Many employees deal with feelings of loneliness and alienation from their coworkers in today’s dynamic remote work environment. This lack of connection can lead to decreased productivity and overall job satisfaction. Consequently, surviving a remote job might seem an impossible mission at that point.
Stating findings of the study “The Remote Work Report, GitLab, 2021”, 38% of employees agree that increasing visibility into the organization improves their sense of connection to the company.
Executives need to take action to make their remote teams feel a part of the larger business and their coworkers.
In this post, we’ll look at 6 tips for fostering a sense of community among remote employees. You’ll also get 3 bonus tips, which can make a huge difference in your company’s work culture.
6 Tips to make Remote Team Feel Connected
There is a fog in the air when someone talks about remote team building. At first, it is great. You receive performance.
But later on?
Different team members start to feel not a solid part of the company and with time, they find themselves looking for another job. Here, you’ll find 6 Tips to make your Remote Team feel connected.
Establish regular check-ins
As one of the most powerful Remote Work-Life Integration Strategies, regular check-ins can help the remote team feel connected to their managers and colleagues. These check-ins ought to be more than simply a fast status report; rather, they ought to provide remote employees a chance to express their ideas, previous discussions, problems, and achievements.
Case Study: At a previous company, I managed a team of remote workers who were struggling to feel connected to the rest of the team. I established regular check-ins with each team member, where we discussed their work and personal lives. These discussions strengthened the team’s feeling of community and helped foster trust.
Encourage virtual team-building activities
Team-building activities can help the remote team feel connected to their colleagues and the broader organization. Guiding remote work, these activities can include virtual happy hours, online games, or team challenges. The key is to find activities that allow remote workers to connect with their colleagues in a meaningful way.
Case Study: At another company, we organized a virtual team-building activity where everyone on the team shared their favorite recipes. We then organized a virtual cooking competition where each team member prepared their dish and shared pictures with the rest of the team. This activity helped build camaraderie and created a sense of community among the remote workers.
Create a virtual water cooler
Remote workers miss out on the spontaneous conversations that can happen in an office setting. Creating a virtual water cooler, such as a chat tool, can help remote workers connect with their colleagues more informally. This can foster interpersonal connections and a feeling of community.
Case Study: At a previous company, we used a chat tool to create a virtual water cooler. We convinced everyone on the team to engage in conversations that weren’t about business or assigned projects, like showing off their dogs, chatting about the last movie they watched on Netflix, or talking about their weekend plans. This helped build relationships among remote workers and created a sense of community.
Communication is key when it comes to helping remote workers feel connected, which is a key point in Remote Work-Life Integration. Managers should make sure that remote employees have access to the appropriate technology like state-of-the-art computers, fast Wi-Fi infrastructure, microphones, etc, and resources they need to properly connect with their team colleagues. Encourage frequent communication, whether it’s through email, video conferencing, or messaging platforms.
Case Study: At a previous company, we had a remote worker who was struggling to feel connected to the team. After talking with them, we learned that they felt excluded from crucial deliberations and choices.
All team interactions were attempted to involve them, and we urged them to get in touch with us if they had any queries or issues or anything that pop-ups in their minds.
Consequently, They felt more a part of and involved with the team.
Create a sense of belonging
Creating a sense of belonging among remote workers is important for helping remote employees feel connected. Managers can do this by emphasizing the team’s shared goals and values, and by encouraging collaboration and teamwork. Make sure that remote workers feel included in team activities and events.
Case Study: At another company, we had a remote worker who was struggling to feel like part of the team. We organized a team-building exercise where we paired remote workers with on-site workers to work on a project together. This helped them build relationships and feel more connected to the team.
Provide opportunities for professional development
Providing opportunities for professional development can help the remote team feel connected to their colleagues and workplace. This can include training programs, mentorship opportunities, or attending industry conferences.
Case Study: At a previous company, we had a remote worker who was feeling isolated and disconnected. We gave them the chance to go to a trade exhibition where they could meet other valuable professionals and get knowledge about the most recent breakthroughs in their area of expertise.
Consequently, They felt closer to their coworkers and the industry as a whole.
3 Bonus Tips for Helping Remote Workers Feel Connected.
Check out our 3 effective Bonus Tips for Helping Remote Workers Feel Connected:
Host virtual social events:
Hosting virtual social events can help a remote team feel connected and foster a sense of community. Consider hosting a virtual game night, book club, or cooking class. This can allow remote workers to interact with colleagues outside of work-related tasks and build relationships in a more relaxed setting.
In one of my previous roles as a manager, I noticed that remote workers were feeling isolated and disconnected from their colleagues. To address this, I organized a virtual game night where employees could play games like trivia or Pictionary via video conferencing. The feedback was very favorable, and remote employees expressed their gratitude for the chance to socialize with their coworkers outside of the office. Following the success of the game night, we implemented regular virtual social events to continue fostering a sense of community.
Implement a buddy system:
Building relationships and fostering a sense of camaraderie can be facilitated by pairing remote employees with on-site personnel or other remote employees randomly. This buddy system can include regular check-ins or virtual coffee breaks where they can discuss work-related topics or personal interests.
In another role, we had a team of remote workers who were struggling to integrate into the existing on-site team. To help them feel more connected, we implemented a buddy system where each remote worker was paired with an on-site worker. The pairs were encouraged to check in with each other regularly and participate in virtual coffee breaks together. This helped the remote workers feel more supported and connected to the overall team.
Encourage team projects:
Encouraging remote workers to work on team projects can help foster a sense of collaboration and connection. These projects can include work-related tasks but also can include volunteering or community service projects. This can allow remote workers to connect with colleagues while also giving back to the community.
Encouraging team projects: In a previous organization, we encouraged remote workers to participate in community service projects as a team-building exercise. We worked with a local charity organization and organized a virtual volunteering program where employees could contribute their time and skills remotely. The team collaborated on the project and shared their progress through virtual meetings.
This not only made bonds between distant employees and their peers stronger, but it also created the opportunity for them to meaningfully contribute back to the community.
Healthy Habits for Feeling Connected Among Colleagues:
Looking for easily applicable Healthy Habits to make your remote teams feel connected? Check out 4 Healthy Habits below:
Practice Active Listening
Active listening is listening carefully to what others are saying and reacting to demonstrate your understanding of their viewpoint.
This can foster a sense of camaraderie and trust among peers.
Be Open to Feedback
Being open to feedback can help create a culture of trust and collaboration among colleagues. Colleagues’ ability to provide and receive comments with ease can enhance collaboration and foster a feeling of community.
Empathy involves understanding and relating to the feelings and experiences of others. Practicing empathy can help build relationships and create a sense of community among colleagues. Furthermore, it also keeps remote work burnout away.
Share personal interests:
Encourage remote workers to share their interests and hobbies with their colleagues. This can foster solidarity and the development of relationships within the team.
- Remote workers may struggle with feelings of isolation and disconnection, leading to decreased productivity and job satisfaction.
- Regular check-ins, virtual team-building activities, creating a virtual water cooler, fostering communication, creating a sense of belonging, and providing professional development opportunities are effective ways to help remote workers feel connected.
- Hosting virtual social events, implementing a buddy system, and encouraging team projects are bonus tips to enhance the sense of community among remote workers.
- It’s important for managers to take proactive steps to address feelings of isolation and disconnection among remote workers to create a cohesive and productive team.
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