Having a remote team of workers for your company has a lot of benefits. Remote workers have been shown to be more productive. It’s less expensive for companies to have remote workers instead of housing them in an office.
However, there are many benefits to having a team that knows how to work well together. That has built relationships between them. Close working teams also have increased productivity. Workers who feel socially connected to their jobs are more likely to stay loyal to a company and change jobs less often.
So the question is, how to reap the benefits of remote workers, while also creating a close team?
It’s up to the manager of a team to lay the groundwork for team success. Luckily, there are many things you can do once you set the goal in mind to build relationships with remote workers.
Be Accessible And Encourage Your Team To Do the Same
This doesn’t mean you need to answer every message immediately 24 hours a day. What this means is that your team should know when and how they can get in touch with you and should feel comfortable doing so.
Part of successful remote team communication is having core work hours. You may work other hours outside of your core hours, but having everyone on your team know that you will be available on these days during these times lets them know when they can expect to hear from you. Let them know that outside of those hours they can expect a delayed response.
Encourage Watercooler Talk
It used to be that in an office setting, workers would hang around the watercooler and enjoy a few minutes of chit-chat. This could seem like a waste of company time, but it’s actually an activity that built relationships within the company.
At the start of meetings, encourage a few minutes of chit-chat. Share life events. If someone has recently been sick or gone on vacation, you can ask how that went. This doesn’t need to be deep conversation, but light small talk can help set people at ease.
Have Regular Meetings
Have scheduled regular meetings, possibly once a week where everyone gets in touch and communicates what they’ve been doing and what they’re working on in the coming week. This communication is not only important to make sure everyone is on track and getting their work done, but it helps to build relationships while working remote because it reminds everyone they’re part of a team and that everyone present is doing their part for joint success.
When You Have the Chance, Meet in Person
There’s nothing like meeting up somewhere in person to feel a little closer to your remote team. Meeting in person lets you get to know each other in a new way and makes everyone feel more real to each other.