When you don’t get to see someone in the office every day, having any type of visual clue to what someone is thinking is essential.Whether you’re gauging their reaction to a change in plans, or just trying to judge their overall mood that day, video tells you way more than an audio-only call or chat will ever reveal.
However, if that’s all you do, you’re really missing out on a critical part of management. Rapport is what will help you work through problems each team member has, trust they can come to you with things important to them, and give you the benefit of the doubt when you make a mistake or an unpopular decision.Demonstrating you care is important to them and essential for you to truly understand their motivations.Taking the time to do this will also make them like working for you more.They also miss out on the kinds of information that would naturally spread across an office related to other parts of the company and brief announcements.One on ones provide an opportunity to make up for that as well as handle all the little things that build up over the course of a week.With so many free and inexpensive solutions for video chat (like Skype, Google hangouts, and Zoom), there’s no reason not to switch to video whenever you can.
Trust your instincts when you see something might be wrong and take the time to ask about it.
Improving them will improve morale, productivity, and team cohesion.
I worked with a largely remote team when I ran product at KISSmetrics and ran a remote team in Boston for the 2.5 years for my past business, Greenhorn Connect.
Things that work in an office don’t always translate exactly to remote employees.
Often times, the biggest challenges are that things you naturally do in an office, don’t come naturally with your remote staff.
You can also get more ideas for how to build rapport with anyone here.