With so many members of the traditional workforce transitioning to remote work in the face of a global pandemic, a lot of people are navigating the ins and outs of adjusting to life as part of a remote team. This makes now a great time to show some support and appreciation to your team as they become accustomed to working remotely (or if they’ve long-since been remote).
If you’re looking for ways to do just that, you’re in the right place. We’ve compiled a list of seven ways you can show support to and demonstration your appreciation of your remote workforce.
1. Be flexible
At first, it can be stressful trying to get everyone’s schedules hammered out as people adjust to the major transitions that have resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic. Be patient as your remote workforce settles in and as they establish their own schedules around things like child care and home life constraints. It’s tempting to want to get everyone on the same schedule for your own convenience, but make sure you’re considering their needs first. Be as flexible as possible when setting schedules and scheduling meetings and it’ll go a long way toward fostering good feelings across your remote team.
2. Encourage them to stay social
Whenever it’s possible, encourage “water-cooler” talk and other simply social communications between your team members. Whether it’s through a dedicated Slack channel, a weekly 30-minute team call to touch base, or just a few minutes scheduled at the beginning of a call just to catch up, it’s important to foster a sense of belonging with your remote team that only comes from conversing about things that aren’t explicitly work related.
3. Get some facetime to just say “Thanks”
One-on-one time is important, especially during these uncertain times, so take the time to call your team and check-in with them one by one. If the team you’re managing is too large or their schedules too helter-skelter to do this, at the very least you can schedule a team call just to say thanks for all your hard work and sacrifice to make our company a success. Do it via video conferencing to really emphasize the sincerity of your appreciation.
4. Give them your undivided attention
It’s beyond tempting to multi-task when on a particularly long Zoom meeting, but resist the urge and give the speaker your undivided attention. Your team member worked hard to pull together the information they’re presenting, so treat it as if it’s the only thing currently deserving of your attention span. Actively listening goes a long way toward being supportive and showing appreciation.
5. Send a work-from-home kit
It’s almost always a good time to send a gift, especially now, when it feels like everyone we know is just out of (tangible) reach. Personalize the gifts by branding it with your company logo or other custom artwork, and then sendto everyone on your remote team. Swag.com’s work-from-home kits are a great option. You can even host an unboxing video call so that everyone can examine their goodies together and you can see the smiles on their faces when they open the thoughtful box you’ve sent.
6. Send a hand-written thank you card
If it’s not feasible to send out swag to your remote team, you can always send a hand-written thank you note instead. This will take a little more time than simply writing an email, but it’s infinitely more impactful for the recipient (and research shows that writing them is powerful for the sender, too) and does a lot for showing your gratitude for everything your remote team does.
7. Dole out praise and recognize accomplishments whenever possible
It’s important for morale to give praise whenever possible and recognize all the contributions and accomplishments of your team, and this is especially true now, with morale at an all-time low. Even if it’s not a wholly monumental accomplishment, take the time to recognize it (publicly, if possible) and celebrate it as much as possible. Little wins and big wins alike deserve recognition. And try to make sure that everyone is involved in the praise—with remote work, there’s a greater chance that someone’s contributions could be overlooked.
We’re all in this together
The best way to get through difficult times is to lean on one another, but when you’re physically distanced from everyone else, it can be difficult to accurately convey your appreciation and support for your remote team. By doing things like sending thank you cards, passing out praise, and giving your team your undivided attention, you let others know how much you care for them and their well-being and appreciate their dedication to your team.