In today's world, many people work from home. This means they have to rely on technology to get things done. For this reason, some aspects of the office environment are challenging to replicate in a virtual space.
For instance, when you work remotely, it can be hard to communicate with your colleagues. They could be in different time zones, work different hours, or work remotely from a beach in Bali. But that doesn't imply that you should abandon your collaborative efforts. Indeed, you can employ some of these suggestions to keep your remote team on the same page. So, in this article, I will give you six tips on replicating an office environment in a virtual workspace.
Start a culture of conversation
Face-to-face conversations are one of the most effective ways to create trust and build connections. This is because it allows you to see each other and connect. However, this can be a real challenge if you work remotely with a team in other parts of the world.
So, you need to make sure that you set the right expectations. If you want to collaborate effectively, you must ensure that your remote workers understand that you expect them to take the initiative and participate actively in starting a culture of conversation.
You need to set clear guidelines about how they should collaborate. For instance, set up a daily standup meeting where everyone talks about what they did that day and their ideas for the next.
The best way to accomplish this is to invest in software such as Edworking, an all-in-one remote work management program that lets you successfully manage tasks and, more importantly, conduct conversations sans the burden of paying for exorbitant subscription fees charged by other software.
Get used to video calling
It's easy to misinterpret someone's tone when writing an email or text message. Video calls are the best way to communicate with your team because they can be done anywhere. You can use video calls for meetings, sales pitches, or just chatting with someone.
Video calls are the closest thing to a real conversation you can have online. When you are using video calls, you can see the facial expressions of your colleague, which is essential to establishing trust.
With Edworking's unlimited calling feature, you can rest assured that you can make unlimited video calls with your team without worrying about the cost.
Create a coffee and donut talk time.
If you are a manager, you must ensure that you set a regular time for your remote workers to connect.
This is something you can do with Edworking. You can create an informal meeting room where you can have a quick chat or a quick brainstorming session.
You can even set a reminder email for your remote workers so that they know when they have a scheduled meeting; this will help you create a culture of openness.
In this coffee and donut talk time, you can set up a virtual room where anyone can join a video call while having coffee. This simple activity helps you and your team unwind and relax. It also allows you to catch up with your colleagues and discuss things.
One-on-one coaching is an essential part of any team. The advantage of coaching time is that it allows you to commend your remote worker and address performance issues. On the whole, you help your remote workers grow professionally.
You can set a time for each remote worker to have a one-on-one conversation with you. This will allow you to discuss their progress and challenges more deeply.
Aside from the regular coaching time, you can also ask your remote workers to coach each other on specific skills (peer-to-peer coaching). This will help them get to know each other better, learn new skills, and build their professional networks.
You should send a reminder email to your remote workers to ensure they take advantage of the coaching time.
Employee engagement is vital to your team's productivity in a traditional office or remote work setting.
Employee engagement is a company-wide program that helps your team feel inspired and valued, resulting in happier, more productive, and pleased employees.
To foster a culture of engagement, you must hold activities that acknowledge your employees. Examples of these activities are:
- Virtual Coffee Breaks - This concept is similar to the interaction in the break room. It's very informal but valuable in fostering camaraderie.
- Virtual Home Tours - Some team members might be opposed to this idea, but it's worth exploring.
- Show and Tell - It's a virtual meeting where your team can take turns showing and talking about their pet.
- A one-on-one video call with a company executive - This is a great way to motivate your team and give them a sense of belonging.
- Online pieces of training and webinars—this is a chance for your team to upskill. Ask them to select topics they want to learn about and get a resource person to conduct the webinar.
- Play multiplayer games (e.g., Call of Duty Mobile, etc.) - This is a fun way to engage your team and have a good time together.
- Provide funds to help employees improve their home office setup—ask a team to pick a member who needs something, like an ergonomic office chair—and reward the chosen team member.
- Hold monthly town hall meetings -this allows you to recognize individuals or teams for a well-done job.
- Give them the freedom to choose a work schedule - It's essential to be flexible with your remote workers because they may have different working hours.
- Create a peer-to-peer feedback system— This is an excellent opportunity for your team to gain valuable skills from their teammates.
- Provide Special Perks and benefits (e.g., free Netflix or HBO subscription, health care coverage, grocery allowance, paid time off, etc.).
- Movie Day - Let your team pick a movie and a viewing schedule.
Develop a two-way feedback system where you, your managers, and your team can both benefit. An open door is an excellent way to maintain your company's culture of transparency.
Also, two-way communication allows employees to express their concerns, ideas, and opinions, which results in higher employee satisfaction. As a consequence, you will get higher productivity and a smoother workflow.
Remote work is very different from an office environment where human interaction comes naturally. Remote work and its environment come with a different set of challenges. Thankfully, some practices that are done in an office environment can also be done in a remote work setup, albeit with a twist. All it takes is creativity, the will to implement, and some budget (e.g., for rewards and recognition).
One thing is for sure: it is possible to replicate certain parts of an office environment in a remote work setting, and this is where Edworking, as an all-in-one remote work software, can help you and your team. Get in touch with us by visiting edworking.com and see how this fantastic all-in-one remote working software can help you. Best of all, it's free to try.