One of the main advantages of remote work is the ability to attract qualified professionals regardless of their location. Considering that close interactions with employees while working remotely are limited, solutions need to be found to maintain work quality and team spirit. The international human resources platform, Deel, has compiled recommendations on how to maintain a sense of unity and good relationships when working remotely with international teams.
According to the Ministry of Economics, citing a Eurostat study, before the Covid-19 pandemic, only 4.8% of the total employed population aged 15 to 64 worked remotely in Latvia. However, in a recent SKDS study conducted after the pandemic, it was revealed that 82% of working residents have the opportunity to work remotely.
"With the pandemic, work patterns worldwide have changed. As observed by Deel, the trend of hiring remote workers continues to grow globally, and companies and job seekers in Latvia are increasingly taking advantage of this opportunity. However, along with many benefits—such as the ability to hire the best specialists without territorial restrictions, find their dream job anywhere in the world without changing their place of residence, organize their working hours, balance work and private life, etc.—it also brings its challenges. How to maintain team spirit and bring company culture to life virtually? But in reality, it doesn't require much effort, just a bit of creativity and smart use of modern technology," says Liina Laas, Deel Expansion Manager for Central and Eastern Europe.
Collaboration and Socializing Tools
Face-to-face communication plays a significant role in creating a sense of belonging. While working remotely, teams can meet in video conferences to promote virtual interaction and help employees feel less isolated. Additionally, non-verbal communication, such as body language and facial expressions, promotes better understanding and engagement. It is also crucial to establish channels for non-work-related conversations, as this encourages sharing personal interests, strengthening informal bonds. For example, why not create a channel for discussions and recommendations about video games or movies? Or perhaps organize a weekly photo challenge, providing a visual glimpse into each other's worlds? Invaluable tools for this purpose include popular communication tools such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, GoToMeeting, BlueJeans Virtual Meetings, Slack, Basecamp, and Gather.
Shift to Cloud Services
By using collaboration tools like Figma, Google Docs, Canva, GitHub, Wiki, remote workers can add comments, feedback, and suggestions to documents and express appreciation for tasks well done. Encourage healthy relationships among team members by motivating them to leave feedback and praising good work! Highlighting progress and providing constructive feedback helps build good relationships and enhance work quality.
Discussion of Everyday Topics
While informal and friendly communication can be included in video conferences and collaboration tools, a specific social media tool might prove even more useful. For example, Deel's virtual coffee breaks tool is an excellent non-work communication channel that actively promotes employee interaction. Such tools can be a fun way to take a break from work and encourage closer communication within the team.
Regular Discussions with Employees
Allocating time for personal conversations helps align goals, solve problems, and foster a sense of belonging despite physical distance. Depending on the work environment, this can be organized in various ways. For example, plan regular individual and team meetings, discuss both work-related news and employees' personal well-being, express support and responsibility for employee welfare, enhance communication through open conversation and active listening.
Virtual Team Building Activities
Virtual team-building activities promote friendship, improve the overall atmosphere, and provide opportunities for team members to build relationships and loyalty to the company in a fun and relaxing environment. Try one of the popular activities: online games, virtual escape rooms, or themed events. Strengthen teamwork, problem-solving, and camaraderie by using puzzles and challenges, or create shared memories by encouraging off-topic conversation evenings.