Settling into a new environment and work pattern that's different than the norm can be very disruptive and easily impact the way we work. Being away from the office for a length of time can also impede our ability to stay connected with our colleagues and friends. Read our four tips below for engaging your remote workforce:
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Begin each day with a team check-in, but make sure to turn the camera on. Seeing the faces of our colleagues promotes a stronger connection than the sound of remote voices and blank screens. No matter how busy you all are, allow time at the start of each call to ask how everyone is, and give them time to share their own feelings and connect as people before you get down to the issues of the day.
Letting your colleagues know when you’re not available is just as important as staying connected. Using the various automatic reply functions is a transparent way of managing expectations and sharing with colleagues if you’re working a staggered workday.
It’s easy to feel isolated when working remotely and we all miss the social glue that comes from being with friends and colleagues in the office. Schedule an informal business chat channel to encourage sharing and keeping the jokes and laughs coming when we really need them.
For those colleagues who are now ‘accidental teachers’ pair them with a colleague who has a similar role so when integrating work and home deadlines becomes a challenge, people always have someone to turn to who has their back. Most people are reluctant to ask for help and they shouldn’t be!
Patrick Donovan is a 2007 graduate of the University of South Carolina. He currently resides in Charlotte, North Carolina and serves as a volunteer on the Young Alumni Council.