How to Keep the Remote Team Spirit High
More and more businesses are relying on remote teams to operate. Whether this is for financial reasons, health reasons or because they want to bring in the best talent, the trend is clear. In fact, the number of people who work from home has risen by 159% since 2009. And while there are plenty of advantages to having a remote team, it doesn’t come without its challenges.
One challenge is keeping your team’s spirits high. Working from home means you don’t get the social interaction that comes with working in the same space together. Managers need to find ways to keep their team’s spirits high so that their remote team can continue to provide their best work. With this in mind, here are a few ways managers can lift the spirits of their employees, no matter how far away they are.
Plan Fun Remote Events
One great place to start is by planning some fun remote events. Just because you aren’t in the same area doesn’t mean you can’t do fun, social things together. For example, some companies have started running virtual scavenger hunts, where teams work together to follow clues laid out online. This is a good way to not only socialize with your remote team members but to work on some team building.
Another great idea comes from the Hoppier team ― a virtual happy hour. In a virtual happy hour, you schedule a time for your remote team to video chat about topics other than work. You can send your team some drinks through the mail or have everyone pick up their favorite drink for the event. This is a good way to recreate the sense of going out for drinks with your coworkers after a long day. However, keep in mind that you may need to account for different timezones.
Have the Right Software
Nothing can lower spirits quicker than having trouble getting your work done from home. If your team can’t talk or share files effectively, it will quickly lead to frustration and poor results. If you want to improve not only the morale of your team but also boost the productivity of your remote team, you need to make sure you have the right tools.
Start by ensuring your team has a reliable way to talk. This could include chat software like Slack or video conferencing software like Zoom. Once they can talk easily, the next thing they need is a way to share files. Ideally, you should have software that allows team members to work on the same file simultaneously. There are many project management software options out there designed for remote workers so explore your options and see what works best for your situation.
Send Out Positive Announcements
Another thing that can feel like it’s missing from a remote environment is the sense of being on a team. A good way to establish this is by sending out positive announcements to the whole team whenever you can.
For example, if one of your salespeople lands a big client, send out a congratulatory message in front of the entire team. This not only demonstrates your appreciation for your team members’ efforts but tells everyone that they’re all on the same team. It can also encourage others to offer their own positive public feedback, which will hopefully have a snowball effect.
Seek and Implement Feedback
Finally, make sure you are seeking feedback from your team regularly. Set aside time to talk with each team member and see how they are feeling. Ask them what you can do as a manager to make things run more smoothly or improve team bonding.
If you don’t have time to conduct these full interviews with everyone, try sending out an employee survey. A quick survey once a month can provide you with some great insight into how your team is feeling. In addition, if you make the survey anonymous, you may get more honest feedback if something isn’t going well.
Once you get this feedback, make sure you act on it. Find ways to implement the suggestions your team makes and correct any issues they’re experiencing. This not only improves productivity but your team will appreciate having their opinions valued and listened to, boosting their morale in turn.
Keeping Remote Spirits High
Keeping the spirits of your remote team high is similar to doing it in an office. It’s all about getting your team to bond with one another, ensuring your team has what they need to work effectively, and communicating with them. Doing this remotely just means finding different ways to accomplish these tasks. Hopefully, with the tips above, you’ll be able to have a remote team that loves working for you and can continue to produce good results even though they aren’t in the same location.
Dave is a serial entrepreneur who co-founded Shortlist in 2018, a marketing un-agency that serves as an outsourced dedicated marketing team. He has also co-founded Less.churn, a churn reduction app, prior to selling it in 2018. In 2012, he quit his job to travel the world, and has visited over 65 countries.