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Boosting your remote team’s morale may be challenging, but it is possible. Great leaders work hard to keep their remote teams engaged and motivated by creating a supportive virtual workplace environment.
Managers need to consider that remote work comes with its own set of issues that might impact employee morale. You need to consider how your team members are reacting to remote work and adjust your way of communicating and motivating them.
To help you build a more unified team even if you are away from them, here are six ways to boost your remote team’s morale:
1. Communicate Often
Communication is already an integral part of every successful organization, even more so when you are working as part of a remote team. You need to increase your efforts to keep in touch and to keep the communication lines open.
Thanks to various technology-based solutions available these days, communicating with remote team members has become much easier. Connect with your team via email, Zoom, Slack, Skype or whatever online communication tool works best for you.
Share positive news that will lift your team’s spirits. Loop them into discussions that can affect their work and make them feel that you value their inputs. It’s essential that you provide open, regular communication about issues and achievements that are important to your team members.
Keep a balance between business and pleasure. Of course, it’s important to align on business priorities and to drive productivity but you should make time to ask how they are doing as well. Sometimes, showing that you care goes a long way towards boosting your team’s morale.
2. Use the Right Tools
The right online tools foster collaboration and improve efficiency of remote teams. Team members need to have the tools that will allow them to perform their tasks effectively.
Here are some of the online tools that your team can use for different tasks:
- Document Sharing – Dropbox and Google Drive are cloud-based storage tools where you and your team can easily access documents making it easier to work together on group tasks.
- Productivity – Trello and Toggl are project management tools great for monitoring team tasks.
- Virtual Workspace – Slack and Microsoft Teams are team chat apps that combine instant messaging and file sharing in one place making team collaborations more efficient.
3. Recognition is Key
It’s important to celebrate small successes with the whole team and to recognise team members who have done exceptional work. With people working remotely, it’s even more important to make employees feel that their efforts contribute to the team’s success and that it’s appreciated.
One thing to keep in mind is that recognition should be genuine. Don’t just tell members that they did a good job. Be specific in talking about their achievement and how they were able to accomplish it. Make sure to loop in the rest of the team as well or even send out a company-wide announcement if it’s a major success for the whole organization.
An organization with a culture of appreciation makes employees feel appreciated and inspired to do better. Everyone becomes more engaged and motivated which is good for high team morale.
4. Take Virtual Coffee Breaks
If you discovered the fun of virtual Zoom dates with your family and friends during quarantine, you will love virtual coffee breaks via Zoom or whatever video conferencing tool that your organization uses.
What makes virtual coffee breaks different from your regular team meetings since you will be doing it via video call as well? There’s only one rule – no work talk allowed!
It’s easy to socialize when you’re together in an office but when working remotely, you’ll have to make time for it. Set up a video call, bring your favorite snacks and just catch up as if you are in your office pantry. For 15-20 minutes, talk about your pets, what you’re busy with these days outside of work or whatever else you want to share.
A virtual coffee break or catch-up is a simple and effective way to build relationships that will make your team stronger.
5. Go on Virtual Team Buildings
Try to include team building activities into your team’s routine to keep everyone engaged.
Virtual team building activities can be quick such as a 5-minute icebreaker trivia question at the start of meetings. It’s a perfect way to keep everyone alert and positive before going into the more serious business discussion.
You can also organize a longer team building activity that will allow you to bond with your team members. It’s a great way to build mutual respect and connection which you need for your team’s continued success. Of course, it’s also fun and will help relieve the boredom and loneliness of people working by themselves at home.
Virtual team building could be games or activities that promote human interaction in a virtual work environment. Here are some team building activities that you can do to boost your remote team’s morale:
- Trivia Contest – Hold it over video conferencing and pick relatable topics to wake everyone’s competitive nature such as favourite TV shows, cartoons from your childhood or maybe even fun tidbits about people in the team.
- Two Truths and a Lie – Do it virtually over video. Each team member shares 2 truths and one lie about themselves. The rest of the team needs to guess which statements are true or false. The person who makes the most number of correct guesses wins!
- Online Games – Try Kahoot or go with the classics and play the online versions of Pictionary and charades with your team.
6. Take Real Breaks
Taking frequent breaks throughout the day is important in boosting employee morale. When your team feels re-energized after going on a break, they will become more motivated and focused on their tasks.
Make sure to encourage your team members to take regular breaks. Remind them often especially since you can’t see if they are staying in front of their laptops or computers the whole time even during lunch!
Just implement a system where people give a heads up via messenger or email that they will not be available. Make sure to respect their private time as well and try not to bother them. It’s just for a short while anyway.
You will see that people having proper rest, efficient time management and the right motivation will drive your team’s productivity.