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Remote Team Building: Cultivating Positive Relationships and Productivity

Remote work has been on the rise for quite some time now, and recent global events have only accelerated its growth. With social distancing becoming the norm, remote teams are becoming more commonplace across various industries. While remote work presents many advantages such as increased flexibility, it also comes with its own unique set of challenges. Effective communication, maintaining productivity and building a positive team culture are some of the most pressing ones.

In this blog post, we will delve into the different methods that can help remote workers cultivate positive relationships with their colleagues, and build the trust necessary for enhanced productivity. Here are five effective ways to cultivate positive relationships and increase productivity in a remote team.

Use Technology to Stay Connected

The most significant challenge with remote work is keeping connected with peers. With colleagues not in the same physical space, work can become incredibly isolating and hinder relationships. However, technology is changing that by providing us with various ways to stay connected in real-time.

Tools like Slack, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams allow holding regular check-ins or stand-up meetings without missing a beat. They are perfect for both quick meetings and impromptu catch-ups – these avenues will go a long way in keeping your remote colleagues in your life. Moreover, informal communication channels like Slack can help remote team members share non-work related ideas and create water cooler moments, as if they were in the office break room.

One of the best ways to bridge the gap between remote and in-house teams is video conferencing. It creates a face-to-face experience with remote team members, making the interaction appear natural. Regular video conferences help build stronger and more positive relationships among remote workers.

Adapt to Different Working Styles

Remote work caters to a plethora of different working styles. Some prefer an organised, structured day, while others are more comfortable with flexibility. To foster good relationships and improve productivity, it’s essential to gauge how your colleagues work and adapt to their style where possible.

When communicating with colleagues, adapt to their communication preferences. For instance, some colleagues may prefer detailed feedback via email rather than going through it in public channels. Be mindful of each colleague’s working style when providing feedback, ensuring it fulfils the need for specific input.

By accommodating every team member’s working style, you ensure a productive and efficient workflow for everyone.

Encourage Regular Feedback

Interactions between team members are infrequent in remote teams than in team colocated physically. This makes feedback critical to remote work’s success. When given correctly, feedback can help team members identify improvement areas and be more productive in the long run.

To ensure feedback sessions remain effective, set up scheduled sessions where team members can share feedback, ensuring the conversation focuses on areas where they need to work on and improve their productivity. Encouraging feedback on a regular basis will go farther in helping remote team members trust each other and find motivation to work towards a common goal.

Additionally, it’s imperative to give positive feedback to remote team members too. Positive feedback demonstrates your trust in your colleagues, building confidence, morale and employee engagement.

Celebrate Successes Together

Celebrating successes helps create a positive relationship and builds trust amongst remote workers. It’s important to acknowledge team members when they achieve their goals and celebrate their victories accordingly.

Celebrations don’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. Remote teams can choose to utilise virtual activities designed to engage and bring team members closer together. Quizzes, virtual escape rooms or even team games can help improve bonds while celebrating successes. By celebrating together, remote teams feel more united, creating a positive relationship that leads to increased productivity.

Encourage Personal Connections

Developing personal relationships with colleagues outside work can help foster a positive relationship and result in better collaboration. As remote team members, bonding over personal interests helps create a sense of community and respect that leads to better working relationships.

To encourage personal connections, start by establishing online social events. Members can bond over shared interests, learn more about the talents, skills and perspectives of colleagues. Stronger personal connections will help remote teams develop trust, leading to better collaboration that improved overall productivity.

Building personal connections can also motivate remote workers, making them feel more engaged with their colleagues and contributing more to the team’s success.

Challenges of Remote Teams

Remote teams come with their unique set of challenges that can impact productivity and positive relationships. Here are some of the most common challenges and how they can be addressed:

Communication Challenges

Communication is the backbone of any successful team, remote teams included. Remote teams face several communication challenges that can impact productivity, such as the lack of face-to-face interaction that can lead to misunderstandings. Communication can also become time-consuming, slow and less fluid.

To address these challenges, establish effective communication strategies that work for team members. This could involve daily or weekly check-ins to ensure everyone is up-to-date with the latest developments, clear communication guidelines, or using collaboration tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams.

Time Management Challenges

Time management is another significant challenge that remote teams regularly face. With no clear separation between work and home, it can be easy to become distracted and interfere with productivity.

To address these challenges, remote team members need to set clear boundaries between their work and personal lives. This could involve developing a routine or setting clear boundaries between personal time and work, ensuring they establish specific working hours.

Team Building Challenges

Team building is an essential component of building positive relationships amongst remote workers. Building trust and strong relationships with colleagues can be challenging in a remote setting, where team members are not physically present.

To address these challenges, remote team members should focus on organising social events, team building activities, and regular check-ins with colleagues. These activities will go a long way in fostering a sense of community amongst team members, enhancing trust and team morale.


Remote work presents several unique challenges to team building, but the tips outlined in this blog will help remote teams build positive relationships and increase productivity. Building positive relationships requires time and effort, but it’s not impossible.

By providing an active social network, investing time in feedback, adapting to working different styles, and consistently engaging in team building activities, remote workers can help build a positive workplace culture that fosters strong relationships and improved productivity.

Addressing the challenges that remote team members face and establishing effective communication can help remote workers stay productive, happy and engaged with their work. With commitment and regular communication, remote teams can work together effectively, promoting collaboration and outstanding outcomes for the entire team.

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