Importance of social connections for remote and hybrid teams

Everyone knows that energizing feeling after a small chat at the coffee machine. But what about those who are working from home? Having more employee-bonding moments is difficult when there are few opportunities for in-person interaction. If you have been working remotely, then you probably understand what we’re talking about.

Social connections are important for improving employee engagement

Social connections can help you stay in touch with your team, and they are the way to build with your co-workers.

Social connections are also important for everyone’s well-being and happiness too. Whether you are a remote or hybrid employee, chances are that the people around you have the power to improve your mood and your outlook on not just work but life in general. Research shows that strong social relationships can help you improve physical health by lowering both stress levels and blood pressure.

As remote employment becomes more common, companies are starting to understand the importance of their employee well-being much deeper—and there is still a lot of room for improvement in employee well-being! It is hard to be away from friends and family; why not give yourself extra support by connecting with other remote workers?

How workplace friendships increase employee engagement

According to a new study from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), employees who have workplace friends are more likely to report greater engagement with their jobs and employer and increase job satisfaction.

Workplace friendships can also lead to higher levels of employee retention. In fact, according to SHRM’s research, companies that have strong relationships between managers and employees see an average turnover rate decrease by nearly 35% than those without such relationships.

It is harder to improve team engagement when working remotely

When you are part of a hybrid team, making friends with your coworkers can be hard. You may not be able to go out for lunch or coffee every day, and you might not be able to meet up after work for happy hour—or any other event that requires both physical presence and . Daily standups or 1:1 meetings are just not enough.

There are not enough opportunities for employees to bond with their colleagues, which directly affects employee social connections with their colleagues and has a negative impact on collaborative innovation altogether.

TIP: If this is the case for your team, try scheduling video calls before meetings so everyone can connect beforehand; this will help build trust between members who rarely see each other in person!

Companies need to put more effort into employee engagement

People are social creatures and technology makes it much easier to communicate. And while technology enables the ease-of-use aspect of human communication it does not provide a reason “why?” to communicate in the first place.

Add in a work from home factor in the equation, where there are no “coffee machine small talks”, and you get a slightly isolated employee with no organic ways to have genuine conversations with their colleagues.

But the fact of the matter is that social connections are important for all employees, even regardless of their workspace location.

Social connections help employees feel valued and engaged at work, which leads to happier colleagues who stay with their companies longer.

And it is evident that in a world of “home workers”, you need to put more effort into connecting with your teammates.

The good news is that there are ways the company management can incentivize these organic conversations between colleagues in an organic way. One of the examples is using a Microsoft Teams employee engagement and awareness chatbot Intervy.

Leaders and managers alike need to recognize these important behaviour changes (work from home) and adjust accordingly by incentivizing socialization opportunities for teams themselves, and teams across departments.

Digital tools for improving social bonds for remote teams

Sure, it can be a time-consuming process to foster social connections in your team. Especially if you need to find engaging activities for remote teams. To help remove the burden, there are tools that you can easily connect with your favourite workplace communication app like Microsoft teams or Slack that will help to improve employees’ social connections for you.

If you are using Microsoft Teams, Intervy app is a virtual assistant that will engage users through gamification. To make it even better, Intervy custom content feature will help you increase awareness of company important topics. For Slack users, the Donut app will help you to connect employees even if they work in various parts of the world.

Conclusion

If you have a remote or hybrid team, it is crucial to create opportunities for your employees to engage. And while the challenge is real, there are simple ways that help employees have more of these organic bonding moments. One of these ways is to use an app like Intervy, which easily integrates with Microsoft Teams.

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