Inspired by Office Manager Extraordinaire, Stacy Sarno

Hello? Can you hear me now? We all remember those iconic “Can You Hear Me Now?” Verizon commercials from the 2000s. While it may not be as relevant now with 5G in places you didn’t know existed, it is increasingly important in the remote workplace. 

Gallup survey results report that only 28% of remote employees feel connected to their company’s mission, which is a record low since 2011. When employees aren’t connected to each other, it can lead to the job feeling “gig-like”, and potentially lead to less loyalty to the company, as Gallup states. 

We’ve found ways to jump these blaring WFH hurdles. We’ve got 9 strategies to stay in contact while miles apart. See if any work for your team!

How DBE Stays Connected

  1. Email Sign-on and Sign-offs: Every team member emails when they are online and offline. In addition to saying hello in the morning, we let each other know about errands or breaks away from the desk. This method helps acknowledge breaks and maintain better work/life balance.
  2. Two Weekly Scheduled Team Meetings: Not only do we run through client/project statuses, but update each other on what’s going on outside of work. The first 15 minutes of these calls are normally spent catching up with each other.
  3. One-on-One Connect Meetings: Team members will often schedule one-on-ones when working together.
  4. In-Person Lunches & Get-Togethers: Sometimes these are with the whole team. Other times, a smaller group will get together.
  5. Share What’s New: When there’s something exciting going on, we’ll share it. We’ve shared vacation pictures and even brought puppies on camera for our status calls!

Tools to Stay in Touch

  1. Kumospace: We use this free, virtual office for our Zoomraderies. Zoomraderies are our weekly non-work meetings used to get to know each other better. We use Kumospace for a specific type of Zoomraderie. A theme is chosen (i.e., “What’s your favorite comfort food?” or “What’s your favorite card game?”). Each team member changes their profile picture and name to their answer. Then, we take turns guessing who’s who via the chat. Kumospace can also be used to virtually work together in a conference room. You can screen share, chat, and even take a game break!
  2. Whiteboard: We use Microsoft Whiteboard for monthly shout-out boards, birthdays, and anniversaries. Each team member contributes on virtual sticky notes, leaving positive notes to other employees. 
  3. Skype: There are always a few impromptu meetings and chats throughout the day! It’s a quick way to get in touch with each other.
  4. Zoom: This is another great place for team meetings. We prefer Zoom for screen sharing and recording meetings. Everyone is encouraged to appear on camera.

Getting Connected and Staying Connected

Just like when old friends get together for the first time in forever, they say, “Let’s do this more often” and the thought disappears amidst the business of life,… the way to get better at staying connected takes dedication (and strategic scheduling). Yes, sometimes things pop-up, things get rescheduled, but don’t let that deter you. Keep getting back up and trying it again. It took us a while before we found our stride, but now we’re grateful for the connection we have with our team.

P.S. To answer the intro question, yes, we can hear each other now.

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Published On: 09/18/2023 / Categories: POVs & Blogs / Tags: , , /

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