03 Sep How to Keep a Team Together When You’re Working Apart
With lockdown regulations forcing many businesses to adapt to working remotely, it has proved challenging to keep working teams motivated, supported and connected. In modern times, it is common for office culture to include weekly team meetings, staff braais and team-building activities to improve morale, working relationships and productivity. Remote working has resulted in numerous businesses having to adapt and adopt new ways to keep their teams together whilst apart, and we are going to share some of those ideas with you to help maintain your team relationships whilst working remotely.
4 Ways to Keep Your Team Connected When Working Remotely
Here are 4 ways that you can keep your team feeling connected and supported, whether your team are working remotely on a permanent basis, or due to lockdown regulations.
1. Communication is Key
Working remotely can be lonely, and even daunting to some. In an office, most teams begin the week with a meeting detailing what is expected of them over the course of the week. You also have your colleagues a stone throws away from your working space should you need any assistance. When working remotely, ensure that every team member knows what is expected of them, with tasks and deadlines, and have the contact details of everyone they may need to assist them on doing their job effectively. Let them know which channels of communication are best, as well as inform them on how soon to expect response times. Knowing what is expected of an employee and who they can contact should they have any issues will make them feel less alone and overwhelmed.
2. Host Regular Team Meetings for Face-to-Face Interaction
Scheduling weekly ‘check-ins’ on a videocall platform, such as Zoom, will enhance your employees’ sense of belonging. It is important to start on a friendly note by encouraging everyone to partake in casual conversation; you can start by asking the team about their weekend. Next, you can open the floor for any concerns, complaints, compliments or questions your team may have. The duration of the meeting can remain focused on business matters, but it is extremely important to encourage each member to share their thoughts and opinions so that they feel heard and appreciated.
3. Reach Out Personally
Whilst team video calls are a great way to check-in and catch up with everyone, it is also a good idea for managers to reach out personally to individual team members on occasion. Check-in with them on how they are coping and remind them that you are available should they require assistance. Many people feel uncomfortable expressing themselves in virtual meetings, so this may allow them to share information or express concerns that they did not do so in the group meeting.
4. Celebrate Achievements
It can be easy for team members to feel unappreciated when working remotely. Be sure to send out regular appreciation and congratulatory emails to your team praising individual people who have performed well over the week. If your team work remotely permanently (and not just due to lockdown), try celebrating business achievements or milestones by getting together occasionally for dinner or a braai – this will allow for team members to put faces to names and develop relationships that are more personal.
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Now Read: The Benefits of a Remote Workplace