A lot of people are still working remotely these days, and while those who work in the office might look at remote workers with envy, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows for the remote worker. One of the things that remote employees miss most about the office environment is developing relationships and camaraderie with their coworkers. To help lessen this impact and to make your remote employees feel like they are still a part of the team, here are four ways you can still develop camaraderie with your remote employees.
The key to building this camaraderie is to emulate experiences that these employees may have experienced during the workday during the course of their duties. These don’t have to be anything terribly complicated; in fact, something as simple as the cliche “chat around the watercooler” or “swing by the office on break” can make all the difference in making employees feel like they are welcome and belong in your workplace.
Make Small Talk Before Meetings
Rather than getting straight to business, take a little bit of time at the beginning of the meeting to catch up with everyone–especially the remote workers. This is great for employees who are not able to physically be there, but it also helps employees who are in the office get more acquainted with the folks who are not around on a regular basis.
Have a Group Chat
Most organizations that have remote employees utilize an instant messaging system of some sort, so make sure that you encourage your users to make group chats. This helps them stay in-the-know regarding important work-related elements, but it also helps them feel like they are involved in discussions. Just make sure you set some boundaries; there is a fine line between sharing memes and using the solution in a productive manner.
Hold Virtual Events
Who’s to say that you can only use your remote technology for meetings and official business communications? You can hold virtual events using your meeting software to get your remote employees engaged with their coworkers. Maybe you set up a camera and have a gathering for birthdays and other special occasions, or you can throw “virtual” employee appreciation parties.
Keep an Open Office Policy
Nothing beats dropping by someone’s office and having a face-to-face conversation with them, even if it is just to say hello. That said, it is hard for remote employees to do this. While it is certainly helpful to have this kind of walk-in policy for employees in-house, it is even better to have this for remote employees. Make sure that they know they can reach out to you at any time to discuss concerns or issues they are encountering.
At the end of the day, making sure that your remote employees feel the effects of camaraderie boils down to them knowing that they are involved in the organization and that their feedback is not just welcomed, but valued. Not sure how to make this happen for your business? Maybe we have some technology that can help you out. To learn more, reach out to us at (212) 796-6061.