When the Rest of Your Team Is in the Same Physical Location, How to Integrate Remote Workers

Studies have revealed that individuals who operate remotely are more productive than those who commute to a workplace daily. Nevertheless, working from home also presents distractions which can help to strengthen the interpersonal relationships of a team in a local environment.

How do you make it work when workers are telecommuting and can’t pop by for a quick query or coffee break like they could if they were in the office?

Communication

Honestly, this is where the discussion needs to conclude. It is essential that remote employees are given the same level of engagement and involvement as their local colleagues, and this can be achieved by having clear and consistent channels of communication. Most suggestions to invigorate remote workers centre around better sharing of information and ideas.

Having effective communication is essential to any successful working environment, and email is generally a reliable tool for this purpose. However, it may not always be sufficient for those who are working remotely. One popular solution that is widely used to bridge the gap is Slack. Slack is a messaging platform that allows for users to communicate quickly and effectively, ensuring that all team members are able to stay connected regardless of their physical location.

Despite the fact that some employees may feel the need to use a more business-like tone in their emails, Slack can be an effective tool for keeping everyone in the team up to date and engaged. It is also a great platform to share amusing GIFs and have a bit of lighthearted banter with one’s colleagues.

It is important to stay in communication with your remote developers, as the adage ‘out of sight, out of mind’ could otherwise lead to them being unaware of important changes. To ensure that your developers are kept up to date in real time, utilise your company’s messaging app or other corporate communication solutions.

Despite the growing trend of many companies adopting digital communication platforms such as instant messaging, even within small offices, this has proven to be beneficial for remote workers, yet has had a slightly negative impact on those who prefer a more social atmosphere in the workplace.

In order to ensure that all workers, regardless of their location, are kept in the loop regarding their job roles and have an opportunity to form closer professional relationships, it is essential to provide an efficient business communication system. This should enable remote and local staff to stay up-to-date with their responsibilities, while also cultivating a more relaxed atmosphere that encourages strong bonds to be formed.

To all the travelling workers: Happy birthday!

Is it customary to bring in a birthday cake for coworkers or mark significant anniversaries on the job? Do not forget about your distant employees.

Organising a cake delivery to a remote worker may not be feasible, but there are still ways to make sure they feel included in the team. Why not take the time to have regular virtual meetings, or even organise a virtual team building activity? You could also encourage team members to stay in touch with each other by setting up a dedicated chat channel or messaging group.

Sending a birthday card signed by the whole team to a remote worker is a great way to make them feel included in the workplace. Whilst it may not be as delicious as a cake, it is a meaningful gesture which will help to bridge the gap and make them feel connected to the rest of the team.

The employees will be thankful for the consideration that has been given to them, feeling more connected to the collective and reassured that they can still be part of work-related activities even when they are located remotely.

Maintain steady contact.

I did indeed tell you that effective communication is the key to resolving many of life’s issues. This is also applicable to your workforce in the local area, though it is much simpler to monitor the behaviour of people with whom you interact on a regular basis.

Despite the convenience of collaborative tools such as Slack and HipChat, it is of utmost importance for you, as the team leader, to maintain regular contact with each team member, ideally through face-to-face interactions. This allows you to gain a deeper insight into the team’s progress and morale, and to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

It is beneficial to maintain regular contact with remote workers who are located in a different city. We recommend scheduling a short video conversation for no more than five to ten minutes every other week. There is no requirement for these conversations to last any longer than necessary and we would like to ensure the remote developer does not feel overwhelmed.

Rather than simply asking if there is anything to be shared, it is worth inquiring about how things are going, whether everyone is communicating effectively and if there is anything that needs to be discussed. You may be pleasantly surprised by the impact that such a brief conversation can have.

It is essential to ensure that remote team members are not excluded from any relevant meetings. To achieve this, it is advisable to hold meetings via video chat. To ensure the meetings are successful, it is recommended to select a regular day and time for the meetings to take place, which should be convenient for all attendees. In this digital age, there is little distinction between attending a meeting in person and via video chat software such as Skype.

Rather than relying on impromptu meetings, it is beneficial to announce any unscheduled meetings by email or through a messaging tool to ensure everyone is kept informed. Doing so will help to make remote workers feel welcome and included, should they be able to join the group. It is important to make it clear to remote workers that they are not expected to be available for any meeting, unless it has been previously agreed that they are on-call at a set time.

Establish norms.

It is of paramount importance to determine the time zone that will be used for day-to-day operations. It can be difficult to keep up with the multiple time zones of a dispersed workforce, so it is suggested that all staff members agree to use the same time zone as the main office (e.g. Pacific Standard Time).

By setting clear boundaries around the sending and responding to messages and emails between staff members, we can help to reduce the risk of missed deadlines, cancelled appointments, or inappropriately late responses. It is important to discuss expectations around the timely sending and responding of messages and emails, to ensure that everyone is well-informed and able to meet the agreed deadlines.

It is imperative that remote employees understand that their work must be completed by the designated deadline. However, it is also necessary that they remain accessible to their team members between 1pm and 3pm (Eastern Time) Monday to Friday, in the event that anyone requires clarification or has questions.

It is important to inform potential participants at the outset if you do not require them to be available during normal business hours until the week before applications are due to be submitted. Although a prompt response is not always essential, it is advisable to plan ahead if there is a significant time difference between participants which makes it impossible to meet during the specified times.

It is essential to ensure that expectations of remote workers are communicated clearly and promptly. By doing so, there will be no misunderstandings or disagreements between colleagues, as this has been addressed from the outset.

Track down that telecommuter.

It is clear that achieving successful communication between remote and in-house staff is not a difficult task. It is essential to emphasize that effective communication is a fundamental factor to ensure the cohesion of a team. To ensure this, it is necessary to put in some effort and plan ahead in order to combine both remote and in-house staff in an efficient manner.

When these guidelines are followed, everything runs well; not only are telecommuting workers happier and more productive, but they also save costs.

Although these suggestions may appear basic, they are by no means insignificant. To gain further insight into the significance of creating a warm and inviting work atmosphere for remote engineers, please take a look at our booklet.

Join the Top 1% of Remote Developers and Designers

Works connects the top 1% of remote developers and designers with the leading brands and startups around the world. We focus on sophisticated, challenging tier-one projects which require highly skilled talent and problem solvers.
seasoned project manager reviewing remote software engineer's progress on software development project, hired from Works blog.join_marketplace.your_wayexperienced remote UI / UX designer working remotely at home while working on UI / UX & product design projects on Works blog.join_marketplace.freelance_jobs