Many employees are still working from home. It has become a challenge to keep teams motivated for such a long time. In addition, what happens to employees who have just started their jobs? For them the first working days and weeks are particular important to further identity with the new employer and engage with colleagues.

To integrate them well into the team, even while everyone is working remote from home, is essential. Only a successful integration leads to higher job satisfaction, increases commitment and performance levels, as well as, will determine how long the new employee will stay with the company.

Together with experts from Culture Amp our MDs Janet and Marie have discussed this issue during a round table session this week. We have summarised the most important outtakes for you.

What are the typical challenges at remote work?

  • Distractions at home.
  • Not enough face-to-face contact with managers.
  • Lack of information: Employees might be disturbed by the fact that they need to make an extra effort to locate the information they need.
  • Social isolation where they might lose the sense of belonging to the team.
  • There is no inspiring office atmosphere anymore while working from home. Many office situations are now different such as brainstorming with colleagues, overhearing your colleague acing a client call, the chat with colleagues while having a coffee together and spontaneous exchange of ideas.

Are there good practices for providing belonging and connections?

One of the hardest parts about working remotely is the loss of shared habits and rituals. Any team lead should encourage social interactions and contacts. It is a crucial part of his job and strengthen the sense of belonging to the organisation. Here are some tips from Culture Amp and DONE!:

  • Help your people stay connected to your corporate culture and to one another by finding rituals, such as digital 1:1, daily video conferences, virtual coffee breaks, cocktail / beer / office parties.
  • One of the easiest ways is to begin your team meetings with some informal talk about private matters to keep each other close.
  • Or do an activity together to start or end the day.
  • Showing others some private photos in team channels.
  • Implement Monday morning challenges for fun.
  • Share latest life-hacks with each other.
  • Find ways to celebrate milestones, birthdays and anniversaries in a virtual environment.
  • Create channels to share “good news of the day”.

How do you ensure effective (c-suite) communication in a virtual organisation?

The key to remote management and work is an open, active and transparent communication by the c-suite. Don’t wait for your employees to be the ones to start the conversation about challenges they’re facing during home office and virtual work.

Speak with one voice to your employees and therefore agree with other managers on your communication messages. Discuss your communication strategy with them, reflect, track and review your communication on a regular base to ensure that your employees really understand you and feel comfortable in the current situation.

You should also make an engagement policy, and define when the work-related communication happens, as well as which tools to use for what purposes. Have regular check-in chats, get actively in touch with your employees and discuss openly issues and urgent business topics with them.

For further support or questions, please contact our MD Marie (marie@doneberlin.com)