Throughout the last year, employees have adjusted to their different work locations. Whether it was their dining table, couch or bed, they continued to work. Still, they raised their concerns about feeling isolated and removed from the team, too. As human beings, we crave interactions with others. We all know what the problem is. Why are companies struggling to provide these connections for their employees?
The office had been the primary place to build relationships with co-workers. These social connections give a platform to share new ideas, present different opinions and offer learning opportunities. Meetings with other team members are often energising. Plus, if a bad message was received, it could be shared with the team. Leaders and team members could show their empathy and search for a new way forward together.
Tools for success
As company, often within days, transitioned their employees to WFH in 2020, IT teams carried a heavy load. A year later and not all companies are providing their employees with all the tools and access they need to work remotely. Check with your team members how their internet connection is. Do they have the software to complete their work? Do they know how to use the software? If not, take action now. Identify what they specifically need. Who within the team can support them? Would an external training be more suitable?
Keep everyone in the loop
Remote employees often complain about missing out on information. At the same time, organisations are sharing company information via emails, intranet, virtual all hands. Add the different What’s App, Slack, Google Hangout and MS Teams chats to emails and phone calls. The overload is real. Decide with your team which channels are most effective. How will you handle individual vs team communication? How will important and urgent messages be shared? Will you reiterate certain stories, e.g. during the weekly team meeting?
Prepare for the blended approach
With case numbers dropping, more companies are letting their employees choose where they work. The office provides a break from working with their house mates or from young children racing around the home. Yet, not everyone feels comfortable to work in the office full-time yet. Prepare a plan who will be in the office in the next week. Will any particular meetings take place then? Will meetings, internal networking sessions or coaching sessions take place then?
Have some fun
Leave some time for shared laughs and learn more about each other as a person. Share funny pictures, jokes or personal stories through a dedicated channel, separate from work messages. These perceiving little actions (re-)build the connections within the team. Hosting in prompt coffee breaks via Zoom/Teams where those who are free, can pop in. No shop talk allowed!
Contact us and see how we can support you building high-performing remote teams where trusting leaders and highly engaged employees are laser focused on achieving common goals.