While remote working offers us plenty of flexibility and autonomy, it also brings with it a feeling of disconnection from our colleagues and the organisation itself.
Instilling a sense of community and togetherness is important wherever your people are based. It is also important that employees feel connected to the organization itself – its goals, mission, values, and news. Why does this matter? Because it helps people feel like they belong. Like they are part of something bigger. It also helps them to make sense of their work and understand how they are contributing to the direction of the company and its objectives.
The importance of being part of a team
Teams play an important role in our sense of belonging and togetherness. They provide a ready-made network for support, feedback, collaboration and socializing – both in a professional sense and in a personal one.
Teams are also proven to boost performance. According to Deloitte’s 2019 Global Human Capital Trends report, of the companies that adopt a team-based approach to leadership, as opposed to the traditional hierarchical approach, 74% have seen an improvement in performance.
Feeling part of a team is easier if you sit alongside your teammate, but it’s naturally more challenging for those who work remotely.
So how can you create a sense of togetherness and community with a remote workforce? How can you make them feel part of a team with regular contact, feedback, and support from their peers, managers and the wider business?
The answer, of course, is through technology.
Social technology: getting everyone in the same room
Of all the ways technology has changed our lives, the ability to connect and communicate with anyone, instantly and regardless of location, is perhaps one of the most lifechanging.
At its essence, the rise of social media, instant messaging, and video calls mean that we need never feel disconnected again. We have access to the world at our fingertips!
The world of work has been quick to adopt instant messaging and video calls, with platforms such as Slack and Skype, but to truly engage and connect people, workplace technology needs to mirror that in our social life. It should be familiar, fun, easy to use, mobile, and of course secure.
We know from our private lives how engaging social platforms such as Facebook can be, and how effective they are at keeping us in touch and in the loop with very little effort. This is where businesses need to catch up.
Social platforms allow employees to connect across teams, departments, and locations, fostering a culture of openness and collaboration. This helps to break down silos and ensures that information flows freely throughout the organization, but no further.
They are also a place to catch up on company news, to see what other people are working on, and to give and receive recognition, a key to motivation.
By giving workers access to all of this via the devices they choose to use, people can be connected to one another, their managers, goals, insights, and the company at large, no matter where in the world they are based.Tips for Engaging a Remote Workforce