The last 15 months have been rough with the spread of the virus and lockdowns. However, now, things are returning to normal with people returning to work. Countries are reopening tourism, and industries have revived their engines. We have finally adjusted to the Coronavirus infected world!
Well, while this indicates a positive change, it has one revolutionary consequence; the split of the workforce into in-house employees and remote workers. To maintain safety, companies have divided their employees into two groups. Now, some employees will work at the office while others will work from their homes.
According to a 2020 research, approximately 4.7 million people are working remotely in the US alone. Well, you can estimate the remote workers’ influx globally. Perhaps, the greatest benefit that comes with this employee split is better safety against the virus and access to more talented work force present in various regions.
You can choose the best of niche-experts and specialists from around the globe for your remote team. Meanwhile, the in-house team can take things further in terms of management and plan execution. However, there are some cons too. And the biggest one is the lack of communication between your in-house and remote team.
The presence of this gap signifies a decline in work performance and inefficient results. Fortunately, we identify this as a prominent concern for team leaders, project managers, and company owners. Hence, here are some comprehensive and useful tips on how to bridge this gap between remote and in-office employees.
How to bring your remote and in-office employees together
Increase your involvement
If you wish to initiate a change, it has to begin from you. Being a leader, it is your ethical and moral duty to initiate building the bridge between your in-office and remote employees. And we mean that in practical terms.
Issuing a work plan and collaboration plan to both sets of your employees might be of little to no use. The air of hesitation and awkwardness will lead all your employees into a state of mess. For this very reason, you ought to begin and significantly participate in bringing the two together.
You can do so by checking up on your remote employees as much as you check up on your in-office employees. Ring them up, check how they’re doing on work and if they are well. It will help your remote employees feel included and a part of the team. Thus, encouraging them to do better at their job. Cater to the problems of both in-house and remote employees and bring them up close together by eventually assigning mini tasks such as checking up on each other to employees themselves. Remember, if you set an example, the employees will follow you.
Conduct team building activities
At times, your participation in work-related tasks might not be enough for building a long-lasting trust between your employees. It might just dissipate away as soon as you sign off. For this very reason, you need to make use of the team building activities so that your team can befriend one another.
Primarily, team building refers to the act of conducting activities that brings a work team closer together. It incites the birth of unity and trust amongst the employees, encouraging them to communicate, collaborate, and perform better.
These activities may include trivia and quizzes that help employees get to know each other better. Or perhaps, a virtual dance party or occasional pizza parties and lunches at the office. Alternatively, you can even arrange weekly gaming sessions involving virtual board games or drawing sessions. In these, your team will be subconsciously sharing information about each other that will help them develop better communication. Also, it will eradicate the feelings of hesitation, anxiety, and fear while communicating with each other.
Expand communication sources
As communication is a prominent concern, it is of immense importance to resolve it in all ways possible. And an effective method to do so is to expand the communication ways between your in-office and remote team. In the present timed, relying on traditional applications, such as Skype, is not sufficient. Hence, you need to conduct research and introduce remote team dedicated applications to your workforce.
For example, Slack is an outstanding team chat app. A majority of remote teams and companies use it as virtual headquarters. They exchange notes, brainstorm ideas, and whatnot.
Another effective method to bridge the gap is to conduct frequent video calls and conferences. There are plenty of video call solutions available today, such as Zoom.
Schedule Office Visits
To get your team familiar with one another, schedule weekly or monthly meetings. Invite remote workers on-site and provide your team with a chance to get to know each other in person. It will help them co-ordinate and understand each online way much better. At times, chat replies can sound rude without being intended to, and this can create boundaries. Knowing teammates in person will help eliminate such unnecessary conflicts.
Similarly, in case you have all of your employees both in-office and remote ones located in the same city, you can schedule weekly or monthly get together as well. Just make sure you take all necessary measures regarding safety and protection against the virus.