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7 Team Building Tips for Remote Managers

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies have adopted remote work arrangements. As a result, managers accustomed to office work environments have had to adapt to a new way of working.

But leadership strategies that were effective in the office might not work for remote teams. Remote and hybrid work models require a different approach to managing and team building. Teams are the backbone of how activities and projects are organized and completed in companies and organizations around the world. For experienced and novice managers overseeing teams in an office or remote setting, team building is one of the most important investments a manager can make because it encourages communication, builds trust, increases collaboration and alleviates conflict.

An online Master of Business Administration (MBA) program from Pittsburg State University can build your business knowledge and prepare you for leadership positions in several different fields.

Why Is Team Building Important?

Team building involves creating a strong team by forming dynamic connections. Traditionally, creating bonds within the group in a setting outside the office allowed the members to see each other in a different light. This standard way of team building is being reimagined since many people now work from home and need new means of socializing.

Many managers are realizing that it is possible to improve productivity and build bonds outside of the traditional workplace. With the right strategies, managers can provide a way to collaborate, emphasize communication and celebrate success. A growing body of research shows that a positive working environment, even for remote employees, leads to significant benefits for the company and its employees.

Remote Team-Building Tips

Collaboration and bonding can be difficult when a manager is physically separated from their team members. Remote employees will sometimes feel disconnected from their team members and have a sense of isolation. To foster inclusion and a sense of belonging, managers can try these seven team building tips:

  1. Demonstrate empathy. Getting to know remote employees requires managers to show more of themselves and share some personal information about topics like pets, favorite TV shows or recently read books. Letting employees know that it’s okay to check in with how they’re feeling emotionally, physically and intellectually creates a welcoming space.
  2. Create a routine. Scheduling a daily or weekly video chat to keep on track with projects allows team members to see each other face to face. This interface allows everyone to absorb visual cues and reminds them of how they fit into the big picture.
  3. Schedule virtual team-building activities. Connect team members, so they feel seen and heard. These activities can be asynchronous or real-time, depending on availability. Some remote team-building ideas are ice breaker questions, virtual lunch hour, a just-for-fun group chat, gift exchanges and leading each other in a creative DIY project.
  4. Be flexible. Adjusting strategies and offering flexible work hours allows team members to present high-quality work.
  5. Provide ways to collaborate. When team members have more than one way to collaborate, their quality of work improves. While video chats offer real-time communication, working on shared documents and replying quickly to messages, emails and phone calls can encourage feedback and collaboration.
  6. Set clear expectations. Having clear goals and expectations for employees can create a healthy work environment.
  7. Trust and encourage. Trust that employees know how to self-manage task outcomes and goals. Encourage communication if they have questions or concerns.

Next Steps

Graduates from the online Master of Business Administration (MBA) program can prepare for success in today’s business world. With practical experience for case methods and preparation in the competencies required for business executives, you can pursue a career as a financial analyst, director of business development, senior strategy manager and more.

Learn more about Pittsburg State University’s online MBA General program.

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