Working with a remote team requires the team leaders to find creative ways to bring the members together. In a brick-and-mortar workplace, there’s time to build the company’s culture to do this, but it’s challenging to make this happen when people are working from home.
While each team will have its own needs, there are some basic things that you can do to build the culture if you’re leading a remote team. These can provide you with a starting point to branch out with ideas of your own for improving the culture.
While there are many challenges that come with remote work, there are also many benefits. Be open with your team members about these. The more realistic you are, the better they’ll handle the changes that come with remote work. For example, talk about how they won’t have to commute but they will have to find ways to reduce the distractions at home. Offer tangible suggestions such as using noise-cancelling headphones to help block background noise.
Your team needs to know that they can communicate with you about what’s going on. Encourage them to ask questions and talk about anything they don’t fully understand. In a brick-and-mortar office, they could just walk to your desk to do this. Let them know that your virtual desk is open for them during their work shift.
Even if you don’t have to remain on video chats to get the job tasks completed, you should have regular video meetings with the team. This gives everyone a chance to build the same sense of teamwork they’d have if they were in the same office. You don’t have to do this only for work-related topics. Consider hosting a virtual evening out every now and then to further help them feel like valued members of the company.
You may find that workers who are new to remote work are struggling a bit more than those who have already made the changes. Provide extra support for the workers who are struggling, but don’t forget to extend supportive options to the ones who seem to be doing nicely with remote work. Some workers might be silent about what challenges they’re facing. Knowing that they have those options available may help them to feel more secure.