Now that many teams around the world are working remotely, keeping lines of communication open is more important than ever. Lack of consistent communication can leave teammates feeling isolated and out of the loop. New approaches are necessary to keep teams engaged and focused. Here are the top 8 ways to maintain cohesion while working apart.
- Provide the Right Tools
Giving your team the right virtual tools that allow for online collaboration and project management help make work smooth and effortless, leading teams to be more successful and happier.
- Do Regular Check-ins
Check-in with the team regularly not just about projects but also about their wellbeing.
- Don’t Micromanage
Aside from the check-ins, trust that your team is getting the work done. Constant micromanaging can be demotivating and distracting. In addition, pay attention to your tone. Typed messages often carry more weight, leaving employees feeling a lack of respect.
- Offer Transparency
Transparency and knowledge sharing help members of a remote team do their job more effectively. Whenever possible, involve employees in decisions that will affect them too.
- Prioritize Video Conferences
While phone calls can work in a pinch, choose video calls whenever possible. Being able to see each other can reduce the feeling of isolation as well as increase interaction and brainstorming, helping to keep the creativity flowing.
- Set Clear Expectations and Boundaries
Reduce frustration by setting clear expectations from the onset such as expected specific working hours and break times, as well as how much you expect them to accomplish each day.
- Recognition and Gratitude
Employees and teams need to know when they are killing it, not just when they need improvement. Remember to acknowledge great work and helpful moments, and spread the gratitude to higher levels and other departments.
- Encourage Social Time
Having personal conversations with each other and playing games can help to strengthen the team’s connection.
Having a remote team can bring many advantages. With the right tools, communication and policies, teams can enjoy the best of them, while easily managing challenges along the way.
Expert Panel, 14 Tips for Keeping a Distributed Team Cohesive, Forbes, July 1, 2020
Hannah Price, 5 Ways to Keep a Distributed Team Cohesive, Jostle, accessed July 23, 2020
Andrea Woroch, 10 Ways Remote Workers Can Improve Communication Skills, U.S. News, April 2, 2020