The remote work model has become common since 2020 and enables companies to hire talent from a large pool as the location is no longer a constraint. Remote teams turned out to be more productive and cost-efficient for companies as team members have more control over their work and can plan their tasks smartly. However, remote teams can become unproductive and liability to any organization if their roles and responsibilities are not assigned or specified from time to time and if leaders are not holding members accountable for their tasks.
Communication plays an important role in the work from the home model as members can maintain transparency, divide tasks and follow up on projects easily. Keeping remote workers connected is a responsibility that falls on leaders and managers and if not carried out in the right way, the lack of communication can negatively affect the productivity of the team.
Here are 7 ways to keep your remote team connected:
1. Have a Communication Plan: If your communication practices are inconsistent, it can create more challenges for your remote employees and confuse them. Creating a communication plan can help you lead a dispersed team by using the appropriate communication channels and maintaining a centralized location to store all the guidelines and documents so that the team members can conveniently refer to them.
2. Pick the Right Communication Tool: There are a plethora of communication tools out there, however, you need to make sure you pick what suits your remote team. Broadly you will need a video conferencing tool, a document sharing tool, and tools that help you assign tasks and track each member’s progress. Zoom, Google Meet, Asana, and Slack are a few popular communication tools.
3. Stick to One Goal Every Meeting: Always remember that you are taking away some of your employees’ productive time during meetings. Organizing multiple meetings just to track the performance or to interact with your remote employees can be counterproductive. Make sure your schedule each meeting with a purpose and make the goal of your meeting clear to your employees so that they come prepared.
4. Check-In Regularly: Regular check-ins will help you track the progress of your remote employees and address any problems they might be facing. You can also encourage members to organize check-ins amongst themselves to solve problems and catch up with each other. Members can catch-up about where their projects are going and if some tasks need to be prioritized. Regular check-ins will hold team members accountable and will keep them motivated to stay on track.
5. Make Communication Fun: Employees may start dreading meetings if they are always serious and interrogative in nature. Try to make meetings more fun by adding quizzes and chit-chatting about topics unrelated to work. You can even host a coffee break meeting, where members can share how they like their coffee. Be creative with your meetings occasionally, as it will help your employees relax and socialize.
6. Bring in Peer-to-Peer Feedback: The best way to keep remote teams connected is through peer-to-peer feedback meetings. These meetings enhance team spirit and allow team members to learn from each other. Try to organize these sessions weekly as peer feedback can enhance employee performance to a greater level.
7. Indulge in Virtual Games and Activities: Teamwork is key to work efficiently and staying connected in the remote work model. Remote employee engagement activities can bring employees together in a fun setting. Whether it’s taking an art class together, hosting a trivia quiz, or playing virtual bingo, these activities truly enhance creativity and innovation and help remote teams work collaboratively.
Communication is essential if you are working as a team remotely. From finding the right communication tools, regular check-ins to hosting virtual team building activities, these steps must be taken by leaders and business owners to help remote employees to feel connected, heard, and more motivated to contribute to the organization.