The traditional office environment has become too stuffy and rigid for some of today’s employees, which is why businesses create new workspaces. No, they don’t buy new office chairs or install cool new art pieces. Rather, companies let their employees work outside the office.
These remote teams are now in control of their work environment, spurring greater productivity and creativity. There’s just one downside: it’s more challenging to boost employee morale when the workers aren’t in one place. Managers have reduced flexibility to initiate activities that keep spirits up.
So, here are four ways you can boost the morale of your team, even if they’re miles away from the office.
Establish Regular Feedback Sessions
Professional growth is an integral part of employee satisfaction. Just because your accountants are in Detroit and your SEO consultants are in Utah doesn’t mean they don’t want feedback from the headquarters.
As such, regular feedback sessions are critical in keeping remote teams motivated. This openness is highly appreciated as they learn the skills they need to improve. To workers, feedback is a sign the company cares about their professional growth and that there’s something bigger in store for them.
Similarly, asking for their feedback on processes (especially those involving the remote team) boosts their morale. They provide a fresh perspective on operations and offer solutions. If an employee is involved in decision-making, it increases their sense of belongingness in the company.
Go Beyond Text-Based Communication
Remote teams often use emails and chat channels to communicate. Still, these can cause a high level of stress, even if employees spend only a limited amount of time perusing messages. An article published in the Harvard Business Review illustrates why: each time an employee answers an email with a “yes,” he or she gets more work.
So try to bring some conversations out of the text thread. Visual channels, like video calls, soften the somber atmosphere of the virtual workplace and enable you to establish a relationship between the members of your team. They allow for casual communication and break the monotony of black and white text.
Make the Virtual Space Fun
Who says you can’t play team-building games when you’re in different states? Some gaming platforms like Kahoot and Steam enable members of the remote team to play with one another and build rapport. You can find online quizzes where employees can best each other or hold a photo contest where they can be freely creative.
As a bonus, the company can give away prizes or incentives. Moreover, your chat threads don’t have to always be about work. Just like in a traditional office setting, workers need to take their minds off work for a couple of minutes, just to refresh the mind.
So, create a separate Slack channel or chat thread that’s purely for non-work topics. This is your virtual water cooler: here, people can talk about Netflix, the latest baseball game, or the celebrity of the moment. It establishes a relationship outside the professional sphere.
This makes them feel more like friends than officemates. And this friendship can go a long way in boosting morale.
Team morale is just as crucial to remote employees as it is to traditional office workers. Follow these guidelines, and you’ll be able to keep the spirits up until your next face-to-face interaction.