Staying Connected to Your Remote Team
I feel isolated from my team working remotely, how can I feel more connected?
Working remotely can lead employees to feel less connected to their colleagues, their team, and to the organization. If you live alone, or don’t have regular social contact outside of work, you may miss the casual social interactions with colleagues, partners, or customers even more. Here are some ideas to help increase a feeling of connection.
Contribute During Meetings
If you sit in video meetings not saying anything, try contributing to the meeting. You can:
Agree or disagree with a colleague’s statement (be prepared to say why)
Propose a new idea, suggestion, or perspective (be prepared to explain it)
Ask a relevant question (but genuinely want to know the answer!)
Most recommendations about engaging remote employees is written for team leaders; consider those recommendations from a team member point of view.
Have “Live” Conversations with Colleagues
Particularly if most of your one-on-one communication with work folks is written (e.g., email, Slack), make the effort to call or videochat some of the time. Hearing their voices and/or seeing their faces can help increase the sense of connection and inject more “emotion” into the conversations. It’s also an opportunity to add personal elements to the conversation (to deepen the connection and get to know each other better).
Look for Opportunities for Real-Time Collaboration
Doing a shared task together helps increase the sense of “teamness” and creates a shared memory with your collaborators. Even when a collaboration could be done asynchronously, consider adding a synchronous element (if your collaborators are willing).
Have “Connection” Conversations
Consider asking the team leader to set aside time during team meetings for conversations that enhance connection and teamness. The conversations should be structured and informative, whether personal or professional.
There are numerous ways to engagement colleagues and business partners socially, creating or deepening connection. Of course you need to know your audience to know which types of activities are most likely to engage them. Examples include:
Real-time virtual events such as book groups
Virtual synchronous, interactive classes
Disclaimer: This question and response is provided for informational purposes only, and you should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of this content. It is strongly recommended that you immediately seek legal or other professional advice if you believe you are experiencing a problem requiring professional assistance. Robin Rosenberg and Live in Their World, Inc. disclaim all liability for actions you take or fail to take based on Dear Robin content.