If you manage a remote team, you know how isolating it can be — for you and your employees. Managers can help by setting the stage for everyone to get to know each other better. Start every call with something that helps team members learn about each other. For example, you might ask people to share a “song of the week” that they have enjoyed listening to. When hosting a team meeting via a conference line, open the line 10 minutes early and leave it open for 10 minutes after the call ends so that team members can chat. When remote workers travel to various sites, encourage them to hold “office hours” so teammates can stop in and say hello. It can be awkward to see people after a long break, so include a relationship-building opportunity in those early in-person meetings, and save the unstructured activities for later when people have gotten over their awkwardness. This may feel like a lot of work, but it will help your virtual workers feel more connected to their teammates and the organization.

This tip is adapted from “How Remote Workers Make Work Friends,” by Beth Schinoff, Blake E. Ashforth, and Kevin Corley

Share with cohorts