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How to foster in-person collaboration amongst remote work employees

How to foster in-person collaboration amongst remote work employees

Mar 1, 2023

5 mins read

Employee Experience

As companies transitioned to fully remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic out of necessity, many are continuing to maintain a remote workforce even though the height of the pandemic has waned. 

Of course, there are a few, like Twitter, for example, who have done the opposite. But not without a whole lot of pushback. Companies like Apple, Intuit, and more have actually backtracked after employees objected.

There’s solid data about the benefits of remote work. Studies show that remote work actually makes employees more productive. The flexibility of being at home or in a coworking space without the distractions of the office allows them to get more things done. 

They also show that remote work is the type of work employees want to be doing. For many employees, the time spent in the office felt unnecessary, and in some ways, simply obligatory, instead of productive. For working parents, being able to get their job done without having to worry about a commute or specific office hours without flexibility was a huge challenge, especially for mothers. 

With all its positives, remote work does present a challenge for companies when it comes to creating and fostering the camaraderie and teamwork that was more naturally accomplished in an in-office setting. With employees in an office space, meetings, events, and parties just meant finding a mutually-agreeable time and walking a few steps (or a couple of floors) from your office to wherever everyone was getting together. 

But when your remote work team is spread out around the country and the world, that becomes much more complicated. That’s where companies need to get creative and consider alternative methods build connection in their remote team members.

All-hands workweek

Many companies, like Flexspace, are hosting an all-hands workweek, where employees are brought together in one central place for a time to help them connect with their colleagues. It’s sort of the ultimate team-building event. 

And it’s not all work, by the way. Sure, it’s helpful to be sitting at a conference table with colleagues whom you typically only see on Zoom. It can be much easier to get certain tasks accomplished, so you’ll definitely want to utilize some time for getting things done.

However, ample time should be spent letting team members socialize, whether it’s through free time in the city where you’re hosting the event or planned activities. 

If your company doesn’t have an office space, a coworking space can be the perfect venue for this type of event, whether you just need a few conference rooms, or an entire event space.

Read more: How an all-hands work week can help your remote work company

Coworking benefits for employees

With an all-remote work team, consider changing the benefits you’re offering to your team. Perhaps you used to offer transportation reimbursement up to a certain amount. Instead, you might want to think about coworking space benefits, which provide your employees with the opportunity to utilize a coworking space near them for a certain amount of days each month. 

Coworking spaces offer your employees the opportunity to connect with others, whether it’s in the break room or at a desk nearby. Plus, they offer access to other resources, like conference and meeting spaces, too. 

With Flexspace, you can easily manage your coworking space budget, all in one handy place. This way, you don’t have to worry about tracking receipts and reimbursing your employees. Set a monthly budget for your team, then get one report to help you determine your next month’s budget.

Remote work leadership role

As many companies continue with a fully remote work environment, it makes sense to create a position, or transition an existing team member to this new position to help lead the important task of managing the ups and downs of this new challenge. 

Your remote work manager, or whatever title fits best, can help plan your in-person events, manage the coworking space spend and budget, as well as handle any issues that might arise specifically related to this new office environment. Managing people who now work completely outside of the office presents a whole new set of challenges. The best way to get ahead of those is to ensure you have a team member who is focused solely on resolving them quickly.