By Katie Torres
Working remotely has its pros and cons.
For the last four months, I've gone between feeling liberated to work however I feel most comfortable, and feeling completely disconnected from my team.
Last week, we published a blog post about creating actively engaged employees.
One of the points in the article made mention of the fact that when companies grow, it is easy for a disconnect to be created in communication and organization.
This is especially true of companies that have employees who work remotely.
So let's talk about a few ways in which companies can guard against that disconnect from occurring:
1. Understand that company growth/having employees who work remotely does not mean that the support and accountability need to be lost.
Support and accountability happen when you have team members who are willing to work together. They don't necessarily only happen in environments where everyone is in the same room.
True, when your team meets together in the same building, it is easier to have these things. But, why?
It's because it is easier to communicate when you see someone face to face.
If communication is the key here, then we're all in luck. Communication doesn't have to stop just because there's some distance between you and your employees.
Have weekly meetings via video chat (or twice weekly meetings if you feel so inclined). Send out the memos. Get the software you need to stay organized so everyone stays in the loop.
2. Talk about the company values, and talk about them often.
Another thing that can happen as companies grow and employees spread out, is the tendency for employees to lose sight of the values that caused them to join the team in the first place.
You cannot talk about your values and goals too much.
Start off your weekly meetings with reminders of why your team does what it does. Remind your employees of the reasons they have to stay passionate about their jobs.
Put your values in a spotlight when sharing content so everyone knows who your company is, and what you stand for.
Keeping your "why" in mind will help exponentially to keep employees in the same mindset, and it will continue to build passion and active engagement.
3. Talk about the easy stuff, and the hard stuff.
If you should hit a few bumps in the road, it is okay.
What's not okay is withholding information or your concerns simply because you don't want the be the bearer of bad news.
When employees choose not to talk about their concerns or the obstacles they're facing, it results in a lack of support and lost opportunity to find solutions to their problems.
When I was feeling especially disconnected from our team last week, I didn't just stuff it down and continue on with business as usual.
I mentioned it to my team. I expressed my concerns and my frustrations, and we're now working to find solutions to make the situation better.
I was able to do this because my company has made an intentional effort to keep the doors for communication open.
We value being irrationally helpful, both to our customers and to our employees.
We talk often about our values, we make an effort to create support and accountability, and we create an environment where it's easy to discuss the areas that need improvement.
So no matter the current size of your company, keep these points at the forefront of your mind. Try it out and see what kind of improvements your business can make. Let us know how it helps.
For more helpful information, keep reading our blog (we post twice weekly) and take a look at our site. Also, if you want to be a part of a team who works to stay connected, check out our open job opportunities, and mention the blog when applying. We'd love to have more people who share this vision.