Now that many of us work remotely, the challenges of being productive and in building camaraderie are inherently different, and perhaps more difficult.
To help your colleagues build rapport and excel at their roles from wherever they work, you can put these 5 tips to practice!
Promote Fun Conversations
Conversations that aren’t work-related are a vital part of any healthy office culture. It’s no different when employees work from home.
To help facilitate these types of interactions, you can use a communications platform like Slack. For instance, do a lot of your employees like soccer? Create a #soccer channel and let the banter ensue. And do several colleagues watch Game of Thrones? Give the show its own channel and let employees talk about the characters they love—and can’t stand.
Bottom line: Create a place where employees can let off some steam and be themselves. Slack channels (or the equivalent in another chat tool) can provide just that opportunity.
Organize Creative and Casual Virtual Events
Just as it’s vital to support casual social interactions online, it’s equally important that employees have the opportunity to get together for more formally-organized events (via a platform like Zoom). This can be anything from a bi-weekly happy hour to a weekday movie night to a one-off chocolate tasting session.
If you’re less inclined or inspired to organize these events yourself, you’re more than likely to find colleagues who’ll jump at the opportunity!
In most office environments, gift-giving is a well established practice, whether it’s in celebration of annual events, such as birthdays, or it’s in recognition of significant achievements in the line of duty.
Given the moral boost and recognition that gifts provide, it’s important to keep gifting even when working remotely.
One type of gift you can easily buy for any colleague who works remotely is a present for their home workspace. This can range from self-care gifts, like health and beauty product bundles, to always-welcome presents, like reusable water bottles.
Build Boundaries to Avoid Burnout
When working remotely, it can be harder to get “off the clock”.
You can help make sure that those working remotely set clear working hours, and then hold them accountable to their schedules.
For example, if someone on your team messages you outside of their working hours, simply ask them to get offline and go have fun. Over time, this will help your employees be more disciplined about when they work and when they don’t—which should help them avoid burning out in the long run.
Encourage Involvement and Feedback
One of the biggest risks of remote work is that it can leave employees feeling like their opinions matter less.
This sentiment isn’t just unpleasant—it can also worsen employee performance and retention. According to Gallup, increasing the number of employees who feel like their opinion matters can improve the team’s productivity by 12% and reduce employee churn by 27%.
To help employees feel valued and heard, you can consistently:
- Ask them what they think about certain situations
- Acknowledge and consider their feedback
- Praise them for their contributions in front of others
At the end of the day, not all of these tips will work for you and your team. But if you take the time to find those that do, it’ll greatly benefit your colleagues and the performance of your organization.