Working remotely certainly has its perks — a private office space, fewer distractions, and more flexibility when it comes to working hours. More U.S. employees are working remotely and for longer periods, according to a 2017 Gallup report that surveyed more than 15,000 adults. There are, however, unique challenges that remote employees face that can leave them feeling isolated from their in-office colleagues.
It can be difficult for remote employees to feel like they are part of the team culture when they are physically removed from the day-to-day operations of the office. Here are some steps remote employees can take to remain connected to their team and the culture of their organization.
1. Schedule More One-on-One Time
Putting time on your calendar for you and your manager to connect one-on-one might already be a mandatory part of your schedule. But when you’re working remotely, consider doing the same with other colleagues in your department or on your team who you would like to sync with on a more personal level outside of email. It might not be a cup of a coffee, but a quick call will go a long way in ensuring you are both on the same page and are connected.
2. Use Video
Just as you may already do in your personal life to connect with and keep in touch with friends and family, employ those similar tactics with colleagues. Whether it’s FaceTime, Skype, or video conferencing on Google Hangouts, get in the habit of using more video in your interactions with your team. Even if it’s virtual, it’s still face time.
3. Know Your Team
No matter how big or small your company may be, it’s not a bad idea to get to know members outside your team who may be visiting your city for either business or leisure purposes. Ask to set aside time to meet up with them for coffee, lunch, or a drink to get to know them better (and in-person). You’ll be able to get a fuller picture of the team culture from members outside your immediate department.