Remote Team: some still turn up their noses, others defend, but the truth is that the home office is really here to stay!
And the pandemic proved that it is possible, yes, to work from a distance without losing productivity and quality. But how do you keep a remote team connected and engaged?
This is a common question among project leaders. So if you also want to know how to manage a remote team in the best way, stay with us until the end of this article!
Index of this article
But what is remote work?
Before we talk about ways to make a remote team more connected, do you know what remote work is?
Think independence and autonomy. Get it?
This is the basis of the home office, which actually gives you the freedom to work from wherever you want: from home, a coffee shop, the beach, your parents’ house, during a trip and even from a coworking space.
In this model, the form of communication between team members and their managers essentially takes place via the internet.
And that is precisely why it is necessary to have tools that facilitate this communication and the control of daily and weekly deliveries. Clear and transparent communication is key to a successful project.
And what are the advantages of having a remote team?
Anyone who things that only employees and workers have an advantage in remote work is unarguably wrong.
There are several advantages for companies that adhere to this work format. Want to get to know some of them? Take a look!
1. Cost reduction
This is one of the main advantages, after all, with remote work your company will stop spending on its physical infrastructure and, consequently, will save on water, electricity, internet, rent and other fixed expenses.
Another expense that will no longer exist is the transport voucher granted to employees by some companies.
Just take a look yourself. If you make a list and put everything on paper, you will notice that the cost reduction brought forth by assembling a remote team is quite significant.
2. A higher number of hiring options
When a company operates remotely, there are no limits for it – neither for hiring employees nor for providing services or selling products.
The result of this process? Much more options when hiring your team, after all, you can choose talents from anywhere in the country and the world.
In practice, a high quality remote team filled with results-focused professionals is guaranteed.
3. More motivated employees
And speaking of them, employees who work remotely are usually more independent, that is, they seek solutions to any difficulties or challenges, without always having to resort to their superiors.
If that wasn’t enough, having more freedom in everyday life, they manage to fit work into their routines.
The result? Employees are more focused and motivated, as they have more time to devote to their personal lives.
A happy, satisfied worker living a good life directly impacts the quality of their work and, consequently, the company’s profits.
Now that you know what a remote team is and how it works and what its advantages are, it’s time to know some ways to make this team more connected and involved in everyday life.
What does it mean to have a remote team connected?
Well, many people have doubts about what this means in practice. Because this is not just about technology and tools, it has to do with situations that need to exist.
It has to do with interaction.
The lack of interactivity between employees of a remote team can negatively impact the corporate environment – even if it is at a distance.
This is because virtual contact by itself is already something more impersonal, making it difficult in many cases to exchange informal ideas, which by themselvescontribute a lot to productive and transformative insights.
It is from this exchange that many suggestions for new products and services arise, as well as improvements to the work processes themselves.
Not to mention that having a closer relationship favors the sharing of experiences and mutual collaboration.
Therefore, when we talk about connected remote team, we mean that it is important to create actions and situations that stimulate this “connection” between team members.
And that’s exactly what we’re going to present to you now.
10 ways to keep your remote team connected
Ready to start activities that will increase and improve your remote team interaction and engagement?
So take note of this list that we have prepared and see what best suits your business.
1.Transform in-person events into virtual events
Let’s start with this super tip! But before you start wondering if this can work, we’ll let you know: it does!
And the pandemic itself proved that, do you agree?
But, let’s get down to business… What can be taken to the virtual plane?
There is no shortage of options and as we said before, everything will depend on your company’s culture and the format you want to develop this interaction.
For example, you can set up a virtual happy hour every Friday so you can your remote team can hang out together.
Set the time after work hours when everyone on the team could meet to chat, get to know each other better and socialize. Exactly as it happens in the real world.
Each one can organize themselves with their favorite drink and snacks, or even the company can do this, sending each employee a kit with snacks, drinks, gifts and even a voucher to order snacks through delivery apps. There are companies that already do this and the kit is valid for the month. Very cool, right?
Another suggestion is movie nights
And everyone’s participation starts long before: just ask everyone to give suggestions for films and after a vote, the film with the most votes will be watched at the time.
Ah, but how does this virtual cinema session work?
It’s simple, practically all streaming services have a feature that allows for collective transmission, widely used to attend parties.
How about preparing that virtual coffee break? In this case, you don’t even need anything too elaborate, just set the coffee break to call out the team for a cup of coffee while they chat in a relaxed way.
These moments are fundamental: in addition to generating connection and proximity, they allow employees to recharge their energies and return to work much more focused and willing.
