The remote working environment has become increasinglyÂ common atÂ many startups and small businesses, and even at larger established companies, as the benefits become greater and the talent pool becomesÂ larger. But with the number ofÂ remote workers steadily growing, so too are theÂ challenges ofÂ making your team feel cohesive and connected despite the distance.
As someone who oversees other remote workers, Iâ€™ve found that there are times whenÂ the team starts to feel out of touch with whatâ€™s going on atÂ the company, its goals, and its results. To ensure thatÂ every remote worker feels aÂ part of ourÂ team, Iâ€™ve learned the importance of using these strategies:
- Always keep communication lines open.Â When you work in an office, you see your co-workers every day. However, a virtual team canâ€™tÂ just bump into each other regularly. Thatâ€™s why itâ€™s vital to utilizeÂ platformsÂ where the team can chat together. At my company, we leaveÂ chat lines open through Skype and useÂ video conferencing through Google Hangouts. Even if itâ€™s just for a few minutes or involves a catch-up on life, remote workersÂ know they always have someone to look to when they yearn for that social connection.
- Use screen sharing and collaboration tools.Â While it can be easy to sit down in an office and show off your project work to date, itâ€™s a lot harder toÂ explain things to a virtual team. Tools like Join.me, TeamViewer and Skype offer screen-sharing capabilities so that I can show my team whatÂ Iâ€™m working on, or they can show me a problem that would be difficult to describe.
Murray Newlands is an entrepreneur, investor, business adviser and a contributor at Forbes.comÂ andÂ Entrepreneur.com. He is aÂ co-founder of Influence People.
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