Home working is here to stay. Before the pandemic, flexible and remote working opportunities were fairly limited. But since we were forced into home working, many more companies have realized how great it is for staff retention, productivity, and even for saving money on office space and supplies.
But while home working has many positives, it can be hard to boost team spirit and morale and to create good relationships with and between employees. This can start to affect mood and quality of work quickly.
Fortunately, many of the ways that we boost team spirit in the office can be adapted for remote workers. Here’s a look at some of the best.
1. Stay Connected.
The main reason why team spirit suffers when we work from home is that we don’t see each other day to day. It can be hard to feel part of a team when you don’t have daily contact with the other members. Staying connected with regular remote team meetings and not just one on one chats, or emails, is the best way to promote a feeling of teamwork. Encourage your employees to video chat without you too.
Some teams find that once-a-day briefings are effective, either morning or afternoon, whereas others prefer less frequent or more spontaneous meetings. Find what works for you.
2. Find Fun Ways to Communicate.
Emails, shared applications like Trello, and video chats are essential for working as a team remotely. But if you want to create a real sense of camaraderie which is crucial for good team spirit, you need to introduce a little fun.
Start playing simple games like Words with Friends or multiplayer online games like Fortnite with your team, and even create leagues and tables. You’ll still be communicating, but you’ll also be having fun. You can even use a simple yet useful online tool like this to give yourself an edge.
3. Encourage Social Activities.
If your remote team all live within commutable distance to the office, you should make the effort to arrange social events outside of the working day. Some of your team will never meet if they all work remotely, and while online relationships count, there’s nothing better than getting together for a meal to get to know each other and build friendships.
If you want, you could even designate a morale officer or team rep to organize events, both with and without your presence.
4. Recognize Hard Work.
In an office environment, it’s easy to say well done at the end of a long day or to thank someone for going the extra mile on a task. When your workers are remote it can be harder to spot how hard they are working, and easy to forget to reach out with recognition.
Make this a priority. Make sure you know how much effort your staff is putting in and encourage them to praise each other. If you spot something great, reach out and say thank you and well done. It can mean a lot.
5. Celebrate Occasions.
In the office, you might share a cake for someone’s birthday, or drinks if someone was moving on. These are things that show that you care about your staff and help bonds form. Most remote workers miss out on these small but important gestures.
If you can, arrange a social event to celebrate occasions or particular successes, and when this isn’t possible, at least make sure to mention it in your team meeting and send a card and flowers.
6. Encourage Proper Breaks.
Remote workers are often guilty of eating at their desks to get more done. But this isn’t good for morale, and so it is bad for team spirit. Encourage them to take a proper break, and to get some time away from screens to refresh and recharge.
Boosting team spirit can help your staff to work better as a team, even when they are apart. It can boost morale and productivity and help to make your business a great place to work.