How To Connect WIth Remote Employees

Managing a remote workforce is the new normal, so if your team has workers who aren’t in the office, you can’t ignore them. It’s important to make connections with your team, regardless of where they work. Of course, when you don’t see their faces except through a Zoom virtual office, it can be difficult to build a relationship with a remote employee. You may need to make a concerted effort to connect with your team that isn’t in the office, but it will pay off through increased productivity and longevity.

Fun Virtual Happy Hour Activities For The Office

In-person happy hours might be falling out of favor, but virtual happy hours can be entertaining without the drinking. The key to getting workers to attend isn’t making it mandatory but making it optional. When you host events that aren’t essential to the workday, don’t make your team attend because you mandated it. Establish fun traditions that make the team want to attend. Hold contests during the virtual happy hour. Play games together. Create an online scavenger hunt and have employees pair up. Create virtual background teams who work together outside of work projects.

What Are Other Offices Doing?

Happy hour activities are one way to connect with remote workers, but there are many other possibilities. Here are a few ideas.

Create a Mentor Program

A mentor can help a worker get more connected than a manager can. A mentor is not a manager, so it’s easier to ask questions of a mentor about concerns and company culture. Mentors can be more proactive about looping in their mentees about company activities and events. New employees often benefit from a mentor, but remote workers would too.

Clear and Concise Communication

Remote workers don’t get the benefit of seeing your face when reading emails, so it can be difficult to convey context through written communications. You will need to be clearer through digital communications. A video chat once in a while can help remote workers feel more connected to you. During those meetings, try to have some idle chit chat with the team to make everyone feel less formal.

Collaboration Tools

If you’re in the office missing the opportunity to chat and interact with co-workers, imagine how remote workers feel. Use collaboration tools like Slack or IM to create a space where workers can talk about things unrelated to work. Host a couple of general channels, maybe one for kids, one for pets and one for foodies. This can give remote and office workers a place to have a good old-fashioned water cooler session without tying up your work channels. In addition, people management software can assist with better managing a remote workforce and help you to design a comprehensive timeline of virtual activities, like training and introductions, so employees can connect with each other and work well together as a team.

Encourage Professional Development

Remote employees can get disconnected when they don’t feel a sense of purpose to their work. Professional development can help bridge the gap when workers are out of the office. You’ll improve retention while making sure your team members see a future in the organization.

When teams are distributed across a wide geographical area, you’ll have to put some effort in to make everyone feel connected. But it will pay off in the long run.

Look for a Zoom office background with logo to make your work videos professional.

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