One of the top concerns of remote workers is the lack of feeling part of a community that one normally gets in a traditional workplace. Being a remote worker doesn’t need to be a sad or lonely existence. There are plenty of ways to connect to your colleagues, even if they’re located on the other side of the country.
In most cases, companies that hire remote employees have an internal blog, messaging platform, and/or group where workers can share news and updates. To help you feel that camaraderie, we’ve compiled a list of ways for you to feel connected with your remote colleagues.
Share Your Story
This can sound a bit scary at first, but it’s what you do when you meet a new colleague anyway. When you start working for a new company remotely, type up a short blurb about yourself.
You don’t need to share your entire life story. Share the things about you that people can connect with and ask questions about. Tell the story about how you came to live in a certain city, your favorite hobby, or, if you’re brave, an embarrassing story from your past. All these stories open you up to new connections you can then start a conversation over.
Take Advantage of Group Chats
Not every company will have tons of structure around how their internal messaging platform should be used, but some companies that have plenty of remote workers will have structures in place to help everyone communicate.
If your team uses Slack, you can create chat groups based on interests and invite people to join in. They’re very easy to manage and will help everyone feel connected.
If your company does not have an internal messaging platform or they would rather you not use the messenger for socializing, you can create a private Facebook group for employees to share stories, jokes, and memes. Just remember not to let Facebook consume your working time.
Virtual Water Cooler Chats
Scheduled chats are a fantastic way to get to know other remote workers in your company. Some employers try to structure and schedule these chats for their employees, but they’re just as easy for employees to manage.
One type of scheduled chat is a one-on-one conversation. In these cases, you will be paired randomly with someone in the company and you have a 15-minute video call at a pre-set time to get to know each other.
If one-on-ones sound terrible to you, try organizing “fireside” or “water cooler” chats for the remote employees. There are several free platforms that allow many people to video call on the same feed. It’s a great way to meet several people at once.
Do remember to keep these scheduled chats to about one per week so as not to eat into your work time. We hope you can put some of these practices into use. If your company has many remote employees but not a useful way for everyone to stay in touch, get in touch with your HR department to discuss implementing some of these techniques.
If there are any techniques your company uses that we didn’t mention above, we’d love to hear about them in the comments below!