A quick hello when you walk by a colleague’s desk comes organically to most of us. However, with remote working being the new normal, these serendipitous moments of social interaction are bound to change. You aren’t in a co-located office anymore and bringing a team of far-flung colleagues together seems very complicated, to say the least.
If this sounds like you, this article is just what you need. Here are 7 ideas that can help you manage remote teams and make you feel closer in the process –
#1 CREATE A PERSONAL CONNECTION
Not feeling connected with your remote team can be the hardest part of working remotely. Start by noting down significant dates of your team members’ lives like birthdays or work anniversaries. Send them a thoughtful message (or an e-card!) on those days. Other ideas include having virtual coffee catchups, sending around bios that aren’t work-related and having casual chats on instant messaging platforms like Teams or Slack!
#2 SHARE PHOTOS
An incredible way to make your team feel like you all are in this together is to share pictures (appropriate ones, of course!). Pictures speak a thousand words and the possibilities are really endless. Encourage remote teams to share at least one picture a day on your informal chat group. These pictures can be of your furry buddies, your garden, your breakfast, or even your loved ones. If sharing personal information seems a bit too personal, you can always share a meme or a gif you find hilarious!
To encourage some healthy competition, create a photo challenge. See who can take the best shadow pictures or ask them to capture the most unique object in their home!
#3 HOST AN INTER-TEAM CHAT
You certainly know who your CEO is, but do you know who handles your social media? Your operations team has been speaking endlessly about the new environmental initiatives they’re about to roll out – do you know who works on what? When you’re up to your ears in work, it can be a challenge to know how different people contribute to your company. Hosting an inter-team chat regularly can be a great activity to put a face to the role. Pick a team each week and let them share exactly what they do and how job roles vary!
#4 FOSTER SHARED INTERESTS
Ten employees or a hundred, you will always find people who share similar interests across teams and departments. Do a bit of research, take polls, and find out what your teammates are passionate about. There are many examples of connecting based on interests. For example, a virtual book club for book lovers and virtual yoga classes for fitness enthusiasts! Encourage your colleagues to spark non-work-related conversations on your internal chats and you’ll notice how quickly colleagues gravitate towards people with shared interests.
#5 SET UP A TEAM PLAYLIST
With work from home being the new norm, music is slowly becoming our best friend. No matter what field you are in, you are likely to listen to music at some point in your day. Use this opportunity to get your remote team together in a fun activity. Ask your team for songs they love and create a customised playlist for your team. This way your colleagues will get a chance to share their favourite tunes and explore new artists! Goodbye, boring old tunes!
We created a fun ‘Work From Home’ Spotify playlist for our remote teams at Codex, here is a link!
#6 VIDEO OVER AUDIO
A video call might mean setting your hair and changing out of your PJs, but is a tool that can enhance your Work From Home experience. Being able to see your teammates not only helps you focus on the task at hand but also creates stronger bonds. Video chats capture nuances and body language and help you understand when people drift off. A game-changer when it comes to video calls is the ability to share your screen with your team – making meetings more efficient and clearer!
#7 SAY YES TO DAILY HUDDLES
A huddle is a short call, usually lasting for about 15 minutes, conducted by a team leader each day. Huddles do an excellent job of uniting people and making sure everybody is on the same page. Teams can discuss what they are working on for the day, their goals and any ad-hoc tasks that may have emerged. An evening huddle is also a great idea to discuss the day’s activities and accomplishments!