Working remotely comes with a laundry list of perks (which includes the occasional “work in your pajamas” day). But one of the biggest challenges of working remotely? Feeling connected to your team.
When you’re working remotely (and the rest of your team is on the other side of the city, country, or world), it can be challenging to feel like a part of the day-to-day operations at your company.
Challenging—but not impossible.
It might seem too good to be true, but you can have the best of both worlds. It’s possible to work remotely and still feel like an integral, connected part of your team—it just takes a bit of creativity.
So how, exactly, do you make that happen? What are the top tips for working remotely without feeling isolated? How can you work remotely and still feel like you’re plugged into what’s going on at your office, with your team, and in your organization as a whole?
Connect in Real-Time
It’s easy to forget that you’re part of a team if your only interactions with them are an occasional email—that you read three hours after it was sent. And then, once you reply, it takes another few hours to get a response (if you get a response at all). With communication like that, collaboration—which is crucial to feel connected to your team—is pretty much impossible.
That’s why the most important part of staying connected when you work remotely is actually connecting—and connecting in real time.
And the best way to do connect with your team in real-time? Spike, some of the world’s best technology for working remotely.
Spike is the world’s first conversational email app that allows you to connect with your team in real-time and organizes all your conversations, messages, projects, and documents in one easy-to-manage platform. With Spike, it doesn’t matter if you’re ten minutes or 10,000 miles from your team—collaboration and staying connected is seamless (not to mention fun!).
Spike provides the real-time conversation and collaboration necessary for employees working remotely to feel truly connected to their team—which is a must when you’re working remote.
Schedule Virtual Happy Hours
The connection that exists between in-person teams definitely comes from working towards a common goal (like wrapping up a big project or hitting a major sales incentives)—but it also comes from the personal interactions that happen on the way to that goal.
Recreating those personal interactions—and forging a personal connection with other team members—can be challenging when you work remotely. The opportunities for relaxed conversation and camaraderie that happen organically in an office setting just don’t happen in remote interactions.
Which is why, if you want to feel more connected to your team, you need to make them happen.
Virtual happy hours (where team members all hop on a video chat) are one of the best ways to work remotely and to carve out time to personally connect with other team members—whether that’s to blow off steam after a tough week, catch up on what’s happening in the office, or to share exciting news.
The point is, when you work remotely, it can feel like your interactions with your team are all business, all the time—which can make it hard to feel a sense of real connection. Scheduling a virtual happy hour creates an opportunity to forge a more personal bond with your team—which can help you feel more connected, wherever it is you’re working from.
(Side note: Spike has built-in video calls on mobile devices—perfect for those virtual happy hours!)
Build an In-Person Community
If you work remotely, there are definitely steps you can take to feel more connected to your team—but eventually, you’re probably going to crave some face-to-face interaction.
Building an in-person community is an essential part of how to work remotely and still feel connected; not only will it help to fight feelings of isolation (which can definitely happen when you’re working alone!), but it can also help to spark creativity and breathe new energy into your work.
If your company has an office nearby, schedule a few days a month where you work in-office. If there’s no corporate office in your city (or if your company is 100% remote), see if there are other remote team members who work/live nearby and schedule an in-person work session.
If you’re the only team member in your corner of the world, don’t worry! Chances are, you’re not the only person in that boat—and developing an in-person community of other freelancers and remote workers, even if they don’t work directly for your organization, can be just as fulfilling and connection-building.
Not sure where to find other remote workers? Join a local coworking spot. Go to networking events. Start a Meetup group. Put together (or attend) regular events that get remote workers together to work, socialize, and connect. The more you put yourself out there, the more people you’ll meet—and the more connected you’ll feel.
Feeling disconnected can be a major downside of working remotely—but it doesn’t have to be. With these tips, you have everything you need on how to stay connected to your team, no matter how far away they might be. And the best part? You don’t have to give up your “work in your pajamas” days to do it.
So what are you waiting for? Now that you know how to feel connected, all that’s left to do is get out there and connect!
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