How do I Integrate Remote Coworkers?

Posted In: Leadership
Posted On: 3/22/2017

Jane: Welcome back to Jane Knows. I have Alex with me today and she has another great question.

Alex: Thanks Jane. If I have coworkers and they live in different states with different time zones, how do you suggest I continue that coworking relationship?

Jane: You know Alex, that is such a typical problem today because so many offices have people that are virtual instead of relocating people to have them all in the same city. You have people all across the country in different time zones all working for the same company. What I’d say is a schedule is really the most important thing to put into place. That you really want to have some continuity of when you’re meeting with people because you don’t have the informality of moving around the office and really just being able to bump into people. It becomes very important to have a regularly scheduled meeting whether it’s once a week or twice a week, or maybe even when you’re starting your company. Just so people are connected. A lot of times the issue you run into with people that are virtual is they don’t feel tied to the company. You want to do whatever you can to make sure they do feel a part of what you’re doing.

Alex: And so say we get the virtual aspect down. At what point, then, do you suggest we bring the whole team together in one location?

Jane: Well you know, personal meetings are absolutely critical. For everything you can do on Skype, email and having conference calls, there’s nothing like being with people, in-person, where you can actually sit and talk to them. What I want to do is always have a meaningful reason to bring people together.  So it isn’t just to sort of show up in the office once a month, but make sure you have a real agenda and a real purpose for people coming in. Because it takes a lot of time to travel; it takes a lot of money to travel. And people don’t want to feel like they wasted their time just so you can see their cute face in person.