As more enterprises have shifted to remote working, business owners and employees are also confronted with unique challenges in this new type of work environment. According to a 2019 State of Remote Work report, out of 2,500 remote workers as respondents, 22% claim that the biggest challenge they faced with the remote work setup was unplugging after work. The second and third biggest struggle for other remote workers are dealing with loneliness and maintaining collaboration or communication, resulting to 19% and 17%, respectively.
Looking at the statistics, the first and second remote work challenges are more on individual issues for team members, whereas the third is a problem that remote workers face as a team. While individual remote work challenges can be resolved by the employees on their own, maintaining collaboration and communication with the remote work team is something employers must pay attention to. Otherwise, failure to maintain collaboration can adversely affect your remote workers’ unity, morale, and productivity.
Why does unity matter in the workplace?
Whether your company has a remote work setup or not, unity in the workplace will always matter. When there’s unity, employees will be more open and honest in expressing their ideas, questions, concerns, and suggestions that could help your company grow. Furthermore, unity can promote stronger bonds and connections between co-workers, which is essential in creating a safe, trusting, and comfortable workplace community.
How to promote unity in remote working teams?
Now that you know the essence of promoting unity in the workplace, it’s time to start cultivating it in your remote working teams through these five creative ways below:
- Optimize team communication
Depending on your company’s industry, some businesses will divide their remote teams into even smaller groups since their job is too specific or highly technical. For example, in a handyman business, remote employees are assigned or dispatched to different locations depending on where their clients are. As a result, these workers won’t interact often, and checking their phones or laptops for communication can be a hassle due to the nature of their job.
Thus, consider investing in handyman business management software from Jobber or other business management software providers. With this tool, you and your remote workers can easily keep track of each other’s work scheduling, dispatching, invoicing, and communication needs. Instead of reviewing different communication apps from their phones or laptops, everyone can check and communicate from one software, making communication easier and faster and promoting unity.
- Set the same work practices
Staying united as a team might be complicated in a remote work setup since everyone does their job individually. Unfortunately, when each employee creates and follows their own work practice, your team could be at risk of errors and miscommunication.
To prevent errors and promote unity, you can establish shared work practices and automate some of your business tasks. For example, in your handyman business, you may provide them with a free handyman invoice template instead of letting your employees create their own invoice template from scratch. This way, your remote workers can follow a uniform format of the invoice, reducing the risk of error and promoting unity in their work output.
- Provide proper and better tools for communication
Being in a remote work setup means you and your employees will be highly dependent on your technological tools and gadgets to keep in touch with one another. To ensure regular communication is maintained and practiced, be ready to accommodate the unique communication tools that your remote workers need.
You may consult them through online surveys to determine which tool or app they prefer best for video meetings, chats, calls, and more. You may also provide them with tools they can use to communicate while working at home, such as high-quality webcams, microphones, or headsets for clear audio. This can help your remote workforce maintain a proper communication with their co-workers and establish a sense of unity and collaboration.
- Host virtual company events
Promoting unity in your remote workforce doesn’t always have to involve work. You can also consider making time for fun. Research suggests that having fun at work can boost employee relaxation and cultivate positive engagement between co-workers, which is essential in promoting unity. So, encourage your remote workforce to have fun by conducting virtual company events, such as team-building activities.
Virtual company events can help improve your remote workers’ relationships, boost morale, and improve communication. Some of the best virtual company events you can try are:
- Organizing monthly or quarterly employee recognition program
- Having biscuit or coffee breaks, wherein remote employees can have coffee together via video calls
- Exploring the world through virtual tours
- Playing virtual escape rooms
You can assign a department or a group to host the virtual event or even task some people to take charge of some of the virtual activities. This way, your employees can interact with each other as they plan and execute their ideas for the virtual event.
- Create a virtual company wellness program
Another fun and creative way to promote unity and engage your remote workers is by scheduling virtual wellness sessions. Your virtual wellness sessions may comprise activities such as:
- Yoga or meditation
- Virtual fitness classes
- Deep breathing exercises
- Water-drinking challenge
- Stress-management training
However, since every employee has different preferences, make sure to ask for their individual feedback or suggestion first. This way you’ll know what type of wellness activity they’d like to sign up for. Moreover, you may inspire them to participate by explaining the benefits and purpose of the activity, rather than obligating them to do so. As a result, your remote employees may build bonds and be united with their co-workers as they share the same interest.
The bottom line
Working remotely may have separated your employees physically, but it doesn’t mean you can’t promote unity and collaboration. Through the creative and strategic efforts mentioned above, you can encourage everyone to work on the same goals and positively impact your remote workforce’s trust and unity.