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How to Encourage Teamwork for Remote Employees

According to Global Workplace Analytics, 4.7 million employees in the U.S. work from home at least half the week. In 2020, employers are embracing remote work options for employees more than ever before. The rise in virtual workplaces has led to teams struggling to communicate effectively, meet deadlines, and stay productive. Remote team members face feelings of isolation and disconnection from their colleagues, which can lead to a lack of motivation and less than satisfactory results. The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. So how can you encourage teamwork for remote employees?

Establish Remote Work Norms

The best way to encourage teamwork for remote employees is to establish workplace norms. While at an office everyone is scheduled to work 9-5. Remote work allows employees to work on their own time at their own pace. Establishing kickoff meetings on Mondays, bi-weekly status meetings on Wednesdays and wrap-up meetings on Friday’s promotes and creates consistent communication among team members. It creates a workspace where everyone can contribute, be heard, and feel included.

Use Communication Software

The biggest obstacle for remote workers is maintaining effective communication with their colleagues, and therefore, remote work centers around the use of technology to maintain effective communication. Technology can make a distributed team feel like they’re working in a cohesive work environment. The internet is not short of business communication platforms, including Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Chanty to name a few. These applications allow team members to message one another, create workchats, engage in video calls and conversation threads.

Set Deadlines for Team Goals

Communicating deadlines for team goals is essential for everyone to know what is expected of them and when they’re expected to deliver. An identified time frame allows team members to delegate their time better, stay on track, and curb lack of motivation. Aside from setting goals, it’s equally as important to track goal progression to see which areas require more attention and time versus others. Communicating the results among team members promotes collaboration and inclusion.

Celebrate Team Accomplishments

As a manager it’s important to celebrate the team’s success with employees. The best and most dedicated employees are those that feel they’re acknowledged and appreciated at work. Acknowledging employee success increases a team’s confidence and motivation resulting in more productive projects in the future. Celebrating success with your team can be sending a gift card for a free lunch or coffee or offering an extra vacation day. Showing appreciation for your employees is an important factor in retaining employees and keeping them engaged. After all success is best when it’s shared!

Final Thoughts

The shift to remote workplaces can create obstacles in how your team communicates. The key to success in these virtual workplaces is to establish norms, take advantage of communication software, setting clear goals and deadlines, and celebrating team accomplishments. Implementing these strategies with your team can encourage teamwork, productivity, and engagement.

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