It’s an immense challenge to motivate a team remotely.  There are elements of management and training that prove difficult to practice when teams are dispersed geographically working from a home environment.  This year we’ve all learned to trust our colleagues a little more and this has seen some impressive results.  There are studies highlighting that employee productivity hasn’t suffered as many employees have found that they can achieve more without the distractions of office working and the daily commute.

The popularity of tele-conferencing has enabled virtual meetings to supersede physical meetings.  The best illustration of the success of this medium can be illustrated by the exponential growth of Zoom users.  In December 2019 there were 10 million daily meeting participants across the platform.  Fast forward just 4 months and this has multiplied to 300 million daily meeting members.  One could draw the conclusion that we have never been more connected.

However,  digital conversations do have their limitations.  The user numbers are impressive but it’s difficult to measure engagement during the screen time calls.  Can they really help win long term business and improves sales figures?  Are largely attended virtual meetings as successful as physical networking?  Some ROI numbers and quarterly reviews will make interesting reading in the future to determine how much impact remote working has had on the business community.

With many offices closed and a new reliance on digital communications are we in danger of overlooking employee wellness?  How happy are remote teams and how are staff coping?  There is a huge challenge surrounding employee engagement for disparate teams. One method of improving engagement and communications could be learned from our neighbours in Denmark and Norway.  The term ‘hygge’ relates to finding ” a form of everyday togetherness ” through casually meeting during the day.  This can be staged virtually by arranging regular coffee meet ups to celebrate small wins, birthdays and good news.  There shouldn’t be an agenda for these meetings with the focus being on spontaneity and celebration.

If teams can offer a forum for enjoying each others company it can promote the warmth and comfort that one finds when they’re part of a vibrant community.  The benefits would include happier team members and the opportunity to promote division between work and home life.  After a year of  extreme change and adaptation it’s important to work on improving company culture and employee wellbeing.  We’ve illustrated that business can carry on in a remote setting.   Now we could all benefit from some warmer messaging and enjoying casual interactions to see us through the short days this Winter.