5 Free Ways To Virtually Connect With Your Remote Team
Working from home brings its own set of challenges. For many individuals, working from home can be tricky for many reasons. From juggling child care to feeling unmotivated and setting up boundaries between your home and work life.
One of the biggest issues many people have found working remotely is how disconnected they feel from their team. Due to the lack of day-to-day and face-to-face contact, many people can end up feeling lonely and isolated from their team.
Therefore, companies are constantly trying to come up with new and innovative ways to reach out to their remote workers.
It’s worth bearing in mind that these things don’t have to cost money. Absolutely we would suggest booking fun and interactive virtual away days and virtual entertainment. However, there are many ways that employers can easily re-establish a connection with their workers.
In this blog, we have broken down our top 5 free ways to virtually connect with your remote team.
1. Video Calls Over Phone Calls
This may sound like a really simple thing but choosing to host a video call over a platform such as Zoom or Teams instead of via phone call is a really easy way of instantly connecting with your remote team.
Set an expectation within your team that everyone should have their video cameras on. Furthermore, at the start of every meeting, allow 5-10 minutes for the team to just chat. For many people, the only other person they see all day is the postman. Therefore, by hosting a video call as opposed to a phone call you are greeting your remote team with a friendly face
Additionally, encourage your teams to set regular catch-ups with one another, to check-in and see if they are facing any obstacles the company can help them overcome.
2. Use Group Messenger Rather Than Lengthy Email Trails
Because we are all having to communicate virtually there will naturally be a larger build up of emails, due to the need to communicate. Therefore, consider having another platform for remote teams to talk and ask questions on.
There’s nothing worse than having to sift through stacks of emails to find what you need so having another messaging platform can combat this. This is where software such as Microsoft Teams and even Whatsapp can come in handy. It will allow team members to easily and quickly reach out to one another.
One thing we would suggest with these platforms is ensuring your remote team understands boundaries. Therefore, coming up with basic guidelines on communication, as well as when is and isn’t appropriate to contact colleagues regarding work is important. For example, ensuring remote team members aren’t pinging the group with WhatsApp messages at 11pm at night.
With this it is always important to ensure your remote team members can set up boundaries between their home and work life. And, most importantly, are able to switch off and wind down from work.
3. Allocate Time For Informal Chats
Another thing that many remote workers feel like they are missing out from with working from home, is being able to grab a colleague for a quick chat.
Whether it’s to ask some questions about a project they are working on, team leaders being able to check in on remote workers wellbeing or just a quick catch up to see how a colleague is.
This can be done in a couple of different ways. You can either get a team leader or manager to allocate a day once a month where their team is able to book out slots to catch up with them. Or alternatively, you can suggest teams set up ‘virtual coffee breaks’ with one another. Allowing 15 minutes out of their day to check in with one another.
Furthermore, in these chats, remote team members should be encouraged to speak about something other than work. This allows for virtual teams to build up bonds and friendships with one another.
4. Host A Virtual Happy Hour
Pre-pandemic it was very normal for you and your group of colleagues to head to your local on a Friday evening and have some well-deserved drinks together. Although this is no longer possible, there is no reason not to carry on doing this virtually.
Whether it’s once a month or every Friday. Allocate some time out at the end of the day for your remote team to decompress from the week and just get together and informally chat.
Encourage your team to bring their favourite snacks and a drink (or two). The aim is to replicate your normal Friday night drinks. Perhaps have a ban on work chat and have a couple of talking points ready in case the team is a bit quiet to start off with.
5. Have a Virtual Lunch Together
This is another great informal way of connecting with your team and catching up on things other than work.
Once or twice a month book in some time for you and your team to get together and enjoy lunch together. Sharing a meal is a natural way of people connecting with one another, therefore virtual lunches can be a really great way of combating loneliness and bringing your remote team together.
What’s more, if you’re looking for a fun twist on this, why not theme your lunches. Suggesting that everyone bring their ultimate sandwich or their favourite food from around the world. This can be a fun way of naturally starting conversation which is especially helpful if the team do not know each other very well.
BONUS: Interactive Online Games
If you’re looking for a way to really boost team interaction and boost morale whilst working from home, what better way than getting colleagues to play against each other in some interactive online games such as Virtual Race Around The World, Virtual Escape Room or even our Virtual Race Night. We have plenty of options to choose from.
Furthermore, if you’re looking at booking a virtual team building event and would like to see some event inspiration, check out our latest blog. Likewise, if you’d like to speak to one of our event managers about booking an event experience get in touch with us and we’ll be more than happy to help.