Because of the current pandemic, most of us were forced to work from home, and this entire situation makes us feel isolated and left out of our normal social life.
However, people who have worked remotely before would confirm that they often felt alienated and left out from the life of the company because of poor communication.
Harvard’s 2017 study of 1100 remote workers confirms this statement, saying that nearly half of the respondents (46%) confirmed the necessity of remote socializing.
This might not come clear to many managers, who have remote workers in their teams, but investing time and effort in remote socializing is the prerequisite for your entire team’s successful work.
Besides, if a similar situation with a pandemic happens again in the future, your team will continue working effectively because they will already know how to correctly communicate with each other remotely.
What are other reasons why remote socializing is important for your team?
Let’s take a look.
1. Remote Socializing Helps Build Meaningful Relationships
Once the pandemic ends, most of us will be able to return to our offices, but there is a chance that remote workers, who have already been suffering from the lack of socialization, will continue being isolated from other employees.
According to the 2019 study by Walden University, 95% of workers who come to work remotely for a company already expect they will be ignored and won’t be socializing with the in-office teams.
Moreover, 57% of respondents also said that they don’t usually get a chance to establish meaningful relationships with other team members because of the lack of awareness and recognition of them as a part of the team.
Nevertheless, the overwhelming majority of the participants also confirmed they are open to remote socializing because they want to build meaningful relationships with others inside of the company to be able to understand each other better.
Thus, as the world shifts towards remote work, there is a big chance your entire team will go remote one day. Introducing remote socializing opportunities early on will help keep your team united and allow your employees to maintain good relationships with one another.
2. Your Employees Become More Productive
Remote socializing, just like any kind of networking with peers, helps us be more productive.
While remote socializing doesn’t have a direct impact on productivity, but it greatly benefits work-life balance and increases tolerance to stress.
This impact was discovered a long time ago, and in 2008, Dr. Pentland from MIT confirmed the necessity of remote socializing to help integrate remote workers into teams and make your staff more productive.
To test and prove this theory, he used a device that recorded how much every team member interacted during the telephone conference.
People didn’t pay attention to it, but when they became aware of it encouraged them to communicate even more. Remote workers, who participated in this conference, got noticed more, and the discussion became more productive and engaging.
Indeed, when left unrecognized, the engagement level of remote workers drops significantly. Peter Nolan, a researcher and a writer at SupremeDissertations, shares the results of their company research, which showed that the productivity of the entire remote team dropped by almost 50% during days when employees didn’t socialize with each other.
There is a valid point that remote socializing can actually distract workers from doing their job. However, the complete absence of remote socializing can disrupt the work of your entire staff because they don’t know how to communicate effectively with each other.
So, make sure you help your employees carry out productive conversations, allowing them to socialize in virtual meeting rooms to get to know each other better.
3. Remote Socializing Helps Build Inclusive Organizational Culture
Creating an opportunity for remote socializing in your company is a big step towards building an inclusive organizational culture.
Committing to it will bring you a myriad of benefits, including:
● more active and open-minded employees
● a diversity of ideas
● more flexibility
● valuable skills and insights
In joint research by ClassyEssay and TopEssayWriting, the companies took 6 months to build a more inclusive culture, switching half of their employees to remote work. One of the biggest achievements was the increase in productivity by 40%, and both companies accredited it to the effective remote socializing.
The goal of an inclusive corporate culture is to increase tolerance, engagement, and loyalty within teams. As remote working gets more and more popular, your team will most likely include both in-house and remote workers, who shouldn’t be left out of your company culture.
So, if it’s not possible to invite your remote workers to office parties and other company events right now, make sure you organize virtual meeting rooms or other similar opportunities to help your employees stay in touch.
Tip: Don’t Force Remote Socializing, Encourage It
As we’ve discussed the benefits of remote socializing, let’s take a look at how you should actually execute it.
When it comes to remote socializing, there is a golden rule – encourage it, but don’t force it.
If you force all your employees to commit to remote socializing, it might have an opposite effect. Your employees might feel frustrated or even pushed to a decision to leave your company altogether.
However, when encouraged but not imposed, remote socialization helps:
● make your employees appreciate each other’s help more
● facilitate a corporate culture built on respect
● encourage people to stay in your company because of the loyal relationships they have with other employees
Another tip is to keep remote socializing structured to make sure that it doesn’t waste anyone’s time. For instance, you can create events like virtual workshops, where all your employees can get together to learn and communicate.
Over to You
Building the corporate culture that promotes remote socializing takes time. However, it is a necessary prerequisite in this fast-changing world, which helps build skills necessary for effective communication at the workplace.
So, even though you might only have a part of your employees working remotely right now, you should still include opportunities for remote socializing to make them feel a part of the team and the corporate culture, and be more productive in general.