The COVID era quickly made remote teams commonplace. But not as quick to happen was the growth in our ability to manage and motivate these remote teams.

Get up to speed with the four mission-critical tips for remote team leading shared in this month’s Manager’s Minute.

If your company is like the rest of the world, some employees might not be in an office. In fact, today 42 percent of the workforce are working from home. That can cause team building, morale, and performance issues that are easy to avoid if you understand some core principles of managing people.

Here are four remote team-building tips to help you identify things you should be doing as a leader.

1. Keep Work & Team Building Separate

Many businesses are utilizing organizational tools such as Slack to keep remote employees updated on different aspects of projects. While these tools could be used for team-building exercises, you must understand that project information can easily become co-mingled with and lost in the team-building conversations.

In a nutshell: Keep general or random conversations separate from business ones. This ensures that you’re not burying vital information under a mountain of small talk as your team seeks to connect with each other from their remote locations.

2. Provide Activity Events for All Employees

If you have employees on-site and others working from home, it can be easy to forget about the ones at home when launching different interactive activities.

We can’t stress enough how important it is to include remote workers in all activities.

Not only does inclusion give remote workers a break from their daily activities, it lets them know you’ve not forgotten about them. No matter where they’re working from, you should always include remote team members and see them as a part of your work family.

3. Set Socialization Hours

Another useful workplace management tip is to include a socialization hour for remote employees. It’s a given you’ll need to have online video meetings to update all on the status of projects, but that shouldn’t be the only thing virtual platforms are used for.

Including a variety of engaging activities can provide employees with the motivation they need to push forward in their work.

It also allows for a break from the workday, improves team member connections which can help refresh employees so they can tackle the next half of the day.

Take time to choose the right games to play during these socialization hours. There are tons of games you can use such as virtual bingo that can be emailed to each participant and played from their desktops.

You should consider keeping these “fun time” hours in your business and making them an integral part of your company even after everyone returns to working in the office.

4. Celebrate Achievements

When everyone is not working in the office it can be challenging to give the recognition individuals and teams deserve when completing and accomplishing different tasks.

A key part of becoming a better manager is to reward the behavior you want.