Remote work, virtual work, work from home, work from anywhere. Whatever you call it, working from any place other than a brick-and-mortar office is transforming the way we do business and live.
At Metis, we’ve long seen the value in remote and have been doing things this way for a while. We went fully remote in 2019. Previously, we primarily had a remote workforce but maintained a physical office in Boston. We’ve been inspired by other companies, and have adopted the best practices for our employees for several years.
However, like many businesses, we’ve faced the challenge of “remote fatigue.” People are finding themselves tired of Zoom meetings, working from their home office, and more. This is believed to be contributing to “the Great Resignation,” with many people leaving jobs they used to love.
So, how can you prevent this remote fatigue from setting in? What tools can you use to help? Below, we discuss what we’ve found successful at Metis. By using these concepts, you can lower remote fatigue while offering new remote team communication strategies. Let’s jump in!
Remote Team Comm Strategy #1: Importance of 1-on-1 Meetings
While working remotely may mean less face-to-face time, it doesn’t necessarily mean less connection. One-on-one meetings between managers and their teams are vital to connecting and are very possible while remote! For managers, it means connecting on a human level with people who report to you. For the employee, it’s an opportunity to voice any concerns or struggles with their remote work environment. One-on-one meetings are shown to improve employee retention and satisfaction while encouraging a culture of honest feedback.
Some tips to keep in mind for 1-on-1 meetings include:
- Make ½ the meeting about the employee’s projects and reporting, the rest about their feelings and thoughts on personal/professional goals
- Build an agenda with some time to speak candidly about the employee’s experience
- Take advantage of the face-to-face time! Discuss goals, opportunities, and get to know each other
- Ignore topics that could be addressed in emails, and build action items for the week
Remote Team Comm Strategy #2: Remote Employee Onboarding Processes
Employee onboarding in remote teams is vital to the cohesion of the department. It helps new employees blend in with the employees who were there before going remote, while making sure they have all the necessary information to be successful and be a part of a rock-solid team. Proper remote employee onboarding creates a sense of belonging, connection, and even encourages collaboration between team members. Managers should start early -- at least 1-2 weeks before the employee’s starting date. By getting them online sooner, you are encouraging connections to the team and a chance to get into the flow of the culture.
Metis also recommends creating a digital employee handbook and company culture manual. This should include digital documentation of projects, success stories, information on accesses needed, processes, and cultural information.
Remote Team Comm Strategy #3: Mentorship in Remote Teams
Mentorship and coaching in remote teams can increase the feeling of belonging and connection, especially with newer employees. It can make everyone feel included in the work culture. Benefits include an open communication culture, active listening techniques, and consistent engagement with other team members. It encourages growth for existing employees, connections and understanding of the company culture for new employees, and more collaboration opportunities for managers.
For mentors and coaches in remote teams, there are a few things to be aware of. Keep an open dialogue with the other person, willing to be there as a point-of-contact for anything they may need. This helps you get to know them, their goals, their work techniques or philosophy, and discover what helps them grow.
Remote Team Comm Strategy #4: Increasing Employee Morale Remotely
Employee morale is vital to the success of any company, especially retention marketing in the world of remote companies. People still want to have a positive work culture, a place where they can connect and form relationships with others -- even remotely.
Some ways to increase employee morale remotely include:
- Team meetings where you share highs and lows about your week
- Host fewer and shorter meetings to reduce Zoom fatigue and boost energy
- Promote self-care for your employees and a work-life balance
- Create team-building and collaboration opportunities for non-work related events
- Embrace flexibility!
- Ask! Ask your employees what they need and how their morale can be boosted
In these times of the shifting business landscape, many people are juggling more than ever. They need more support and connection, especially to feel included in the workplace culture.
It’s OK if productivity dips a bit, or if they call into a Zoom meeting with the video off. Your employees will certainly remember tomorrow how you treat them today. Be the leader they want to work for when times are tough and when things are going well. Using our remote team communication strategies, you can find new opportunities to boost your workplace productivity and retention.
Looking for more advice on retention marketing with remote teams, or other remote employee communication options? Contact Metis today! We’re happy to partner with you.