With remote work now mainstream, and virtual teams scattered throughout the neighborhood and the globe, it can be a challenge to create a cohesive work environment. Furthermore, work from home professionals can start to feel like robots when their day is devoid of the hallmarks of human connection previously experienced on-site.
That being said, there are a few tactics both managers and workers can engage in to build and sustain collaborative camaraderie – even when they can’t connect in person.
- Connect 1:1
Although working remotely comes with innumerable benefits, it can also feel isolating at times. That is why both managers and workers should carve out a few minutes a week to check in one-on-one with a colleague or employee – either verbally or via chat. Before diving into work-related content, hold space for some personal sharing, which could include (non-controversial) topics like fitness, hobbies, or pop culture.
Leaders, in particular, are responsible for setting the tone – and showing genuine interest in and listening to one’s team members as unique individuals helps to create a work environment where people feel whole and valued.
- Create working groups
Assembling working groups who have either shared functions or outcomes may seem like an obvious way to cohere a team in a virtual work environment – and it is! What may not be as obvious is making the group tangible and functional by creating a virtual group – which can be done easily via the NYNJA group function. This makes information-sharing seamless and transparent for all.
Host a (virtual) happy hour
Rare are the days that teams are all in one place, and can walk across the street to the local pub for a pint and some appetizers. However, that doesn’t mean happy hour can’t happen.
Arranging an (optional) hour or two toward the end of the work week for teams to connect in a non-work-related context is another way to generate positive vibes and give everyone a chance to blow off steam that might otherwise carry over into their weekend. Just be sure to check in with HR before endorsing the consumption of adult beverages.