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How To Build and Deepen Relationships With Your Remote Team

Believe it or not, your remote team is just like the one present in the office.

They need ongoing recognition and even some facetime to be productive.

Introductions are a good start, but a continuous deep connection is a must.

How do we know?

After 2 years of researching 5,000 remote employees, Google found out what makes a highly productive and successful team.

They mentioned, “what really mattered was less about who is on the team, and more about how the team worked together

How a great team worked together successfully depends on the remote team’s level of psychological safety of feeling confident to take risks, offering new ideas, and grow from errors without feeling ridiculed.

In other words, they flourish on trust.

Just how powerful is having a high-trust work environment?

Here are some eye-opening numbers from a Harvard study:

  • 74% less stress
  • 106% more energy at work
  • 50% higher productivity
  • 76% more engagement
  • 40% less burnout

So it’s worth knowing how you can build and deepen remote team relationships. Plus, if you take care of your remote team, they’ll do the same for your customers.

In this post, you’ll learn strategies to deepen remote relationships through trust-building effectively that you may have never thought of.

After finishing reading, you’ll be eager to put the strategies into action, leading to higher work performance from your remote team driving stronger growth with happier customers.

Encourage The Small Talk And Act On It

The first thing you need to know is that small-talk should be encouraged.

Social connections are powerful to create trust, even if it’s meaningless water-cooler banter.

In an office setting, it naturally happens on its own. It’s easy to casually stop by your colleague’s desk and chit-chat about their hobbies or what they did last weekend.

But for remote teams, you have to intentionally create it.

Without it, it’s easy to see your team as one-dimensional work-bots without space for comfortability to share ideas and trust to grow.

There are many ways to put five minutes aside every day to share topics other than work.

But to really deepen the relationship you have to act on those conversations to show that you’ve actively listened to them.

Here are some ways to do it:

  • Recommending a local event that might interest them.
  • Sending them a couple of movie tickets to one they’ve been dying to see.
  • Sharing photos or videos based on past conversations and asking questions to spark their curiosity.

Use The Power Of “We” 

Your words can powerfully motivate your team, express concern for them, and make them feel supported.

It’s especially true in remote teams where they most talk on Slack, Trello, or other messaging platforms.

But it can be costly if there’s miscommunication- $420,000 per year for companies less than 100 employees to be exact.

miscommunication struggle
Miscommunication is the 4th biggest struggle according to Buffer

That’s why to build relationships with deep trust using inclusive speech is key.

It means making a conscious effort to create a sense of belonging with your words. Whether an employee is remote or not, the feeling of being part of something bigger than yourself is a fundamental human need.

All it takes is using “we” language and other gender-neutral alternatives. You might hope your team gets it when you say “you guys”, but research shows it can alienate people and create dysfunction. When you implement inclusive speech, you are not putting the spotlight on just one person, but giving it to everyone.

Allow Your Team Space For Fun And Expression

You know that warm and fuzzy feeling you get when you just feel really good about someone?

It’s created by a single molecule called “oxytocin”.

But above creating a feeling of happiness, it’s also coined as the “Trust Molecule”.

When you have a space of fun in the virtual workplace, it allows a rush of it to open the gateway trust and relationship building to happen.

Even more, research has shown that by bringing your team together in a fun space, it fulfills that their need for a sense of belonging.

Here are two that have been proven to be most powerful:

Emojis

Emojis have been all over the web since 1997.

In fact, now 92% of the online community uses emojis and many successful remote teams are embracing it.

That’s because it’s not all just for fun as a study from TalkTalk Mobile found that 72 % of people 18–25 agree that they find it easier to express their emotions using emojis.

expressions and emojis

It’s even been proven that we’ve grown just as accustomed to them as in person facial expressions. Use them to set an example for your team- It will give room for expression for clearer communication and recognition on accomplishments.

Gifs and Memes

Your team can use memes and gifs just like emojis as a way of expression for a deeper connection. However, they’re best used to create laughter which plays a huge role in group bonding.

You can use always use them to lighten up these typical situations:

  • After a team member makes a good point
  • Following-up on a question.
  • Congratulating someone when they solve a problem.

To go the extra mile, surprise a team member with a gif and then send a gesture of appreciation with Thnks is a huge motivator for higher productivity and satisfaction.

Conclusion

Using these strategies now will give you a head start to build trust while deepening your remote relationships.

Just remember, if you want to see long term results like sustained productivity and engagement, consistency is the key. Trust takes time, but if you work at it every day your remote team will appreciate it and give a stronger effort in return.

What are some ways you are building your remote team relationships?