One of the most ironic issues faced with remote work and the digital space is that despite the focus on connecting people from all across the world into one shared platform, connecting with our virtual teams and employees is surprisingly difficult. You see, while you may get to say hi to each other on the screen, view the collective documents of a department, and talk with them through instant-messaging applications, most remote workers come to grips with the reality that they feel “isolated” from everybody else.
As a result, the absence of connection, camaraderie, and esprit de corps among virtual workplaces erodes the overall productivity and efficiency these remote work environments had long since upheld. And while some would argue intervening with personal connections and bonds is not the employer’s responsibility, we firmly believe that there’s so much management can do to foster robust professional relationships in the virtual space for their remote workers.
Prioritize Collaboration And Teamwork First
Action speaks louder than words, and while talking with people can relay good intentions and build rapport, nothing establishes stronger connections than those borne from collaboration and teamwork. Therefore, if you want to bridge the gaps of work relationships among virtual teams, you must prioritize tools that support better team-play in the long term. Plus, investing in these collaborative business instruments will also increase overall work efficiency.
- Cloud-Based Integration For Business Systems: A common issue that prevents virtual teams from connecting and clicking with each other includes the web-based platforms for work submission that don’t feature collaboration. Instead of utilizing file dumps and folders, we recommend investing in cloud-based integration for your business systems. Furthermore, if you’re willing to take things to the next level, you could also explore the possible applications of the metaverse in terms of collaborative platforms as well.
- Enable Comprehensive Progress Reviews: Although many offices have been implementing hybrid workplaces with numerous employees already working on-site and inside the building, you should also enable comprehensive progress reviews for your virtual teams. Sometimes, remote workers feel left out in the grand scheme of things when they contribute as much to the business. So, implement recurring weekly meetings that check up on progress and areas of improvement to relay a sense of belongingness to the firm.
- Establish Accessible Communication Channels: No matter where you find yourself in the business world, industries will always rely on good communication skills to push their projects forward and reach their target objectives. However, it’s not good enough to send emails and push notifications, but you also need to set up communication channels for all levels, especially virtual teams. You see, since they can’t reach out within the physical environment, it becomes all the more important for their voices to be heard.
Encourage Work-Life Balance & Team Solidarity
A common uphill battle that all virtual teams and remote employees face every day is overcoming the challenge of time management and working around the natural distractions present in their home office. And unlike the traditional office where you’re surrounded by like-minded team members exuding productive energy, you don’t have anyone else but yourself to motivate your work. So, instead of relying on individual willpower alone, organizations can also intervene by encouraging work-life balance and team solidarity.
- Host Virtual Parties And Meet-Ups: Nothing beats the late-night Friday vibes of just logging out from work and getting together with a few colleagues for some drinks, good food, and a few shenanigans. And, since we can’t realistically recreate the same mantra in today’s situation, we recommend hosting virtual parties as an alternative. There are numerous Virtual Reality experiences capable of immersing in lifelike social adventures, and it’s a great way of reinforcing strong bonds with team members.
- Recognize Hard Work And Accomplishments: On the flip side of highlighting areas of improvement and guiding virtual teams through the business process, it also helps to recognize hard work and accomplishments because it builds a healthy work culture. Your virtual teams want to feel valued for the projects they complete and the assignments they finish before deadlines, and it wouldn’t hurt to give credit where it’s deserved. Plus, it introduces a shared goal that even virtual employees can cooperate and work towards.
Create Long-Lasting Virtual Connections In The Workplace
In conclusion, despite the obvious struggles that businesses may face when connecting with their virtual teams and operating on digital platforms, it’s not impossible to accomplish. And, so as long as you’re willing to put in the effort and invest the right resources, you’ll find yourself generating long-lasting work relationships in no time.