A golden tip for these activities: observe the time zone issue, if the company operates in other countries as well.
In this case, the ideal would be to set up groups in different regions so that the time issue is not an impediment for everyone to participate in the proposed activities.
2. 3D meetings
Ever heard of avatar-based 3D virtual meetings?
They emerged to provide a new experience to users who need to have virtual meetings. All to prevent meetings from becoming monotonous and boring.
And how does it work?
When entering 3D meeting rooms, the user can choose movement options to animate their own avatar.
For example, if he clicks the raise hand to speak button, your figure can do the same in the virtual environment.
The interesting thing is that through these immersive platforms it is possible to add a special touch for each participant and make the meeting much more dynamic.
In the case of Zoom, the latest feature allows you to create a cartoon version of yourself on the video calling platform.
The character then mimics the user’s head movements and facial expressions to engage meeting participants.
Zoom’s main rival in space, Microsoft Teams also features 3D virtual avatars, via its Microsoft Mesh platform.
In it, the creator of Windows will use artificial intelligence to hear the user’s voice and animate the avatar from it.
The other great innovation of Microsoft Mesh is the virtual rooms. In them, users can collaborate in meetings, use work software such as PowerPoint and Excel, or even have fun through games.
3. Create game sessions
And speaking of games, did you know that you can create gaming sessions to play with your remote team?
That’s right! And if the problem is that not everyone likes the same games or uses the same platforms, you can solve it quick and easy!
Just create a document where each contributor can put their favorite games and platforms.
This makes it easier for those who like the same games and use the same platforms to find partners.
4. Make sure there’s space for light, fun conversations
You know those moments when you go to drink water or get a coffee and end up meeting a coworker and while serving yourself, there’s that light and relaxed chat?
Who says this can’t exist in the virtual world?
With them it is possible to create a chat/channel for conversations, send photos, videos…
It’s a great way for your remote team to get to know each other better, to facilitate interaction and even have those moments of relaxation with light and fun conversations.
And so you don’t have the problem of being in a group that doesn’t interest everyone, it’s possible to create channels for specific subjects, such as gastronomy, sports, music, etc.
Some channel suggestions:
1.#netflix: to share ideas about movies and series;
2.#random: for memes, gifs and other random finds from the Internet;
3.#pets and #kids: for talking about your children and pets;
4.#hobbies: for musical skills, landscaping, arts etc.
5. Encourage engaging with Slack’s games and applications
And speaking of Slack, with it you and your team can install games and applications directly from the application directory of this tool.
And what’s the advantage of that? They will make it easy for you to interact in different situations – from a space for relaxed chats, celebrating birthdays or asking questions to get to know each other better.
6. How about a book club?
This option of encouraging an exchange through literature is also very interesting.
The proposal is for everyone to suggest books to be read throughout the year. Every month or every two months, you can organize sessions for discussions about the book being worked on.
7. Bet on videos
Another very interesting way to promote closeness between employees is through short videos.
They would replace simple messages or emails and can be used at different times: to congratulate someone; for training; for sharing news/help and even helping someone with a question about something.
One suggestion is to use Loom, an application that allows you to record and share videos, bringing your remote team more together.
8. Do some brainstorming sessions
Ever heard of brainstorming?
It is a technique used to come up with ideas for problem solutions or to create new things, and it can usually be done virtually.
And the best part, in an interactive and fun way, is that it is an excellent opportunity for the team to get to know each other better while each one shares their ideas and suggestions.
9. Create a virtual office for your remote team
Did you know that it is possible to reproduce the office experience in a virtual way?
First, an employee only needs to open a video chat for any other colleague in the company to join. And so, as everyone enters, they can greet each other, talk about a specific activity, ask questions, without the formality of a meeting.
And to work, everyone must stay connected throughout the day, just like in person at the company.
10. Create a Sports League
This suggestion will delight sports lovers.
To engage your employees with like this, how about creating a fantasy sports league?
But before that, how about fantasy sports?
They started as an idea to make games more fun by letting fans play against each other with imaginary teams made up of professional players.
Also, they omit gambling restrictions in many places because they can be bet on but they are not considered gambling but like sports.
The stakes are usually low, so it’s possible to combo bets to win on both outcomes.
Nowadays, as there are many fantasy sports, in your company you will be able to get different types of leagues to please everyone.
To explore this universe, in addition to official apps, you can use ESPN and Yahoo, which host fantasy leagues for most major sports.
Did you see all these possibilities that will help you promoting engagement within your remote team?
Now that you are in the know about all these ways to keep your remote team well-connected, how about sharing this article with your project leads or other people that might like some of the ideas here?