5 Tips for Keeping Remote Teams Connected
We’ve all been out of the office for months now. Even our team at Best Corporate Events has been working remotely – and we miss each other! It’s easy to take for granted how much simpler it is to stay connected with your team and colleagues when you see them face to face every day until that is no longer the case. And now that we are all apart, many teams are craving some of that connection that they are missing just from passing their colleagues in the hall, being able to walk over to someone with a question, or simply asking ‘how was your weekend?’ on a Monday morning.
Many say that now it is more important than ever to stay connected to each other, so we do not feel isolated working in a remote environment. But what is the best way to do that? We at BCE have spent most of our time this year answering that question in the form of developing virtual events in as many creative ways as possible. But first, we had to think back to our fundamentals of bringing groups together and team building, to figure out the key points for connection in a virtual world. This left us with our 5 best tips to consider for keeping remote teams connected.
1. Just Check In
It doesn’t have to be complicated to stay connected. Going back to basics with simple one on one check-ins is a great way to start a dialogue amongst your team and build communication streams. Ask how your colleagues are doing, with their workload, and with the adjustment to a remote work environment. Are they struggling? Ask how you can help. Are they thriving? Ask if they have any tips that could help make the experience better for the team as a whole. But above all, keep the dialogue open, even if it’s just to say ‘hi’!
2. Nurture Team Dynamics
Your team is a community. No one person could accomplish what the team, with their combined skills and strengths, can do together. So, encourage that dynamic by making inter-team relationships a priority, and ensuring each individual feels that they are still a valuable part of the team! Team meetings, whether they are in person or virtual, are important not only as a tool for communication but to share successes and challenges as a team. Each member of your team may have a different strength they bring to the table, and pointing out and praising the areas where they are shining and contributing excellence to the organization provides each member a sense of pride and of being valued. Plus, recognition of their peers’ achievements provides motivation to the team, when many are reporting that motivation is harder to come by when working remotely. Don’t forget to acknowledge – and even celebrate – the different work and communication styles that work for each person, as each member is contributing to the overall success of the team.
3. Remember to Have Fun
All work and no play makes all of us a little dull. The face-to-face office environment is conducive to the kind of passing casual conversations about non-work related things that can bring teams closer together on an interpersonal level. If your team is comfortable with each other as people, not just coworkers, they will enjoy working together more. Presenting opportunities for the group to do something fun together is a great way to forge closer bonds within the team. This is our area of expertise – we’ve created 10 virtual game shows and entertainment programs just for the sake of getting groups to laugh and enjoy being with each other remotely.
4. Learn Together
Trying out a new skill or honing existing ones is a great way to grow individually, and to come together as a group. Take the opportunity during this time to develop skills both independently, and together as a team. Individually, consider areas of professional growth that you think would enhance your current skill-set, such as presentation skills, and actively look for those specific on-line training opportunities. From a team perspective, any challenge or task that you take on together as a team will bring you closer, and involvement from the whole group will make everyone feel connected. We can help here too, with our series of virtual training, professional development workshops, team development workshops, and keynote addresses.
5. Don’t Overwhelm
We all want to feel connected. But, work-life balance is still just as important when we’re working from home as when we’re going into the office every day. Sometimes it feels easy just to keep working when you take the commute out of your daily schedule, and just one more Zoom call at the end of the day may not feel like a big deal from home. Still, don’t forget that the workday – and mandatory work-related activities – are and should be finite. Peppering your team’s schedule with an excess of Zoom chats, meetings, activities, and events can become frustrating, and even take away from the time they need to do their jobs. Plus, you want the team to want to engage with each other, and if they are inundated with too much compulsory connection it can create resentment for the activities that are supposed to be a benefit for them or disengagement from the group. It’s all about balance – giving enough opportunities to feel connected without overdoing it and overwhelming your team. And if you aren’t sure what that balance should be for your team – ASK! After all, connection is all about communication.