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6 Ways to Build Healthy Remote Teams

Everyone dealing with remote working can start to develop coping skills to help them maneuver the new challenges and obstacles that this type of environment creates. There are unique stressors that can lead to burnout over time if they aren’t appropriately dealt with. In this article, we’ll discuss tools and techniques to help keep the team happy, healthy and functional. Working together, we can all promote resilience.

February 18, 2021 5 minute read

1. Reach out to others. 

It can be easy to retreat into ourselves when dealing with stress, anxiety and general frustration. Being alone can lead to being overwhelmed, but it’s important not to get too detached from others. 

Get rid of distractions, and be deliberate about connecting with people. Set up one on one phone calls for a specific time to see how they’re doing. That way no one will feel rushed or feel like a nuisance — it’s a particular time set aside to talk about these things. You’ll be able to slow down and listen to each other. We’re all dealing with this situation in our ways, and we each have our unique challenges to face. 

There also doesn’t always have to be a solution. Just being able to vent out those frustrations can make all the difference. Sometimes helping other people process their stress is the best way to process our own.

2. Be honest about how you feel. 

It can be tempting to pretend you’re not struggling when you are. You may think putting up a good front will help those around you, but it actually might make them feel worse about their situations. They may feel bad that they are struggling when everyone else appears to have everything under control.

Remember, our teams are built on trust. Shared hardships build trust. Don’t be afraid to share your struggles or ask for help. While your strains during this time might not be the same or seem as impactful as someone else’s, sharing them can be beneficial to not only you but others. By talking through our struggles not only can it help those around us realize that they aren’t the only ones experiencing difficulties during this time, but it also gives people a chance to share how they have dealt with the struggles and provide encouragement. Listening to someone else’s approach might help someone else on the team discover a new way to tackle their own.

3. Take care of yourself. 

Personal care is paramount in these stressful times. That includes physical care like a proper diet, sleep schedule and exercise regimen. Some techniques help with psychological care. Create a separate area specifically for work. Otherwise, there is a tendency for the boundary line between work and home to blur. Also, create a specific area to relax. You’ll need a quiet, comfortable place to unwind with a book, some tea and a fluffy little dog. It’s essential to take breaks to help you regroup, refocus and get ready to face whatever challenges are in your way. 

Taking a break from social media and the news has shown to be very helpful in reducing stress. Simple meditation and breathing exercises can be just as beneficial when regulating stress. Taking the time to stop and rejuvenate is necessary to keep yourself from breaking down or burning out.

4. Be patient with others.

It can seem like everyone’s fuse is getting shorter and shorter as time goes on. We can be short-tempered or snappy at someone without realizing it. It can take a concerted effort not to develop these traits as building frustrations grind away at our patience and tempers. 

Try to pump as much understanding into your relationships as you can. Help to create a peaceful and caring environment, not only for those around you but for yourself. Aggravation builds on itself, and without thinking you could easily smear your lousy mood all over everybody’s day.

5. Create an empathetic culture. 

Being empathic not only helps the individual at that moment, but also builds empathy in the community. By showing empathy yourself, you encourage an empathic culture. However, what empathy is and what it looks like in the workplace can feel like a vague concept. 

If you are uncertain about exactly what is meant by empathy, try replacing empathy with curiosity and care. Be curious about why someone feels the way they do, believes a certain thing and reacts to something a certain way. By being curious, you can seek to understand that person better. 

Understanding is part of empathy. You also want to care. When you care about a person’s feelings, aspirations and career growth, and are invested in promoting their well-being, you are putting empathy into action.

6. Don’t stop dreaming.

Be courageous and focus on what you can do to make positive changes in your life. Get feedback from people that you trust and use it to create plans for the future. Have goals of all different kinds and sizes. They don’t all have to be monumental changes to matter. Regularly accomplishing smaller sized goals will give you the steady validation that will help fuel larger aspirations. 

Hope for the future is a vital tool. The future has limitless potential, and we can actively direct our paths.

Sara King
Stacy Weter
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