Navigating the remote workspace isn’t as easy as closing the office door or gathering in the breakroom.
When workers can’t bear the thought of one more Zoom meeting or Google Hangout, how do they connect as a team?
Certainly, the answer isn’t getting on Google chat and wishing them all good morning before 7 a.m. but there is still a chance for team unity.
Take the temperature of the team. Are they a mix of introverted and extroverted? Virtual coffee breaks and encouraging them to interact may fall flat if the group as a whole values their solitude.
For younger workers, there is a trend toward just getting their work done and not getting involved with coworkers on a personal level. This outlook may thwart any team-building
exercise no matter how well thought out.
Some managers may see this as just an opportunity to try again, but it could also be that manager’s cue to sit back and relax. This may raise some folk’s blood pressure but think about the following questions honestly, with no filters applied.
Are work deadlines being met?
Does the quality of the work meet reasonable expectations?
If the answers are yes, then that may be all the team building needed. Everyone knows the part they play in the success of the organization and how to execute it. In this case, a manager’s role is to provide honest feedback to them as a group and individually. Being honest doesn’t mean all tact flies out the window.
Feedback should be given in a positive light even if it isn’t a glowing review. Also remember the golden rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Another connecting point would be encouraging team members to acknowledge other departments that make their jobs easier. Someone who works in accounting may not know how important their timeliness and accuracy are to those who plan special events or sell advertising.
Trust & Flexibility
Remote work involves a distinct level of trust between the employee and the employer. That trust can be built by employees respecting those previously mentioned deadlines and employers respecting the personal needs of the employees.
Respecting personal needs doesn’t mean that remote employees will be getting massages at 8 a.m. but those who have been working remotely for a considerable amount of time will expect some flexibility from management. Ultimatums and unnecessary demands on their time will result in employee loss and losing employees start the reconnection conundrum anew.
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