Humans are highly social beings that depend on interaction and collaboration to thrive. Annamarie Mann, an analytics workplace expert, researched and found that people with a best friend at work are 7x more likely to engage fully in their work. To help your employees help forge healthy relationships at work and stay motivated, it's crucial to encourage them to interact with each other and promote team building activities.
"Social connection is such a basic feature of human experience that when we are deprived of it, we suffer." — Leonard Mlodinow.
While working remotely, we miss out on significant team-building opportunities. When you're miles away from your coworkers, it's not feasible to get together and collaborate.
However, there are ways for leaders to promote team building activities and help employees engage better, regardless of where their remote employees are based.
Here are three best practices to help remote teams socialize.
1. Meet in a virtual break room
It's important to nurture a team culture where employees are encouraged to socialize and engage with each other. While remote employees can't meet up in the snack room or office lounge for short breaks and small talk, they can all group together in a virtual space and socialize online in their own way.
For instance, you can create channels in Cliq for taking virtual coffee breaks with your team and host fun and interactive events in it.
At Cliq, we have dedicated channels for socializing—like #Share Moments, #Music Lovers, #Office Party Games—where employees with common interests can interact. This helps team members forge healthy relationships as well as take a break from work pressures.
2. Weekly standing meetings to keep your entire team engaged
Plan and run structured weekly meetings and encourage everyone to share the tasks they're currently working on. This can help foster a culture with shared values and open communication in your team.
These meetings can not only give a remote team a regular, low-stress time to see each other and interact, but they can also help the team leader give all team members a chance to talk about their work and show that everyone's ideas and opinions are valued.
For instance, the Cliq marketing team meets virtually every Monday to discuss our weekly work items and analyze all the completed tasks.
3. Start prioritizing more face-to-face communication
Video conferences don't just happen spontaneously but require forethought and planning.
In a study by Lifesize, 98% of respondents stated that video conferencing strengthens relationships both outside and inside the company.
Video conferencing facilitates both real-time collaboration and fun, virtual team events. When used correctly, video conferences can be an antidote for disconnected employees. They make it possible to conduct more engaging events or meetings, even if your team is spread out geographically.
Keeping your remote employees engaged and connected motivates them to strive for excellence. Effective team bonding creates a stronger rapport between employees and helps them work even better together towards a common goal. This, in turn, enhances the overall performance of the business.