Quality Over Quantity: Promoting Socialization in Remote Teams

Remote teams working in a computer

As many of us have experienced, working with remote teams has become the new normal – and with this new normal, come new challenges. Socialization and workplace culture are integral to building a cohesive team. Yet, it can be hard to incorporate socialization in the day-to-day interactions of distributed teams.

An online happy hour every two weeks may not be enough to promote cohesion among teams. And, for some, it is even harder to actively manage the organization’s culture in a remote work environment.

So how does one effectively promote socialization and encourage a positive workplace culture in remote teams? Clubnet, in collaboration with Nikolay Borisov from Ohlay, has created this quick reference list for you to help you successfully incorporate culture building in a distributed business.

Socialization is about quality over quantity

People tend to think “the more the merrier”, but in this case, intentionality is the real game-changer to make teams socialize effectively, regardless of your personal leadership style.

There are two critical points that CEOs and heads of departments need to have in mind when encouraging a positive workplace culture within a company: modeling and consistency.

Firstly, modeling a company’s values will set the premise for your employees’ actions. If a CEO expresses the importance of attending company meetings but doesn’t make an appearance, team members will see this behavior and repeat it. Leadership has to model the kind of behavior they want to see.

It is also important to acknowledge the significance of consistency when developing an organizational culture.  That is, both leadership and employees need to be committed to maintaining strong connections through intentional and consistent behaviour.  And it is important for leaders to respect team-building, and other culture building activities, and not pull team members away for work-related tasks.

With that in mind, described below are some ideas of how one can consistently promote socialization in remote teams.

1: Have a non-work space

While working in remote teams, it is entirely normal to create workspaces in which everyone can connect daily. It is important to note that workspaces aren’t a problem: they are extremely important. The problem arises when there is not a ‘non-work space’.

A non-work space can be a Teams room made for discussions unrelated to work, conversations about the daily life of the employees, world news, and even some complaints about the weather in different places.(Seeing as not everyone may be working from the same location in the city, country, or even the world).

Those rooms for conversation are a great opportunity to allow for your remote team to socialize, similar to the proverbial watercooler.

2: Gamify the tasks

Gamification is a great way of gratification, for both distributed and collocated teams. Gamifying daily tasks can be a simple way of promoting socialization within your company and showing that people can have fun during work.

How can this gamification be done? It is entirely dependent on the type of company you have and the work your teams perform.  However, we recommend you to focus first on the tiring, menial tasks.  Making those lighter and easier to deal with will likely have the largest impact.

Added bonus of gamification:  it re-enforces consistency by tackling daily tasks.

3: Always have the camera on

A bad hair day can be a tragedy for those who need to turn on the camera during a meeting. Yet, it’s an important step in building connections throughout a company.

Always having the camera on during the meetings is a great way to let people see each other’s faces. It is proven that making eye contact with another person enables a higher level of connection and trust. Also, it can allow someone to display more compassion.

Of course, it shouldn’t be mandatory to have the camera on, but your organizational culture should be encouraging your remote teams to show their faces, speak out loud and let you know their points of view.

Team members tend to leave a job when they don’t feel connected to their workplace. Being intentional about culture and connection building may just help you retain your top performers.

Each of the steps outlined here is a simple and effective way to promote socialization and build positive work culture through remote teams. You too can create a positive workplace with strong communication, better connections, and ultimately happier employees.

Want to know more about being a great leader for your company? Clubnet is here for you!

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