It's safe to assume that by now, you've read several articles emphasising the benefits of working remotely but there's one question we need to ask - how's your team feeling?
Just last year, 99% of respondents declared working from home as their main preference (if provided the opportunity), though as the current pandemic turns this aspiration into a full-blown reality for those businesses fortunate enough to do so - remote workers are now feeling more disconnected than ever before.
So, what does this mean for your business? Well, simply put - isolation is tough, and employees who experience feelings of loneliness, seclusion, or being without the collaboration they thrive on, are far more likely to be counterproductive to your business' growth in the long run...
However, with these six simple best practice steps - you can create and maintain a connected culture within your remote team:
1. Huddle 'Round with Zoom
What's more exciting than a meeting? A morning huddle, of course! Virtual meetings are imperative moving forward, so if you haven't already set-up Zoom, then there's no time like the present!
Kickstart your workday on the right note with a morning "huddle," which sees each member of your team join a Zoom meeting from the comfort of their home.
At Wise-Sync, our morning "huddle" is a stand-up meeting, which involves a quick 2-minute update per team member to answer the following questions:
- What did I accomplish yesterday?
- What will I do today?
- What obstacles (i.e. "blockers") are impeding my progress?
Having a morning stand-up keeps your team feeling motivated and on-track with both their individual and team targets, while providing the opportunity to keep your staff held accountable. This empowers your team to feel part of an open and collaborative environment, and to also report if they're experiencing any difficulty working remotely for you to appropriately address.
2. Don't Slack Off Communication
Now, more than ever, communication is key. Further to Zoom, Slack is another tech-driven communication tool that proves an absolute must-have for any remote team. Slack, the ultimate collaboration hub, allows you to create a channel for any topic or conversation you feel your team needs to be across.
Easily ensure your team's kept up-to-date with your latest projects, developments, customer updates, and more, as it easily integrates with countless apps and services, most of which, you're probably using. With these integrations, you're bound to view a steady flow of information for your team to interact with.
Slack is a phenomenal tool in keeping the conversation going, whether that's regarding a branding update from your marketing team, or a new product feature that your developers just can't wait to share - Slack facilitates a supportive and responsive company culture for any employee to truly feel part of the team...
...and it's not all work, there's play too! Create a #random channel and check out your colleague's new Mexican fighting fish, or have a look at their awesome new set-up working from home - thumbs up!
3. Set-Up a Virtual Lunch
If you're missing your work lunches with colleagues, it doesn't have to end - just make it virtual! Building your virtual team is integral to understanding each teammate on a more personal level, which plays an important role in maintaining effective communication.
Setting up a virtual lunch is one of many great ways to strengthen your remote team, and to nourish your social bonds. A team member who feels supported in their role is far more inclined to stay focused and adaptive to change, whereby "teams with an open work style are 60% more likely to achieve more, faster."
So, what're you waiting for? Pencil in a virtual catch-up with a colleague, simply send them a Google Calendar invite with a Zoom meeting link - and you're ready to luncheon!
4. Provide Regular Company Updates
It's fair to say that a lack of communication is the primary reason for feeling uncertain about the future. Given the current economic climate, it's quintessential to maintain transparent communication at all times.
Having a team that feels unsure about their future at your workplace, means they're also feeling unsure about the future of your company. This mental state is not only counterproductive to financial growth, but it's also detrimental to company culture and building morale.
In order to ensure your staff are feeling confident and well-informed, it's important to email company-wide updates regarding your business' back-of-house operations, customer updates, and most importantly, your company vision - remind your team of the goal, where you're at now, and altogether, where you're headed to.
By simply sending the whole company an email each week or fortnight, you will reassure your team of their efforts, while communicating the steps you're implementing across departments to facilitate greater growth and to support your community.
5. Organise Team-Building Activities
As we have teams working across Australia, the United States, and the Philippines, we've become accustomed to virtual team-building activities to ensure each member within our organization feels apart of our company culture.
Your next virtual team-building activity could be anywhere from a third-party hosting an online early morning yoga session for your team, to something as simple as playing an online office game.
At Wise-Sync, our favorite online game is currently Drawful2, a standalone game application which enables all of our team to remotely join (before taking a serious attempt at drawing some of the most ridiculous titles you'll ever read), which brings us to...
6. Friday Drinks Are a Must!
One activity that every person on our team looks forward to, is Friday drinks! Every Friday at 4pm, we have a tools-down policy, which means we all grab a drink and join the online Zoom recording for our end-of-week catch-up. Here, we take turns providing a brief update as to our highlight for the week and our weekend plans.
Following this, it's game time! We play a game altogether as a way to end the week on a positive note filled with laughs and perhaps a few works of art?
If your organisation is yet to implement a Friday drinks' session, then we highly recommend it! This proves the perfect add-on for a connected company culture firmly invested in the wellbeing of its staff, which goes hand-in-hand with How to Improve Staff Retention.
We hope this article helps your team to stay motivated, and since it's almost Fri-yay - why not start this week?
Over the next few months, Wise-Sync will be hosting a webinar series, along with providing various content to help our community sustain their financial growth throughout these trying times. To keep you in the loop, subscribe to our communications here, or connect with Wise-Sync on LinkedIn and Facebook.