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Publication Title | Leaving the Office Behind

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LEAVING THE OFFICE BEHIND 21
Plan some face time, too (online & offline):
While you can (and should) interact with your team often using online collaboration and chat tools, you should also prioritize face-to-face time.
Schedule in-person meetings on a predictable schedule. Research shows that face time is most effective for remote or virtual teams when meetings are held predictably.4 When remote workers know they will meet with a manager in-per- son every six months, they can plan ahead for any “big” topics that are best suited for in-person discussion. And don’t always expect employees in satellite offices to travel back to the headquarters to see you. Make the effort to travel, and you’ll show that you’re committed to your team members as a leader.
Go face-to-face using video, too. Of course, you shouldn’t limit your face time with remote workers to those in-person visits. Video technology like Highfive makes one-on-ones more personal, convenient, and affordable. Nonverbal communication is essential to building strong relationships, understanding each other’s messages accurately, and getting our points across effectively.
Facial expressions, eye contact, and even posture can all point to a person’s mood, willingness to cooperate, energy level, and so on.5 When you use video conferencing regularly with remote workers, you allow everyone to share those nonverbal cues and the advantages they provide.
Get the whole team together. Your one-on-one time is important, but getting an entire team together in one location is also critical to team culture, employee retention, and open communication. Plan yearly team retreats or team-building sessions, where everyone comes together in person to re-connect.
4 http://orgsci.journal.informs.org/content/11/5/473.abstract
5 https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201206/the-ultimate-guide-body-language
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