3. Show Up and Smile for the Camera
Human leadership is what impacts the most during challenging times. Your presence as a leader and your effective strategies to properly manage the team are what your people need in a remote work setup. When they see how dedicated you are, it significantly influences the way they work. This is why you must show up with a positive aura and attitude towards work and colleagues.
Weekly video calls, seeing everyone’s faces also create a different level of connection and belongingness.
4. Facilitate Fun Engagement Activities
Take a few minutes of team break at least once a week. Use this time to have some fun games or any non-work-related activities that can hype everyone like a trivia session, quick bingo, and many more. Make use of the collaborative tools you can find online.
There is nothing wrong with infusing a little fun into everyone’s day. Keep in mind that a team that laughs together, innovates together.
To get the energy up high, reward the winners with something useful or in demand. A gift certificate in an online shopping platform for instance. Even simple prizes could go a long way. This could boost motivation and get them ready for the tasks.
5. Create a Sense of Stability
The pandemic has created a lot of uncertainties. Reassuring your people at this time is what they greatly need. However, being transparent as possible about the business performance and the future market forecasts would also be ideal. We need to face the fact that in business, it’s not always good times, but there are also downtimes, and this is what will inspire us to keep on working hard — to create a strong sense of stability.
6. Establish Frequent Professional and Personal Check-ins
Amidst the global crisis, you must put your people first. Tap on each of your members from time to time and ask how they are doing. A simple message would also be appreciated like, “Hey, if you need anything, I’m here to help.”
Always have the ears and the heart to listen to them. There’s no other way to authentically connect with others than relating to their stories. Let them know that you are always there for them professionally and personally when they need you, even for the pettiest reason. Be there, especially when they least expect it.
7. Eliminate Isolationism in Your Remote Team
One way to fight isolationism within your group is to build a buddy system. This could be based on their interests like books, action figures, food, and many more as that is where you can strongly bring out their best side.
Moreover, an article in Harvard Business Review stated that 69% of managers are uncomfortable communicating with employees. From this, we can assume that when the roles are reversed, the rate would be higher. Make them feel that you are not the typical superior they think you are — but more of a friend to whom they can have conversations and do activities.
8. Have an Appreciation Platform
If you want to keep your people and have them enjoy an active and rewarding community, make each member feel valued by you and the other team members. Recognize their good works in front of others to encourage everyone not just to keep hustling, but to congratulate the person. This creates a happy air within the team, bringing each other closer.
9. The Cupcake Principle
Even when your people are working remotely, make sure everyone gets a piece. This is easier nowadays as many food delivery services are within your reach. This is a great idea, especially each time the business achieves a milestone. Your people did their special parts for it. Let them feel that they are a part of the success even through simple gestures.
10. Coworking Spaces
When working remotely, there are times when we are longing to be around other people, especially our colleagues during work hours. It makes us feel an overall sense of connection in various aspects of our lives, may it be personal or professional.
Satisfy the longingness by considering offering coworking space for your staff who need a workspace or those who want to work with others in the same place.
Another great idea would be to get a meeting hub where you and your people can gather at least once a month to discuss the important business activities while enjoying the presence of everyone.
Communication for a Productive Team of Remote Workers
When you have a strong connection and a solid community, a remote work setup will never be a hindrance to achieve the goals of your organization. You can empower each other and unleash your team’s full potential. Try these practices to provide support and different opportunities for connection and building a community within your team, no matter where they are.