Distributed Teams are Interacting Less Often, Here’s Why It Matters

Did you know that 90% of team interactions don’t happen anymore because it’s too burdensome to schedule a Zoom meeting? You might be wondering if that’s really a bad thing. After all, aren’t many office interactions just distractions from “real” work?  

In reality, the lack of frequent, unstructured social interactions--something we once took for granted in the physical office--is becoming a major concern for organizations trying to keep their distributed teams happy, engaged, and productive.

The Social Dilemma 

Distributed teams often lack the social dynamic that creates lively, productive teams in the physical office. Needing to schedule a call for every little thing becomes exhausting. In fact, the hurdle of scheduling a meeting creates enough friction that many teams simply stop taking the time to work through problems together, bounce ideas off one another, and keep communication lines open and flowing throughout the day. 

This sharp decline in social interaction inevitably leads to several major problems, including lack of alignment, inefficient communication, and low employee engagement and morale. These problems may start small, and you may not even notice their impact right away, since work is still getting done. But, left unchecked, these problems can and do escalate, significantly reducing employee productivity and satisfaction.  Here’s why: 

Lack of Alignment 

Without frequent, unstructured interactions outside of planned meetings, it’s easy for teams to get out of sync with project priorities, goals, and tasks. Structured meetings are valuable, but they don’t replace the casual check-ins and conversations that keep projects moving in the right direction. For example, teams that lack alignment are more likely to duplicate efforts, make avoidable errors, or unintentionally let important details slip through the cracks--all of which can quickly derail a project. 

Inefficient Communication

Problems that could once be easily solved by hopping over to someone’s desk and working through it in person now stretch unresolved for days, diluted by back-and-forth emails and/or never ending series of video calls. Sure, work is getting done, but it’s horribly inefficient, and the process becomes frustrating and draining to even the most long-suffering individuals.

Low Engagement and Morale 

When employees work mostly in isolation, it is very easy for them to become disengaged and dissatisfied with their role--and the company. In the office, many employers sought to make work “fun,” and there’s a reason for that. A culture of enjoying the work that you do and building awesome, dynamic teams has become a critical differentiator for employers looking to attract and retain talented employees. 

In a distributed workforce, it’s hard for many employees to remain engaged when the team doesn’t feel like a team anymore, and all the fun, social parts of the job have been removed from the equation. While many employers have tried to solve this with Zoom happy hours, these often fell flat because they felt like just another meeting. Scheduling another video call doesn’t recreate the person-to-person interactions and bonding that happen organically at in-person events. As a result, many employees simply don’t go, and leaders, disheartened, stop scheduling them. 

The Solution: A Virtual Office 

Virtual office platforms, like Kosy, have rapidly evolved to meet the growing need for frictionless interactions no matter where your teams are located. These virtual work platforms complement your existing communication tools. But they are specifically designed to recreate the interactions of the physical office and keep communication flowing without the barriers of scheduling yet another meeting. To learn more, read our recent blog post: How to Recreate Office Interactions with a Distributed Team.

Distributed Teams Interact Less Often

Ready to Reconnect Your Distributed Teams? 

Your virtual office should enable your teams to seamlessly interact however they want, wherever they want, without skipping a beat. Not sure how to get started with a virtual workspace for your organization? Kosy is here to help. Our virtual office platform makes it easy to create custom virtual offices built to meet your organization’s unique needs. 

Try Kosy for free to see how easy it is to bring your teams together remotely.

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