How do you evoke a sense of belonging among remote workers
Remote Work,  Wellness at Work

How do you evoke a sense of belonging among remote workers? 4 Tips with Real Case Studies

In the modern world, more and more businesses are using remote labor to boost production and cut expenses. In some businesses, there is the Founder and the rest are completely remote; including freelancers, part-timers, etc.

Making remote workers feel like a part of the team is one of the main obstacles of remote work, though. So there comes a critical question in mind: How do you evoke a sense of belonging among remote workers?

Quoting a study of The Remote Work Report of GitLab, 2021, transparent communication and open knowledge help employees feel belonging. 34% of respondents claim that transparency from leadership leads improves their connection to the company.

Furthermore, fostering a sense of belonging among remote team members is highly influential to employee happiness and engagement, and remote workers are more likely to feel alienated and detached from the rest of the team. This case shows itself remarkably during the Great Resignation wave; which happened in 2021-2022 during the pandemic resulting in quitting their jobs just because people didn’t feel safe and valued.

In this post, we’ll look at several strategies for making remote workers feel like they belong.

4 Tips for Creating a Sense of Belonging among Remote Workers

4 Tips for Creating a Sense of Belonging among Remote Workers
  1. Establish clear expectations and goals

Setting up clear objectives and goals is one of the most determining reactions you can do as a manager of remote workers.

This entails outlining the duties and responsibilities of each team member as well as the overarching objectives of the group.

It’s simpler to feel like you’re a member of a team working towards the same objective when everyone is on the same page. Surprisingly, it also enables remote employees to survive their remote jobs.

Case Study: I previously oversaw a group of remote workers that had trouble remaining engaged and motivated.

I looked into it and discovered that many of them were unaware of what was expected of them.

We discussed our goals and how each team member would contribute to achieving them during our team meeting.

After that meeting, I noticed a significant improvement in their motivation and productivity.

  1. Encourage virtual water cooler conversations

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The absence of spontaneous discussions that might occur in an office setting at the coffee machine or while walking to the manager’s desk is one of the main disadvantages of working remotely.

These discussions can strengthen team members’ relationships and provide a sense of belonging. Furthermore, it keeps the remote team feel connected. Encouraging virtual water cooler conversations can help remote workers feel like they’re part of the team even if they’re not physically present.

Case Study: At one company I worked for, we used a chat tool to encourage virtual water cooler conversations. We created a channel specifically for non-work-related conversations and encouraged everyone on the team to participate. We found that these conversations helped build relationships among team members and created a sense of community.

  1. Foster a culture of inclusivity

Inclusive cultures make all employees feel valued and included. It’s a sign of a successful leader promotes an inclusive culture by making sure that each team member feels valued and heard.

Hence, a manager can evoke a sense of belonging among remote workers ultimately. This may be achieved by doing frequent check-ins, being sincere, asking for feedback, and establishing a secure environment for frank and open conversation.

Case Study: At another company I worked for, we had a remote worker who was struggling to feel like part of the team. I made a point to have regular check-ins with them and to solicit their feedback on team decisions.

I also made sure to provide a secure environment for them to express their ideas and worries.

They gradually felt more included in and involved with the team.

  1. Celebrate successes and milestones

Celebrating successes and milestones can help create a sense of community and belonging among remote workers. Recognizing individual and team accomplishments can help remote workers feel valued and appreciated.

Case Study: At a previous company, we made a point to celebrate milestones and successes as a team. We would have virtual celebrations when someone reached a major goal or milestone, and we would recognize individual achievements in team meetings. This helped create a sense of community and belonging among remote workers.

Key Takeaways

  • Remote work can increase productivity and reduce costs, but it also presents challenges in making remote workers feel like they belong to the team.
  • Establishing clear expectations and goals for each team member can help everyone feel like they’re working towards a common goal.
  • Encouraging virtual water cooler conversations can help build rapport and create a sense of community among remote workers.
  • Fostering a culture of inclusivity by ensuring that everyone feels heard and respected can make all employees feel valued and included.
  • Celebrating successes and milestones as a team can help remote workers feel appreciated and create a sense of community and belonging.

Academic References

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