How to bond with your team when you work remotely

Technology has transformed the way we work. One of the most exciting developments over the past few years has been the increase in remote work opportunities. According to a recent study, more than 70 per cent of people around the world work away from the office at least one day a week.

If you work remotely, some of the benefits are avoiding the daily commute and the ability to focus on your work without distraction.  If you’re a working parent, the option to work remotely can be a game-changer, making it easier to work around your childcare schedule.

The major downside of working remotely is that you miss out on chances for socialization with colleagues.  This can not only get lonely, but it can affect your ability to connect with your team, and in turn, impact productivity.

So, what can you do to bond with your team and boost performance when you work remotely?  Here are a few approaches you can take to stay connected.

Visit the office for meetings

You may not be keen to make a long commute every day, but why not head to the office once a week to attend a meeting and mingle?  Carving out time to interact with coworkers face-to-face will create a bond and can help foster working relationships over the long-run.

Set up a Skype / Slack / Messenger group

You don’t necessarily want to send an email every time you have a question or comment for team members. Setting up a virtual group on Skype, Slack or whichever platform your company uses, can facilitate speedy responses.  It’s also a great way to stay in touch throughout the day.

These platforms also provide an easy way to sneak in some personal banter without necessarily interrupting workflow, which makes it a great way to get to know your coworkers a little better.  You can also do group calls or video conferencing, making it an ideal tool for remote workers communicating with other team members.

Schedule social meet ups

Not every interaction with your team has to be entirely professional.  Since you can’t necessarily tag along when your coworkers decide on a whim to go for dinner or happy hour after work, compensate by scheduling meetups during off hours.  Grab a drink, or get together for a weekend hike, or brunch.  You could also speak to management about setting up a weekend retreat once or twice a year for team-building exercises that help team members get to know each other better and learn to work together for the benefit of all.

Post by Sarah Harris

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