When I started my job with Witful, one of my biggest fears was that I would feel less connected to the team as a 100% remote employee. I’d never been completely remote in my previous roles, and (unpopular opinion alert) loved in in-person office environments. The banter, ambient noise, and connectedness I felt in an office setting was something I valued and worried I would miss.
Now, at about 6 months in, I can tell you: I do miss being in-person. I do. Even the not-so-great stuff, like people being frustrated or social awkwardness, helped me know what was going on with my colleagues. And I don’t mean just in terms of what needed to get done work-wise, but also how they were doing in life. And knowing how people were doing was a big part of how I managed my team. I’d know, from actually seeing how their days went, if they were overwhelmed and needed extra support, or, conversely, if there was someone who was handling things really well and seemed ready to take on a new challenge.
So, I’ve learned that in order to connect in a deeper, meaningful way as a remote worker, I need to try harder at some things that came naturally or happened on their own in an in-person environment.
Here are some of the everyday, practical ways our team stays connected on and offline at Witful:
#1 – Daily Standup. We usually spend 15 – 30 mins chatting about personal stuff before we get down to business
#2 – Sharing aspects of my personal life with the team
#3 – Weekly virtual lunches with the team (optional and moveable but when they happen, they’re great!)
#4 – Staying connected on Slack
#5 – Pushing myself to use Slack, where appropriate, to give others a sense of my true personality, sense of humor, etc.
#6 – Consistent visits in person to HQ (every other month, on average)
While I still can’t physically see how people are doing even when I practice the tips above, they have all helped me feel more connected to my colleagues. It helps that they’re all pretty great, and committed to making our virtual co-worker relationships successful as well.
If you’ve recently transitioned to a remote position, or are a seasoned at-home pro, we’d love to hear the tips and tricks you use to onboard new remote team members, stay connected to your colleagues, or manage a team virtually.