How to build unity in your remote team

varsha sarkar

July 31, 2023

8:01 am

People enjoy working from home for a variety of reasons, according to WEF, such as the flexible location and schedule, no commuting, and more time to spend with family. Nevertheless, loneliness and communication problems are the two biggest downsides to working from home. Concentrating on a computer screen for prolonged periods of time without any personal interaction from co-workers can be challenging to feel motivated and productive.

Not to mention, although video conference tools are useful, many people are burned out from what behaviour analyst Laura Dudley calls Zoom fatigue. It’s not enough to just see each other’s faces in a virtual team meeting.

As the leader of a remote workforce, you need to promote the same feelings of cohesion and camaraderie that your team is used to in the office, while still honouring work-life balance. Use these five tactics to reinforce unity and minimize disconnect, whether remote work is a short-term solution or a permanent fixture in your organization.

The effects of traditional office culture

In the past, in-person interactions started to occur as soon as an employee arrived at a workplace. Both formally and informally, that process kept building upon itself. The cultures that great leaders cultivated united the team together for a common aim through work, initiatives, and goals. The informal interactions that took place in the team’s halls, break rooms, and by the front desk added to its charm. Some folks transitioned from being co-workers to colleagues and then, finally, to friends.

Even in the most disorganised office-based cultures, there was some degree of unity created by working together. 

Invest in Collaboration Software

Employees must be informed, connected, and in real-time alignment with one another in the rapid corporate world of today. Despite the fact that this can be difficult for distant teams, collaboration software streamlines and speeds up the procedure and is also easily accessible.

According to Wayne Kurtzman, research director at the International Data Corporation, “companies who use team collaboration apps report considerably higher group and personal productivity, have a faster time to market, and complete projects  (IDC).”

When choosing a software, consider the many features that would bring your team together, making it easier for them to connect on projects, challenges, and more. For example, collaboration software with built-in file sharing and file storage, along with chat and video functions, ensures that everything your team needs to stay connected is in one easy-to-access place.

Plan an in-person event to look forward to 

Since the pandemic followed by the recession has upset both professional and personal lives, it is likely that the majority of your crew is anxious and concerned. “The mind wants to think forward, using our understanding of the past events to foresee what the future would bring. Yet, anxiety over the potential for a future threat makes our thoughts fret”, according to osteopathic doctor Anisha Patel-Dunn.

She adds that uncertainty can make it difficult to control one’s emotions, therefore it is beneficial to have something exciting to look forward to in its place, such as a team reunion in person after COVID.

If you’re not comfortable planning something just yet, use this time to begin polling the group and talking about what an ideal in-person meeting would look like. Conversely, you can plan a virtual company summit, paying for team members to set up space in their house for a multi-day summit, similar to what they might experience if you were doing an off-site summit pre-COVID.

Build unity among your remote workforce

According to a Nulab poll, team building helped 96% of employees enhance their connections with their coworkers, 96% of them reinforced their collaboration, and 94% of them improved communication and workplace satisfaction. Working from home does not preclude collaboration towards a common goal. Although it would require more deliberateness and strategic work, it is still achievable.

Create a collaborative process for meetings

A challenge is how to organize retrospective meetings, which are a crucial part of continuous improvement when working remotely. A tool that can be used is Fun Retro, which helps assign tasks from meetings. Users apply post-it notes, which can be voted on. The top post-it notes are assigned to user teams and workgroups.

varsha sarkar

July 31, 2023

8:01 am

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