Remote working has increased the happiness and contentment of scores of employees around the world. From increased flexibility to better work-life balance, there’s no shortage of benefits that remote work has the potential to offer.
Unfortunately, there are some distinct challenges that can arise for remote companies that in-person offices may not face. One of the most significant obstacles for remote organizations is providing networking opportunities for employees within your company.
Thankfully, there are some effective networking strategies you can utilize to ensure that your employees have a chance to network, interact, and make meaningful connections with their remote coworkers. Having an understanding of some of the most effective ways to do this can make it easier and more accessible to bolster these types of networking opportunities in your organization.
Here are some effective ways to create opportunities for networking within your remote company.
Schedule Randomized Meetings Among Employees
A useful practice that many remote companies engage in is the practice of scheduling randomized meetings among employees. This method of allowing networking opportunities can take many different forms and will depend on the size of your specific organization.
One of the simplest ways to do this is to schedule a meeting for each employee with another employee once a week. These meetings don’t have to be too long, thirty minutes or so should be just fine.
What these meetings do is offer individuals in your company a chance to interact with and get to know others they may not have otherwise met. For example, an accountant in your remote company may never get a chance to interact with a junior graphic designer. By crafting spaces for these individuals to meet, you’ll provide your employees with more opportunities to network within your company.
Plan In-Person Corporate Events
In-person corporate events are a great way to offer your employees a chance to network and get to know each other. In addition, these events can act as an exciting treat for your employees to look forward to and feel more content during working hours.
While planning a corporate event may seem overwhelming at first, it doesn’t have to be. Taking advantage of some key tips can make the process more accessible. For starters, it’s important to determine what type of corporate event you’ll have before doing any planning.
A common corporate event that is usually a crowd-pleaser among employees is a retreat. These are typically held in scenic areas such as beaches, lakes, or mountains. One huge benefit of retreats is that employees will feel relaxed and have ample opportunities to mingle and network with their coworkers.
Given the ability of corporate events to provide your remote employees with a space to network, taking advantage of this practice can help you give your employees more opportunities to make deeper connections and expand their networks.
Have a Company-Wide Slack Thread
If your remote company is like most, then you probably use Slack — or a similar tool — on a regular basis. If you’re intent on providing more opportunities for your remote employees to network with each other, Slack can help you do it.
To allow every employee to interact with their coworkers, create a company-wide slack thread. This can be a place meant for fun interactions with employees sharing interesting articles, funny memes, insightful videos, holiday plans, or anything else.
It can help to assign different employees the task of sharing something interesting once a week. This way, everyone participates and can engage in fun interactions with coworkers that can develop into impactful networking opportunities.
The more normal and instinctual a process engaging in this thread becomes, the more normalized it will become for your remote employees to engage in networking interactions with each other.
Remote Networking Can Be Easy
While it may seem like a difficult or impossible feat, giving your remote employees opportunities to network with each other is actually easier than it seems. By engaging in some specific practices, you’ll be able to ensure that your employees are given ample opportunities to connect.
So the next time you feel that your remote employees need a networking jolt, take advantage of one of these key practices and watch as the connections flourish.