Encourage Casual Conversation
The occasional non-work-related chat can go a long way when building relationships between coworkers. Google recommends starting meetings with open-ended questions that get people talking about something other than the task at hand. For example, asking everyone what they did over the weekend could help everyone get to know each other.
However, also creating other spaces for casual conversation can be wise. If you use collaboration software or have email, then coworkers can reach out to each other directly. If you are a manager, let them know that some informal discussions are fine as long as they don’t interfere with productivity and the topics are suitable for the environment.
Not all remote employees will live in the same time zone as their office-based counterparts. When that is the case, setting guidelines regarding when to schedule meetings and boundaries about when it is or is not acceptable to contact a remote worker are musts.
Managers should speak with each member of their team to discuss when are the best times for meetings and collaborative discussions. Similarly, they need to determine when it is or isn’t okay to call a remote worker for their input, especially if they don’t have core working hours to which everyone can refer.
Schedule Face Time
Communicating solely in writing isn’t ideal for bonding. Instead, remote team members should be engaged at least occasionally using an approach that allows them to see their manager and coworkers.
Whether this involves video chat software or flying them in a few times a year for critical meetings, allowing everyone to see one another regularly can help them craft stronger relationships. Plus, when everyone can watch the facial expressions of other participants, misunderstandings about what is being said or the intended tone may be less likely than when the same sentiments are shared in writing (which can be very ambiguous).
Looking for Help With Your Remote Team? Contact the Experts at The Armada Group!
By following Google’s tips above, you can make sure that remote and in-office workers have a chance to bond, creating a more positive environment and allowing for stronger relationships. If you would like to know more, the team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our experienced staff members today and see how our telecommuting expertise can benefit you.