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Helping Remote Colleagues Bond

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Ideas for Helping Remote Colleagues Bond

According to a survey by SmallBizTrends.com, “55% of the respondents said they worked remotely 100% of the time. There was another 28% who said they worked remotely and on-site, and another 15% stated they are mostly on-site working remotely only some of the time. The remainder 2% described their working situation as other.”

More and more companies are offering remote work options which has brought new challenges into our 21st Century workplace.  One of the most common challenges is how to build unified teams when some or all of its members are not physically present within an office environment.  Kuty Shalev, the founder of Clevertech (a New York City-based software firm) experienced this type of situation and found several creative solutions to overcome it.

Two of the most successful ideas he shared in his Harvard Business Review (HBR) article titled “Ideas for Helping Remote Colleagues Bond” are: 1) generating structured conversations around shared content (example, everyone watches a TED talk and meets via video conference to discuss it) and 2) using online games to build trust (he always chooses one for its ability to force collaboration and to place the team in scenarios that are destined to fail to help build trust and reveal how the team will handle negative pressures).

His choices are certainly odd ways to build a team, but they worked. According to Shalev, “While book clubs and gaming together may feel like they don’t belong on company time, they have given our company a sense of cohesion and retention that had been missing. Our turnover had been significantly higher than the already high average in the software industry, and our retention rate has since improved. These tactics were a critical part of driving that number down. We’ve also seen a marked increase in progress on ongoing projects – even those had been sitting on the back burner for a long time – and greater employee engagement. With these improvements, we’ve been able to set, and meet, new standards for ourselves. Coming together for non-work activities enhanced our ability to coalesce around our common goals as a company.”  You can read more about his experience by reading the HBR article here.

Credit: hbr.org

Do you have remote teams? How certain are you with regards to their trust and confidence in each other?  If you are not sure, let us help!  We work with leaders to support them in elevating their teams to higher levels of effectiveness.  Contact us to learn more about our Aepiphanni Ascend Leadership Development program.  Fill out the form below and we’ll be happy to schedule a Coffee & Consult to chat in more detail about how we can help.

Kris Cavanaugh Castro is the People Development Coach at Aepiphanni, the trusted advisor for business leaders who are seeking forward-thinking solutions to help them plan for and navigate through the challenges of business growth.  Kris has over 25 years of coaching, training and mentoring leaders to greater success; and she periodically writes about leadership development and facilitates change management conversations.

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