- Engaging your team in a remote work environment requires more intention than the in-person office.
- The team size, culture, and leader’s attitude significantly impact whether the team is engaged.
- Using other forms of platforms such as Slack and Teams to communicate allows your team to have different ways of expressing themselves in an organized matter.
In the world of remote work, many employees struggle to connect with their team, have a work-life balance, and avoid Zoom fatigue. So how does an individual keep their team engaged? To gain more insight on keeping your team engaged in a remote work environment, we interviewed SPECTRAFORCE‘s Engagement Team, including Cheree Bernard, Samantha Kastenmeier, Danielle Cunningham, and Kiely Hagen. Below you’ll find critical factors in having a thriving remote work environment.
How has the work environment changed while working remotely?
Cheree: Before the pandemic, I worked remotely, so I had already adjusted to that process prior to my colleagues, but now all my coworkers and team members can better understand its challenges.
Samantha: When working in an office, there are many more opportunities to connect with your team and coworkers. Whether you stop by their office to chat or go to lunch in person to catch up, there are times in the day when you can socialize. However, when you’re remotely working, the interactions with your team involve more effort, such as planning video calls.
Danielle: There has been a significant shift working remotely to connect with coworkers. Adjusting to build connections with your coworkers can be more challenging when working virtually.
Kiely: Remote work poses challenges such as Zoom fatigue, but by setting up meetings virtually, they’ve become more intentional and small, allowing you to become close with a smaller group.
How do you keep meetings intentional but keep the team engaged in achieving more of a work-life balance?
Cheree: With the current world’s climate, it’s crucial to have a sense of humor and connect with your team. However, as a manager, there’s always a time and place because we have to be productive at the end of the day. Allowing your team to ask any question lets your team feel comfortable and build trust. Keeping everyone engaged is easier as long as your team has various meetings with different intentions.
Samantha: Having fun at work is essential to avoid burnout but finding a balance is key to being productive. So having specific calls for socializing and setting intentions for calls allows us to be efficient and embrace NEWJOBPHORIA. Engaging a team with fewer people is often easier because everyone feels they can have a say. In addition, the company and culture you join significantly impact your team’s engagement.
Danielle: Our team makes intentional non-work-related calls to connect. For instance, we have a morning coffee call a few times per week to disconnect from work for a few moments to avoid burnout. A great example of engaging your team is a round table to discuss ” a give, a take, and a what made you laugh this week.”
Kiely: Intentional meetings look different for every team, but at the end of the day, transparency builds trust with the team and allows you to feel engaged and connected.
Regarding engagement methods, what do you recommend doing to engage your team?
Cheree: Having a separate channel than email is vital for your team to communicate the positives and the negatives of their job and remain available. While I recommend a messaging platform, it’s key to have video calls for accessible communication and human connection with the team. If there’s a meeting that your team isn’t particularly excited about, communicating the details and the importance of the project is key.
Samantha: Having a messaging platform in the era of remote work is crucial to building connections with your team. A messaging platform like Slack and Teams allows different personalities to shine who may not feel comfortable speaking up during a call. Different communication styles can also lead to miscommunication, so video calls shouldn’t be forgotten. With that said, We are finding even some hiring managers do not hire a candidate because their communication skills aren’t present in a remote working environment.
Danielle: Sharing the benefits of a specific meeting or project can help engage your team and have a motivating manager. If you have a transparent manager who shares the details and encourages engagement, the team is more likely to be engaged.
While extra steps may need to be taken to engage a remote team, there are plenty of positives to consider, including more intentional connections. If you’re looking to find more ways to connect with your team virtually, we recommend reading our blog post, 6 Ways To Positively Build Virtual Relationships With Your Team.