Post-Pandemic, you might find yourself in charge of a remote team, leaving you to wonder how to do so. Or you worry that abruptly dividing your team physically will leave them divided and less effective. Working from home is now the new norm for many employees and businesses. You might grab lunch with a colleague, stop by the coffee shop below the office, or go out for a happy hour with your coworkers when you’re at work. But have you ever considered how social and human interactions translate into online communication when working from home? This also raises the question of how to make remote employees feel connected. In this article, we’ve highlighted some of the most effective ways to keep your employees connected.

How to Make Remote Employees Feel Connected

1. Open Communication

Making your team members feel heard is one of the best ways to enhance their sense of community. Every business, especially those with remote employees, should maintain an ongoing dialogue of feedback and communication. Hold regular check-in meetings to ensure every team member has the resources and assistance needed to work to their full potential.

Encourage a culture in the workplace where employees are free to ask questions and raise issues without worrying about the consequences. Team members are more likely to feel connected to the company when they feel comfortable being open and their feedback is valued.

2. Online Video Meetings

If everyone says they are too busy or something came up, reschedule the virtual team meeting rather than calling it off completely. Everyone can see that you actually exist behind the words in the emails when you can see other people on the other side of the screen. At first, video conferences can seem awkward and out of the ordinary, but seeing each other’s faces while talking can greatly improve how connected everyone feels.

Video humanizes the connection and enables more dynamic interactions by putting a face to the voice speaking on the other end of the line. Include a video invite whenever you can in your meeting schedules via Zoom, Google Hangouts, or Microsoft Teams. You can also conduct a virtual brainstorming session.

3. Collaboration Tools

Still confused about how to make remote employees feel connected? Your remote employees must be able to communicate with one another without disruption. In today’s workplace, sending an email and waiting for a reply just won’t cut it. You must use remote working tools for communication if you want your remote employees to feel connected. You must invest in instant messaging tools and team collaboration software.

The cloud has merged seamlessly into many businesses. Documents, spreadsheets, and presentations can all be stored and shared with ease by users. Additionally, this guarantees that team members can access vital documents from any location.

4. Flexibility

The culture of remote work is built on more freedom and flexibility. Both employees and organizations may find this to be a significant transition, but organizations that welcome flexibility rather than fight it will benefit more from remote work. Support your managers and people leaders as they modify their performance management strategies to account for this new remote reality. This can involve teaching managers how to conduct remote meetings, coach and develop remote employees effectively, and motivate performance without micromanaging.

Consider modernizing your performance management procedures with adaptable, remote-friendly software that simplifies driving and managing performance. Your managers will be more successful at integrating remote workers into the company culture and fostering excellence when they are prepared and trained to manage remotely.

5. Virtual Lunches

Encourage the staff to meet for a virtual lunch. It’s not like having lunch with coworkers at a restaurant, but it’s still preferable to eating alone for some people! Additionally, a virtual office lunch is an option. Set up a group conference and invite everyone to attend to see what transpires!

Set up a weekly lunch roulette for the truly daring. Put everyone’s names in a virtual hat, and the host will randomly choose who will join them for lunch. It’s a fantastic opportunity for coworkers from various teams to connect and get to know one another better.

6. Multiplayer Gaming during Happy Hour

If your team enjoys gaming, it might be best to set up multiplayer gaming sessions. However, not everyone uses the same platforms or enjoys the same games. To better answer the question, “how to make remote employees feel connected,” create a shared document where everyone could list their preferred gaming systems. They can locate coworkers who enjoy the same games and set up gatherings this way.

7. Virtual Workouts

There is no justification for not staying in shape just because you can’t get to the workplace gym. Consider planning a daytime group exercise break. You can engage in yoga, chair stretches, or even a meditation session to keep everyone in shape and healthy.

8. Share Personal Milestone Updates

Establish an intranet channel for employee milestones, such as engagements, weddings, births, and achievements. Everybody enjoys a good congratulations GIF now and then. Pets are also a part of this. Does your company have a website where members can post pictures of their pets at home, such as cats, dogs, birds, and other fuzzy family members? Adopting a pet is absolutely a personal achievement.

9. Share a Google Calendar

Plan even a brief catch-up meeting, and the recipient will probably appreciate it. Meetings should be scheduled, brief, and on time because people can be very protective of the time in their days.

Why Keep Remote Employees Connected?

Employees who were used to interacting with their coworkers face-to-face and working from home can feel demotivated and lonely. Remote workers may feel emotionally and physically removed from their team without the proper structures and activities in place.

This isolation can really affect the productivity of your team. Therefore, it also harms business. Employees who experience loneliness and disconnection at work perform worse, are less productive and are more likely to leave their jobs. Providing opportunities for remote participation in the team, the organization, and the work is crucial.

Conclusion

By now, it must be clear that the employee engagement and retention gap can be closed by connecting remote workers with a long-term professional development strategy. Simply put, irrespective of how great your culture is or how well your employees perform, they may feel disappointed and leave if they don’t feel connected. Hence companies need to start thinking about how to make remote employees feel connected.

Also Read: How Remote Working Is Permanently Changing The Work Landscape

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Full Stack Java Developer | Writer | Recruiter, bridging the gap between exceptional talent and opportunities, for some of the biggest Fortune 500 companies.

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