5 Ways to Establish a Connection With Your Remote Employees

Connecting People

Working with a remote team can be challenging - communication barriers, productivity issues, and working in different time zones are just some of the challenges that make it difficult to build a connection. Working from home can also feel lonely. As humans, we long for social interaction; encouraging your employees to engage with each other will improve team morale, productivity, and motivation to work. With that said, how can you establish a connection with your remote employees?

In this article, we’ll share 5 ways you can easily connect with your remote employees. Let’s begin!

Keep communication lines open

pictures of different people on a person's laptop

In a remote setup, everyone is presumably in different locations and time zones, so it’s imperative to have easy-to-use tools for communication - email, instant messaging, or video call. Although you might expect delayed replies, this makes it easier for you to keep tabs on all your employees.

When it comes to getting updates from your teams, you can schedule meetings once a week. Make sure to keep them brief to avoid any ‘video call fatigue’ from the rest of your employees.

On normal days, you can use instant messaging apps like Slack where you can create groups and channels for specific teams.

Hold regular video meetings

In a remote setup, it can be difficult for everyone to stay in the loop. Scheduling weekly or bi-weekly meetings will make people feel more involved with the company and give your employees a chance to become more familiar with one another even if it is done virtually. It can take some time to get used to, but these interactions are more personal and dynamic compared to an email or chat. 

employees in a virtual meeting

Organize virtual social events

Aside from holding meetings, you can use video conferencing tools to organize virtual social events. Remote working arrangements tend to erase the social aspects of a working environment. To avoid this, you can try setting up online get-togethers. This gives you a chance to connect with your employees - and for them to connect with each other - beyond work-related matters. 

man doing a virtual workout at home

If you want to make things more exciting, you can hold different team activities each time. Here are a few ideas you can try:

  • ‘Watch parties’, where you and your team enjoy a movie together
  • Play games like trivia contests and treasure hunts
  • Group workouts or yoga sessions.

Create fun remote work traditions

Encourage engagement from the whole company through fun competitions. You can align your contests with a certain theme or event - best Halloween costume, best Christmas jingle, and more. But if there’s no upcoming holiday or occasion, you can also come up with random challenges like ‘desk reveal day’ or ‘wear your craziest shirt day.’

Silly events like this can foster friendly competition among your team. If you want longer participation, you can even do month-long challenges where the winner of each competition will receive a prize.

Use communication tools for fun

You don’t have to limit yourself to using tools for work purposes only. For example, you can create channels on Slack where people can talk about random things casually. Maybe you’ll have a channel where everyone talks about books, movies, pets, or even gardening tips!

You can also have a general channel that isn’t for work updates. Use this to encourage people to have spontaneous conversations. 

You can start by asking ice breaker questions like, “What are the ten things you’re going to buy if you win the lottery?” Not only will it give everyone an opportunity to offer their own input, but it also gives your employees a chance to unwind and get to know each other personally.

Slack chat thread

Establish a mentoring program

As a means to keep workers connected, assign them an internal mentor. A mentor program is especially beneficial for new hires who haven't yet developed strong teamwork relationships. Employees may find a mentor a helpful resource if they have any queries or concerns. It's crucial to remember that a mentor differs from a manager.

Summary

Remote work doesn’t have to be boring. There are plenty of ways to keep it fun and exciting. Your company just has to take the initiative in establishing connections among your remote employees. Without the freedom to meet in person, creativity is a must, but as long as you stay consistent in your efforts, all the small things you do will have a great impact on your staff and business.

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