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Tilak Chowdhury
Communication DGM, India BU
Published on December 11, 2020

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Ideas to emotionally connect with remote teams!

Globalization is something that we take for granted in today’s world. Egis, which is a leading global engineering and project management company, is operating on multiple countries with different cultures and at different time zones. So how do we connect emotionally with remote teams? So that in our hearts we are all working towards a common goal that helps us all be part of a greater purpose and in turn helps the company achieve its goals without compromising on its values?

Ideas to emotionally connect with remote teams

- Crédits : © Andrey Popov - AdobeStock

The geographical differences are further accentuated by the COVID where long term work from anywhere is the new norm! most companies weren’t prepared for such long term work from anywhere in such a short time. Companies are getting ready with the infrastructure for digital connectivity, but are struggling to connect emotionally, and are still trying to find the magic solution to substitute the human touch.

In this scenario, how do we ensure that we are all working together – not because we have to, but because we want to!

Here are a few ideas that might help us bond better irrespective of our distances!

  • Find a common personal goal:

Almost everyone is hooked on to Netflix today! There are some who are closet fitness enthusiasts! There might be some who love to read! Starting a fitness club on apps like Strava where everyone could contribute towards a common goal of achieving a certain number of kilometers or starting a whatsapp group that shares reviews on Netflix popular series. This will help people come together on a personal level and will connect beyond work. And it will help them find the most important thing in a team – trust.

  •   Start a virtual weekend bar:

In this world of Skype and Zoom, what stops us from having a drink together virtually? The whole team could connect on a video call once a week and have a drink together and talk about everything but work. One could come up with interesting names for the bar and there could be a contest around that too.    

  • Organize Virtual Karaoke nights:

We all miss those college days when we were young and wild. Most of us, don’t know the informal sides to us in a team. The informal side where one could sing to the Beatles or hum along a tune of Bryan Adam’s Summer of 69 and everyone could sing together, can be a great way to bond with each other.

  • Knowledge sharing sessions over Skype:

We all come from different backgrounds and companies. We all have a past. We all have experiences and skills that others in the team can benefit from.  Let us use these occasions to share these gems with others. This will help us earn respect and also help us know something more about others. It will help us reach out to someone in the team for skills I probably didn’t know existed in the team. 

  • Start a virtual hotline and FAQs:

It is rightly said that there is nothing new under the sun. What we might be facing today, might have been faced by someone else somewhere. If not, many minds when come together can solve problems more uniquely and innovatively. So, how do we create a culture of sharing questions? Most of us have grown up with the culture that we are supposed to have all the answers with us and therefore asking questions is a sign of weakness. What if we turn this concept 180 degrees? And make asking questions a way of life. What if we start appreciating the people asking the most relevant questions that help the team channelize its energies into finding answers that helps others in the future. What if these answers are made in the form of a FAQs so that anyone needing them years down the line has an access to these? As a company, how do we record these questions? Formalize them and seek answers together? And then maintain these answers and make the people asking these questions enjoy the spotlight to satiate one human basic need of recognition? It won’t cost money but it will earn the trust and comfort of your employees in the company.

Another problem most remote teams face is that they feel that they are all on their own. How do we create a system where there is someone always available to listen? Listen not to judge not to frown not to get frustrated. But to listen with the intent of being there. Show the concern that the person is not alone but is always under the aegis of the company.     

If companies and teams can undertake some or all of these initiatives, the teams will bond stronger, and will function better, fueled by the best fuel in the world – trust.   

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