6 Solid Team Building Tips for Remote Workers
There are a number of wonderful reasons to start working remotely. Work from home statistics show that most employees that shift to at least a partial remote schedule are more productive, save money, and have improved life balance. Not to mention you can dump the commute (and trip to the dry cleaners too).
However, the same set of statistics shows that remote work may be even more beneficial for employers. If you need metrics to convince your bosses that your working remotely will be a winning scenario for the company, maybe give them these facts to chew on:
Companies that give their employees even half of their time off-site can save around $11,000 annually, per person
The extra space in offices means being able to hire new people and expand the company without spending on new real estate
Cutting down on office attendance means lower overhead for things like utilities, housekeeping, office supplies, and dedicated tech stations
For most people, productivity actually increases when workers are not troubled by office distractions
Is your company looking to help the environment? Cutting out daily commutes saves a bundle of greenhouse gas emissions
When you’ve won over your boss with these insights and have begun working remotely, one of the most important things to consider is how to keep your team together. Now that you are no longer seeing each other physically, it’s harder to stay up to date with the personal touches that make a team cohesive. You also may feel you are missing out on those hallway discussions that have, in the past, lead to innovative ideas.
However, there are many ways to simulate the positives of office culture, even when working remotely.
Make a plan for your team to actually see each other on a relatively regular basis. Even if you are in far flung locations, you could at least meet quarterly, perhaps for a kind of retreat. With the money that your company is saving on your remote work, perhaps they would be up for footing the bill too. Meeting doesn’t have to be work related either — you can plan themed outings, trips to the baseball game or happy hours.
Connect about life via messenger
A Slack channel doesn’t have to be all work. Keep chatter about life and work together in one place. You can even support this kind of interaction with fun activities like trivia, the “question of the week”, Movie/TV reviews, meme contests, jokes, or other conversation starters.
Look at yourselves
Using video chat instead of just email or phone calls all the time with help you remember what everyone looks like and it’s just better to see faces every once in a while.
Present your work
Regularly presenting a project to someone who is not on your team is a great way for everyone to get working together. It almost doesn’t matter who the person receiving the presentation may be, but if it can be a leader in the company, or someone in a position to give useful critical feedback, all the better.
Pay attention to your colleagues
That means liberally giving out accolades when someone has done great work, shouting out birthdays and life events, and being sensitive to times when your co-workers may be going through a rough time.
Get the team galvanized around a specific challenge like running a 10k, a tennis tournament, or even video game championships. Anything related to making the team connect on a level beyond just spreadsheets.
Working from home is mostly regarded as a joy for employees, but some quote loneliness to be the largest drawback. By building your team effectively, and making sure you are not only working together, but sharing time together too, your ward off those feelings of isolation and do more cohesive cooperative work as well.
Guest writer Sarah Archer is a Content Marketing Manager at Siege Media and Your Best Digs. She’s passionate about developing high-quality content for diverse industries ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies. When she’s not working remotely, you’ll find her hiking a new trail or collecting stamps in her passport.