In recent years more companies have embraced the trend of hiring virtual workers, and the numbers of employees working remotely is rapidly increasing. That begs the question: How do you connect with your telecommuting employees and build rapport?
Here are some tips to overcome this challenge and bridge the physical distance to create a successful and productive team!
Whether it’s Skype, Zoom or any other video application, face-to-face contact is a powerful way to connect with others. Have frequent video meetings or weekly video team calls where each person gives a one-minute achievements update.
Since there are no water coolers to stand around, create a virtual one. Platforms like Slack, HipChat, Campfire can help. Employees can ask business questions and brainstorm ideas, but it’s also a place for employees to connect with each other and share more casual conversations, privately or in a team channel.
If you’re the boss, try to mix work-related messages with friendlier communication. Send gifts on birthdays, congratulate them on personal milestones, and send get-well soon flowers when they’re sick.
Use a project organization tool like Trello, Asana or Basecamp to help you organize tasks, documents, and information in a clear way that ensures everyone is aware of his or her responsibilities, objectives, and progress. This will help create a workflow while increasing team communication and boosting productivity.
If you’re working with people who are several time zones away, text or emails are the most convenient ways of communicating without interrupting their work. The downside is time lags in communication and lack of context that can sometimes lead to misunderstandings – but that can be solved with a short voice or video call.
All these tips will help keep your workers engaged, involved and more importantly motivated by creating a productive and challenging workspace. Curbing the challenges of virtual work interactions will set the stage for more success in your business and your relationship with your employees.
Submitted by Nathalie