Staying close and bonded as a team during challenging times is hard. For example, today, many people are required to work remotely which means there is little or no direct interaction with their teammates for extended periods of time.
Over the years, innovators have developed and implemented technologies that allow employees to access their company’s network, teleconference with clients and coworkers and so much more. That said, as human beings, we all crave the human element. We simply miss each other.
So, how can you create a sense of togetherness in a time when people are working remotely?
First, ensure that everyone is accessible
While working remotely, it is very important to be available to your team when they need you. When people do not see you on a daily basis, they will feel uneasy and this gets worse if you are the type of person who ignores phone calls or delays to respond to e-mails. Behavior like this may cause concerns about your ability to meet project deadlines. Make sure that you are easily accessible during the core work hours to maintain trust with your team that you will be constantly delivering results and being available to answer any queries irrespective of working remotely.
Use technology to get together once in a while
Most businesses use online meeting technologies for business meetings but this same technology can be used to simply catch up with co-workers. Something as brief as a 10-minute chat as you have your work break, wherever you are can go a long way in maintaining the strong bond you once had with your team. If the majority of your team has access to virtual interaction, you may even choose to go all out and create new team routines, for example, a weekly virtual coffee. Weekly virtual coffee sessions can replace the regular “water cooler chat”.
Do frequent check-ins on your team
It helps to check in with your workmates as often as possible and share any updates and changes in the business. If you’re a manager, check-in on employees at the start of each day. Something as simple as “Good morning! What are your goals/plans for today? Is there anything I can help you with?” Personal contact is important at a time when teams cannot have physical contact. It should be practiced.
So there you have it, it is very possible to build and maintaining solid employee relationships even when you work remotely! Like all other things worth doing, it will require deliberate effort and planning, the right attitude. In addition, you will need collaborative tools in place, at the very least a working phone in instances where e-mail or advanced tools like Microsoft teams or Zoom are hard to incorporate.
Has your team tried any other ways to build resilient relationships while working virtually? Please share your insights in the comment section below.