Remote working is a great tool to help your business or company build flexibility and diversify the range of tasks you can complete. The practice also allows employees from a much wider range of backgrounds to get involved, greatly developing your choice of skills and expertise. However, it comes with challenges – mainly with engagement. A November 2017 study by the Harvard Business Review found that generally, remote workers feel left out.
Many people working from home love the independence, free to pursue other opportunities or engage in day trading as they work. With engagement crucial to many businesses, how do you get those feeling left out back in the fold?
Individual Tasks, Brought Together
One of the main problems that remote team building faces is the obvious one – logistics. Finding dates, times and schedules to fit everyone in is difficult. To that end, consider tasks that can be completed individually but require cooperation and shared knowledge for each person to reach the end result. For example, you could have outdoor hikes and treasure hunts to improve teamwork. Team members can connect remotely to help another team member reach a certain point. This allows colleagues to get to know each other in a collaborative environment. Plus, outdoors team building brings benefits, as shown by tech startups across the U.S.
Virtual Office Tours
A very fun, icebreaker led operation, but simple to implement. The requirements for virtual office tours are little more than cross-platform video communication software, enthusiasm and a bit of time. Usually opening with a tour of the central office or hub of the business – or wherever the ‘boss’ works from – team members take it in tour to give a presentation of wherever they conduct their work from. That could be a coffee shop, home office or the garden of their home. Either way, you’ll get a little insight into your colleague’s lives and help them to feel like you’ve ‘visited’ and care.
Finally, a nod to bonus and reward schemes. Whilst generic shopping vouchers are great, as is cash, consider implementing a rewards scheme that uses local knowledge and what you know about your colleagues to reward them for their good performance. A ticket to a local show or voucher for a meal at a favorite local restaurant add a much-needed personal touch and help to foster team relations, improving productivity.
Efficient and valuable work at team-level is conducted by teams that know each other, are comfortable with one another and are encouraged to work together. Remote working poses a challenge, but it can be easily overcome with a little ingenuity.