How to Create a Work Environment So Remote Workers Don’t Have FOMO

August 06, 2019 by Amanda Maksymiw

Man working at his keyboard

Ever experience workplace FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)? 

The day that you couldn’t make it into the office ends up being the exact same day as an office-wide event and suddenly your social channels are littered with images and banter from moments that you missed. 

Imagine, however, having that same feeling every day because you work remotely. 

The remote workforce often faces the biggest challenge of feeling isolated from the rest of their teams. Much of developing professional success requires cultivating soft skills such as communication, collaboration, and navigating office dynamics. Disconnection from others in the workplace can lead to feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and may cause remote workers to try to constantly outshine or outperform their teammates to make sure they are seen as a valued team member. At the same time, more industries are embracing remote work and this workplace shift is not going away. In fact, future of work trends shows that work-life balance and flexibility are the keys to unlock workforce productivity.

So, how do we create an inclusive office culture where everyone feels part of the team? 

> Encourage Empathy: Remember the words of Flex Summit speaker Ryan Merkley -- “When one person is remote, then we’re all remote.” It’s important for the workforce to adopt policies that will change the office mindset where all workers, whether remote or down the hall, reframe their days to accommodate their entire team if everyone is offsite. It’s crucial to build habits that lead to a culture of trust, connection, where everyone is working towards a shared set of goals. Be empathetic to dispersed colleagues and try to think of creative ways to engage them in office dynamics such as ensuring that all meetings are equipped for video creating traditional office banter over chat streams. 

> Build Strong Management: Managers should take the time to invest in their teams both professionally and personally. Strong managers should check-in frequently and consistently with remote team members and use that time as a way to build a strong relationship and to find out more about their lives outside of work. Remember that there are more ways to communicate outside of emails and direct messages. Take the time to set up video chats or calls. Build trust among all members of the team by creating autonomy and try not to fall into micromanaging habits. Finally, remember that teams are made up of individuals with their own unique styles, so be cognizant of that and work with your teams to identify what they need from you as a manager to do their best work.   

> Embrace Team Collaboration Tools: Digital team collaboration tools are a great way to support distributed teams and help them find ways to build trust and strong communication. As the workforce evolves so does the technology to meet these growing needs and demands.  Video conferencing and screen sharing are just some of the ways teams can find avenues to connect. For team meetings, instead of automatically reaching for the conference room phone, challenge yourselves to make it a video chat so that all team members receive some face time. Also, stay on top of remote work trends and technology of the near future to see how your office can be ahead of the curve.

Amanda Maksymiw
Amanda Maksymiw

Amanda is responsible for setting and managing the Fuze content marketing strategy including creating, producing and publishing engaging content. Throughout her career, she's worked with fast-growing tech companies and VCs on developing content marketing, influencer marketing and social media strategies. Amanda received her BBA in Marketing from the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

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