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In a traditional office environment, casual communication happens all the time. Everything from a chat in the break room to an impromptu meeting goes a long way in building a team that is aligned and united.

But what happens in remote environments, where team members are not in the same building, the same town, or even the same country? The casual communication that drives productivity and job satisfaction is just as important. The answer is to recreate a coworking environment inside an online workplace. Here are seven tips we’ve developed here at Sococo for communicating casually at a distance.

Spontaneity

Make it as quick and easy as possibly to communicate. A quick Slack chat to grab someone’s attention or “knocking” on a virtual office door to exchange a few words is much faster and more spontaneous than scheduling a conference call.

Video Chat

Face-to-face communication is vital in the workplace. People’s faces show you whether they are happy, tense, convinced, or doubtful, helping you better understand how to interact with them. In Sococo, remote face-to-face interactions are as easy to initiate over a laptop as they are in a physical office environment, with instant-on video and audio conferencing in every room of a workspace.

Finding people

Instead of running from cubicle to cubicle, you can find teammates immediately on the Sococo Map. One quick glance can help you find the people you need to make progress on a particular project, see if they’re available, and grab them for a quick huddle.

Information sharing

In a physical office, you can easily pass documents around the table. In a remote environment, you can share screens and collateral among colleagues instantaneously. Use Google Docs to collaborate on a document, then post it as a share in your Sococo space to get feedback from your team.

Socializing

Happy workers make for high performance, and socializing allows your team to wind down and build relationships in a less-formal setting. While there’s a time for work and a time for play, make remote socializing easy and painless with virtual break rooms, water coolers, or lounge areas.

Trust

It’s hard to trust someone you don’t know. Casual communication in an online office encourages teammates to build relationships face-to-face, enabling them to work together effectively as they know and trust the people they’re working alongside.

A sense of belonging

One of the toughest things to do, yet also one of the most important, is to get everybody on a remote team to feel that he or she belongs. By including everyone in your casual communication efforts, your team will build engagement and alignment with the organization as a whole. This leads to more productive collaboration and overall better performance.

Want to build a culture of casual communication, no matter where your teammates are located? Learn more about bringing your team to work in Sococo here.