“I worried that I was missing out on something,” explained a newly-remote employee. And surveys confirm that remote workers are more likely to feel left out. Suggestions for closing the communicate gap include:
Rules of Engagement. Select, from the large pool available, communication apps (Zoom, Slack, SKYPE, etc.) and agree on: the best times to contact each other, preferences among texts, email, phone, video conferencing, and a schedule for group and one-on-one (1:1) meetings.
Accessible Materials. Make appropriate files and materials available to all team members at all times via a sharing app such as (pick one) Basecamp, Dropbox, Wrike, etc.
Periodic Video Conferences. Replace regular, onsite-meetings with (weekly or biweekly) video conferences.
Structured 1:1 Check-Ins. Schedule daily (or weekly) 1:1’s with each team member to confirm common purposes.
Virtual Water Cooler. Adopt a chat room app that allows team members to visit with anyone about anything at any time—personal news, vacations, latest movie, customer issues and whatever.
Remote Social Parties. Schedule quarterly remote social events such as: meet our pets, pizza parties, video games, vacation tips, and the like.
Face-to-Face Time. Bring the team together for discussions, planning, and/or team building at least a couple of times a year, even if some have to travel from far-away-places.
In time, most remote members will feel as “connected” as if they were in the same building.