Working remotely: how to maintain team spirit?

August 5, 2021

Since March 2020, we have been pursuing a change in our lives. We lost the precious face-to-face contact and had to get used to spending our time mainly on the web. It affected all of us. Because of the following circumstances, many companies decided to convert into working remotely, from home; But building a successful business, where the employees are affiliated with its goals requires a strong sense of team spirit. Good team bonds and connections between colleagues are essential for a satisfactory quality of life at home and work. How to keep the team united in this situation? How to maintain the team spirit? In this article, we have included some of the most useful and important tips and ideas that can help, not only during the Covid-19 outbreak, but also while working from home in general.

First and foremost:

1. Make interactive meetings a habit. 

One of the biggest problems which people face while working remotely is the lack of communication. Wouldn’t you want your employees to feel less lonely? Setting up a call once a week and using other forms of communication such as instant messenger can do and will do wonders. This will maintain the team’s spirit, remind everyone of their importance, and help to keep track of how the employees are doing. We, in WORKITNOW, use an advantage of the remote meetings every week. Everyone gets a chance to speak. We talk about what have we worked on, what happened in the following week, and (what is extremely important) how they are doing. So…

2. Ask about the well-being. 

Being deprived of real, face-to-face social contact can be tough. One question may do wonders when it comes to the well-being of employees. It makes them feel important and valuable. These days even elderly people check on their families by texting, so you are truly out of excuses! Our company uses an online messenger, where we keep in touch with each other- that way we do not ever feel disconnected or alone. Friendships in a workplace are extremely important and keep the good atmosphere up. Call, text, ask, use your camera, and- most importantly- care. 

3. Avoid deconcentrating. 

The web is a tricky place. It can absorb you whole if you let it. Keeping a healthy balance in the usage of the Internet for fun and work is crucial in the situation of remote working. It is thought that remote workers are not spending as much time as they would in the ‘physical’ work environment because of all the distractions around them, but it is not necessarily true. Employees tend to spend even more time in front of a screen because it is harder to differentiate work from home. Become friends with the ‘do not disturb’ button and plan your day. Do not organize unnecessary calls- just because it is easier to call a meeting via the Internet, does not mean you should do it multiple times a day. It disorganizes work because employees do not have influence on the date of the meeting. 

4. Resolve issues with a phone call 

First and foremost, a phone call is a lot quicker than calling a meeting. This type of communication does not take a lot of time and usually resolves issues effectively. Online messengers are prone to misunderstandings specifically when it comes to matters connected with work life. How many times have you misinterpreted your friends’ text messages and arrived late/early?

5. Ask about suggestions 

People you employ are one-of-a-kind. Each one of them has different ideas. Ask about their suggestions, make them feel important, and most important, listen to them. Try to use every opportunity to have your employees know that you think of them- look at yourself from the workers’ perspective- would you feel comfortable with this type of management? Would you feel like your opinion matters? If the answer to these questions is yes, then you should be alright! 

6. Set clear expectations

In order to maintain a healthy work-life balance, you should set your expectations and boundaries as soon as possible. Establish the best times of the day to reach you and the times of the day for you to reach your employees. You should also model behaviours when it comes to employees’ working hours such as if they should respond to any emails and messages outside of working hours. 

7. Be understanding

Everyone has a different home environment. Screaming children, VERY talkative spouses, or even the general noise of being in the computer room can all be distracting and stressful. A good manager will understand all these factors which employees cannot control. It is hard to create a normal work environment and it takes time to establish boundaries with your family. 

8. Mentor

Isolation and disorientation at times like these are not uncommon. Building connections, providing emotional support and even coaching are great strategies in helping your employees to adjust. The best managers guide their employees and understand the difference between leadership and management. This makes you trustworthy and pleasant as a mentor, not a boss. Your employees know that they can turn to you in every situation and feel safe. Mentoring requires new initiatives, help from the outside, securing the time. 

9. Provide resources

Not everyone has the money to afford a good quality computer or laptop. Many remote teams are in the need of technology, most importantly headsets with better microphones and additional, better quality webcams. These critical tools must be provided by the company. You would not want anybody to feel anxious because of the quality of their headphones found in the almost forgotten drawer. Try to save some of the budget for those who are in need. 

10. Track progress

Every employee in WORKITNOW has a work schedule that can be easily accessed by the manager. This way we avoid the confusion about given time to complete tasks and it is easier to manage it. Use the Internet and all the tools to your advantage and have your workers give you the list of the tasks and a general work schedule. Make the expectations clear and track the progress that is being made. Besides providing additional motivation for completing all the tasks, this will definitely save everyone’s time spent on unnecessary conversations and misunderstandings!

11. Socialize 

As of today, restrictions are going down, and the world is slowly coming back into its original rhythm. Maybe you should think about organizing a real-life meeting? People are thirsty for an experience and looking for any occasion to leave their household in which they have spent the last year. Take an opportunity, throw the idea, and wait for replies- we are sure that everybody will be eager about it!

Remote work has received a lot of attention because of the pandemic. Many companies decided to leave their physical offices while keeping the work up via the Internet despite everything coming back to its ‘same corners’. We, in WORKITNOW, have been working remotely ever since, and we believe that it has an astronomical number of advantages. You can work from any place in the world and still be kept up to date! Even though we keep our work on our computers, after a whole year of fighting the pandemic, we organized ‘real life’ meetings in order to socialize and meet co-workers. 

Because of our experience, we feel like we can pass the knowledge about remote working and management. We have perfected the way to plan, socialize, work, and manage. 

Now is the time to take it into your hands and to learn to be better every day! 

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