Creating a team community for remote workers can replicate 'office' feel

A talent acquisition specialist has said that as remote working explodes due to COVID-19, businesses should try and create a team community or online space where employees can discuss what they usually would in the office.

Guidant Global feels this is one of the aspects needed to make remote working a success. It also advised that managers should schedule daily video meetings with their team to plan for the day ahead. As “not only does this help everyone be clear on what is expected from them, but it also ensures that employees have face-to-face contact. Video communication should be encouraged while remote working to help everyone still feel connected.”

In addition, firms must also encourage managers to look out for their team’s wellbeing. Businesses should “ensure employees are getting enough rest, exercise and the right nutrition will mean that they have the energy needed to be productive.”

Another important aspect of remote working is trust, a Gallup poll from 2019 shows that 75 per cent of employees leave their job due to their boss. This highlights how integral it is to have a strong relationship with your boss, with trust being part of this. Trust is essential for remote working, as employers must trust their staff to do their jobs whilst at home.

If they do not, they may resort to surveillance tactics or increase employee monitoring. Guidant Global thinks these moves could prove to be more damaging than useful to businesses.

Charlotte Woodward, director of people services at Guidant Global, said:

 At Guidant Global, the health and wellbeing of our people has always come first, and now, more than ever, it’s vital that employees have access to support and feel trusted. Just because the team aren’t physically together right now, doesn’t mean that communication should reduce. There must still be regular and face-to-face contact through video platforms such as Skype or Zoom.

It’s also important that employees still feel connected and part of a team. To keep the team spirit strong, managers should schedule morning video chats, not just to discuss business but to also have general conversations which would have occurred at the office.

One of the most important elements for making remote working a success is trust. Home environments for each individual will differ greatly, with many employees juggling care responsibilities with work. Managers should be aware of this, and offer their people flexibility and autonomy to complete tasks. Setting clear objectives, and ensuring employees have the facilities and guidance needed to meet these, will be the best way of ensuring productivity.

Going forward, remote working should be a practice that businesses should seriously consider. Not only does it allow companies to be more inclusive and diverse, but it also gives employees more work-life balance. In the long run, putting your people first, and building a positive company culture based on trust will create a happier and more productive workforce.