Seven Ways To Strengthen Remote Team Cohesion
One of the biggest challenges of remote working in the current and post-pandemic world is how to keep teams connected and tight. Without the daily physical interactions and in-person collaboration of an office environment, morale, teamwork and company culture can take a hit.
So what can you do to maximise cohesion and keep everyone happy, engaged and productive? We've put together some pointers.
When teams are scattered across various locations staying in touch has to be a top priority. People can easily feel isolated when they're working remotely. Communicating regularly keeps them in the loop and demonstrates that you care. Make communication personal by using tools such as Skype and Zoom or even the 'old-fashioned' phone.
Additionally, everyone, especially team leaders and managers, should respond to each other’s emails in a timely fashion. We all know work can be hectic, but late and delayed responses make people feel like they’re not a priority.
Do Daily Check-Ins
Organise check-ins with the whole team at the beginning of each day. They're invaluable for maintaining a sense of community, staying on top of priorities, checking in on how people are doing and inviting them to share any concerns or difficulties they may be facing.
Provide the Right Tools
To make remote working a success, employees need adequate tools and resources. Ensure team members are equipped with the right software and devices to allow them to work well and connect with the office and their colleagues.
Take Virtual Coffee Breaks
Personal interactions are essential, and without them, employees may feel that they're not really a part of the team. Going for a virtual coffee break with a colleague is an excellent way to replicate the fun and camaraderie of the office. Colleagues can take time out and chat with one another via a video call. These coffee breaks don't only have to take place between friends. Team leaders can randomly pair up employees to help them connect.
Arrange Virtual Lunch Dates
Good relationships are the foundation of a good team. Research shows strong social connections between employees make people happier and healthier, which in turn improves performance. However, working from home and COVID restrictions make it difficult to go for post-workday drinks or organise social gatherings.
Therefore, think of ways people can safely socialise at a distance, such as by eating lunch together virtually at least once a week. Try to keep work topics off the table so everyone can just enjoy each other's company.
Participate in Virtual Activities
Unwind together with fun online activities such as online escape rooms, trivia quizzes and virtual dance parties. They help to reduce stress and boost team building, cohesion and employee satisfaction.
More than ever during these trying and uncertain times, we all need good news. Therefore, celebrate wins and achievements no matter how big or small. There are several ways this can be done. Throw an online party, praise individuals publicly during a group video conference, give the team a day off, send an award and treat everyone to lunch from their favourite local restaurant that does deliveries.
The Power of Cohesive Teams
Following these approaches can help foster togetherness and increase commitment, engagement and remote team cohesion. We are living through extraordinary times, but when teams pull together, they can accomplish almost anything.