Encourage Frequent, Meaningful Interaction

In the first post of our series on cultivating community in remote teams, we discussed the importance of effective communication. Today, we’ll delve into the art of making virtual meetings meaningful – a critical component of building a connected remote team.

At VA Central, our goal is to foster a sense of community and belonging within our remote teams. This isn’t achieved merely through constant meetings. Rather, it’s through intentional, purposeful, and enriching meetings.

1. Clear and Consistent Communication

We know that communication is crucial in any team, but it becomes paramount when the team members are separated by geographical distance. Early on, we realised that without proper channels for interaction, confusion and frustration can run rampant. To prevent this, we focused on streamlining our communication processes and promoting regular interactions among our Virtual Assistants and the businesses they work for.

Our chosen primary hub is Trello, where we start and end our workdays. It serves as our epicentre for communication, facilitating smooth and efficient conversation. But remember, Trello is just a tool; it can still become a source of incessant notifications and chaotic conversations if not used mindfully. So, we stick to defined boundaries per day, per project, and per team member. We value the diverse ways of working that our team members embody, and so we accommodate for them.

2. Authentic Team Meetings

Do you remember those office meetings that could have easily been summarised in an email? We wanted to avoid that scenario, so we decided to rethink the concept of team meetings.

We don’t conduct unnecessary Zoom calls; we ensure that when we do have meetings, we make them count. Our team meetings are focused, efficient, and meaningful. We establish a fun, prioritised agenda and stick to it, most times ending the meeting well ahead of the anticipated time.

At times, when we’re all caught up with work-related matters but feel a need to reconnect on a personal level, we hop on a Zoom call. Our team is not a collection of robots. They are real people with real lives, and we cherish these moments of connection and vulnerability.

3. Embracing Differences

VA Central is a melting pot of diverse personalities. From the roles they play to their individual styles of working, the differences within our team are striking. But far from being a hindrance, we’ve found that these variations propel us forward.

We take the time to understand each person’s communication style, work patterns, and personal circumstances. We’ve discovered that when we value and respect these differences, it results in a deeper understanding, better collaboration, and more innovative ideas. Our team’s diversity is one of our greatest assets, and we continually strive to cherish and celebrate it.

4. More Than Just Work

Remembering the details about each person, such as their birthdays, favourite hobbies, or significant life events, might seem trivial, but it’s this level of personal connection that helps to build a strong community. These small gestures show our team members that they are seen and appreciated for who they are, not just what they do. We aim to foster a culture of respect and care, which we believe is instrumental in maintaining high morale and productivity in a remote team.

Stay tuned for our next post in this series, where we’ll delve into the importance of recognising achievements and fostering a sense of belonging in a remote team. In the meantime, we hope that these insights will help you in your journey towards building a strong, connected remote team, regardless of the distance between you.