Working remotely can be hard. I’ve now been in a few positions where my team is spread out through different states and different time zones. Each time started with an amazing team meeting and retreat. But often that momentum is hard to sustain and avoid lack of motivation, productivity, and accountability.

As an organizer on the State Training Program, I’ve learned some great ways to avoid that when working remotely:

  • Communicate often and openly. One call a week is not enough to keep your team accountable and focused. Create a structure early on where you are communicating 4-5 times a week. Set up a few times a week where the whole team gets on a call, even if it’s just 15 minutes to review goals for the week. Make sure each call has a theme and clear agenda so that your team doesn’t feel like it’s a waste of time. One on one calls and peer reviews are a great way to keep things intimate in between team calls. Video chat when possible so you can remember each others beautiful faces!
  • Keep things fun and light. Find ways to make your team feel like they have a fun work environment. Whether it be setting up a March Madness bracket, writing supportive emails, or sending out funny youtube videos, it’s important to make your team feel like a team when they’re not in the same room. People are always willing to work harder when they’re working for and with their friends.
  • Be honest about your needs. When you’re not face to face with your team, it is easy to put up a front about your capacity. Your manager and teammates can only help you if you’re open about your needs. It’s okay to feel like you’re failing, that other teammates seem more comfortable than you (that’s often not the case), or that you just don’t have the help you need to accomplish your goals. Be clear about these setbacks so that your team knows how to support you.

How do you stay connected while working remotely? Share in the comments!