With remote work becoming the norm for many businesses in their efforts to maintain operations in recent months, this potentially company-saving adoption has not been without its drawbacks. Most notably, the mental health of many employees has been impacted as teams have been working together while keeping apart, in large part because the quick conversations that happen throughout the workday have largely been eliminated.
Let’s consider why this may not be what you want for your business, and how to help your team members continue to socialize amongst themselves.
What Happens When Your Employees Feel Isolated?
Here’s the thing: when your employees buy into your business, it isn’t necessarily because of a mission you’ve established or a philosophy you subscribe to—much more likely, it’s because they’ve grown attached to working with each other. The community that a business forms can be a very powerful thing. So-called “water-cooler chats'' are what generally lead to more collaborative behaviors overall.
Therefore, when your workforce is kept apart without the means or opportunity to have these casual interactions, the common theme is that they simply won’t have them.
This has led to an interesting dissonance in office workers working outside the office.
While remote work has largely been embraced as a concept, most workers want to see the office remain as a means of collaboration. The kind of interaction that a shared work environment can support leads to a litany of benefits in terms of teamwork—increased trust, improved performance, and maintained productivity.
However, without that shared work environment to encourage such interactions, these relationships become difficult to sustain.
How to Improve Remote Socialization
Fortunately, this problem can potentially be minimized considerably by using the very collaboration solutions that enabled it. Encourage your team members to chat a little more idly throughout their day via their professional tools, or perhaps investigate some tools that have popped up in response to this very problem. Many teams have taken to tools like Discord—a platform designed to make online gaming more communicative and social—to enable a means of persistent communication throughout the day.
Regardless of what is added to your business’ toolkit, the culture shift also must be in place to ensure that your team utilizes the tools at their disposal. Without this buy-in, any efforts you make may not be accepted by your workers.
While we’ll leave your company culture in your hands, Heart of Texas Network Consultants can help ensure that your team members have access to all of the tools they need to work productively, no matter if they’re in your office or cooped up at home. Find out more about what we can do to support them through our managed IT services by giving us a call at (254) 848-7100 today.