Building Connection in a Remote Team

Today, teams are built differently. Remote work has changed the way we interact and connect with our colleagues. While team-building activities and personal moments can easily slip through the cracks of your living room couch, valuable connection isn’t off the table. With intentional effort, your remote team can feel just as connected as an in-office team. Here are some LeaderFactor tried-and-true methods of remote connection:

The Water Cooler

You don’t run into your colleagues in the hallways of your home like you would in an office building. Because of this, there may be entire departments and divisions that you only interact with in structured, formal settings. You’ll have to create those informal run-ins yourself, like with a water cooler meeting.

The Specs:

  • Regardless of position or status, anyone can ask for a water cooler.
  • You don’t have to attend every time, and you don’t have to stay the whole time.
  • They don’t have to be long, fifteen minutes will do the trick.

The Jukebox

Your organization probably uses a collaboration platform to communicate. What interests your teams? Make a space to talk about it. You could create a channel to share the music you’ve been listening to recently and call it The Jukebox. Not music fans? Share recipes or book recommendations instead.

The Specs:

  • This is a space for your colleagues to be their full selves, without judgment.
  • Interaction is expected because no one wants to engage and not be acknowledged. Comment. React. Share your thoughts. Be present.

The Virtual Elevator

It feels a little anti-climactic to leave work when all you have to do is close your laptop. Gone are the days of walking out to the parking lot with your colleagues and chatting about your evening plans. If work often bleeds into your evenings and you’re missing those connection points, build them back in with a virtual elevator meeting. 

The Specs:

  • Make it optional. This won’t work if it feels like a mandatory meeting.
  • Be flexible–some days your team will need to coordinate at the end of the day, and some days they’ll need to shoot the breeze. 
  • Don’t let the meeting drag; let this be a hard stop to your day. 

Depending on the dynamics of your organization and individual teams, these suggestions may need to be adapted. The mentality should stay the same: with intention, willingness, and a little bit of creativity, your team can recreate that missing in-office connection.

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