Remote positions are becoming increasingly common for the modern worker. A PGI study showed 23% of employees report doing work remotely, and the New York Times echoes this figure arguing that telecommunication is “fast on the rise”.
Working remotely has an abundance of benefits for a company and individuals alike. Workers can create their own schedule, customize their work environment, and, according to CNN Travel, can save an estimated $4,000 dollars monthly on transportation costs in cities like San Francisco or London. Another PGI survey reported 82% of telecommuters noted lower stress levels, which is beneficial not only for remote workers but for the employer as well.
Building a team dynamic or having co-workers bond, however, can be tough when everyone is remote. Having a strong team that trusts each other is important, so here are tips on how to create a team dynamic when everyone is working from home.
Take a few moments at the beginning of an online meeting to discuss weekends, families, and activities outside of the “office”; this helps employees feel more connected and confident in their collaboration. Perhaps send a team newsletter with one fun fact about a certain team member, for example, “Steve went bungee jumping last weekend. Ask him about it later today.” These few moments spent on topics unrelated to work can help your remote workers get to know each other and can boost team morale.
Make Goals Communal
Company culture is all about shared values, motives, and goals. Making these goals tangible is even more important for a remote team to stay motivated. Try to make a goal that everyone can participate in (For example: Get the client the project one day early). Each person owns his or her part, and your team can create bonus incentives so everyone works together to get the job done. Staying organized with individual targets as well as overarching deadlines will only increase the goal-oriented nature of your team.
Communicate Using Digital Resources
Video platforms can and should be used with your team. 87% of remote workers feel more connected through the use of video conferencing, so integrating a video option could be beneficial to your team’s internal communication. Skype and Google Hangouts are always popular choices when it comes to video. And if you’re looking for a chat app tool, check out our post on the pros and cons of the top choices.
Participating in a video or online game (every Friday, for example) is a fun change of pace and opportunity for everyone to work together in teams. Try out apps like WordsWithFriends or 2048 to compete with your virtual coworkers. Playing together as a team, even in a slightly competitive way, will help your team bond and work together more effectively.
Switched Up Team Dynamics
While it’s great that a certain two people work together all the time, try mixing it up when there are smaller projects so everyone has a chance to work with each other on a more intimate level. This will not only help everyone get to know each other better but also create opportunities for fresh ideas on campaigns.
Even if your team is in different cities or different countries, creating an open atmosphere where employees feel comfortable is important. By simply implementing 1-2 of these strategies, your remote team members can improve communication and overall productivity.